Our Christmas Table

Wednesday, December 28, 2011
We decided to break with the traditional turkey this year. For the last couple of years I've not had much success with them. So after seeing our local celebrity chef, Jo Seagar, in the Australian Women's Weekly (NZ edition) with a Christmas Baked Ham recipe, we decided to go with that. The hams cost around the same as a turkey, but they are soooo much tastier and easier to cook. And the best part is that we are still eating ham three days later.

We kept the table simple this year. When you are trying to sell the house and getting ready to move to a different island, simple is good! And I love blending the old traditional winter Christmas food with our summer Christmas traditions.

It is our family tradition to have Wassail to drink on Christmas Eve while the children listen to the Christmas story being read from the Bible.
But in our hot, warm summer weather it's really nice to have a chilled drink for Christmas dinner on the day. So, a couple of days before Christmas I made Jo's Raspberry Cordial. It not only looks pretty, it tastes amazing too. In fact, I'm making more of it today, just because.

I made a basil, rocket and cherry tomato salad with feta. Sooo simple but sooo good. I think Basil is one of my favourite summer herbs. It just smells like summer to me.

We had the to-die-for paremsan potatoes that we had last Christmas too.

Here is our massive Ham baking in the oven with it's maple syrup and cinnamon glaze.

For dessert we always have our Christmas icecream. People ask me every year if this is Jo Seagar's recipe and I have to insist that it's not. I've been making this icecream since I was 14 years old, when my girlfriend from school made it for me after a trip to America. Back in the 1980's, it was still expensive to fly abroad, so only the rich did it; but my friend's father was a flight engineer so they got discounted airfares and she used to bring back such lovely things that weren't available in NZ at that time. She called the icecrea 'cassata', and I guess over the years it has evolved into this Christmas tradition for us. Some years ago Jo Seagar came out with her own version, which is popular now in NZ. But this is my version.

Strawberry mousse in a choclate sponge, topped with strawberries.

Meredith decorated the table for us again and did a lovely job too. I enjoyed using some new placemats that I got earlier in the year - very festive!

Here's one little boy with his cracker party hat around his chin!

Our living light candle I was given for my birthday took pride of place at the table this year.
And of course, it's always nice to finish Christmas with Christmas cake - although we were so full of good food that we didn't cut into it until Boxing Day.


Julia said...

Merry Christmas Rachel! Looks like a feast "fit for a king" was had at your place. Seeing the cassata icecream reminds of the time I made it for my eldest 16th was SO good!
Oh ..and basil would have to be one of my favourite herbs too, followed by rocket.

Cate said...

It all looks so lovely Rachel! Now if I could just persuade you to pop up this way and cook that dinner for me next year, life would be complete :-D

Heather L. said...

Looks and sounds wonderful! Did you put extra thick icing on the Christmas cake? Is it marzipan??? Yum, yum. We are slowly eating our GlutenFree Christmas cake, which is very dark, and very crumbly, with no marzipan. :( But, I bought a bar of marzipan just for my own eating. I love it! I think you will have to share you Christmas ice cream sometime.

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