Only a few more sleeps until the Big Day. Time to set the mood. Truth be told I have been setting the mood with my Christmas playlist for the last month or so.
My playlist varies a little year to year but my absolute favourite that always takes centre stage is any Christmas song by Bing Crosby (he reminds me of my Grandad a lot). Then there is Harry Connick Jr’s What a Night! A Christmas Album and, of course, Michael Bublé’s Christmas – you cannot go wrong!
This year’s find is definitely Christmas at Downton Abbey – old school and fabulous! A highlight being Carson reciting ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.
Now the music is sorted, you can’t go past a good advent calendar. Jacqui Lawson creates the most spectacular electronic advent calendar each year…. a must have for me. I love how interactive it is – making snowflakes, decorating the tree, arranging flowers, wrapping gifts for under the tree – all to wonderful Christmas music. A fabulous replacement gift instead of sending Christmas cards.
And then, of course, there is the menu. Us girls tend to start talking menus around the time we decorate at the beginning of December. These days our plan is our side of the family at Mom and Dad’s on Christmas Eve and then my sister and her hubbie and the nephews join my brother in law’s family Christmas Day. So we aim to keep things simple and only do one cook up so the leftovers take us through the next few days.
Kitchen day is therefore Christmas Eve. Our menu is all about the meat, we are South African after all. That definitely means one cut of meat needs to be barbecued – that will be the lamb this year. Mom will have a secret recipe herb rub I could never divulge. I will have a go at brining turkey breast before adding a herb butter wrapping it in bacon and maple syrup and cooking. This is our take on a Donna Hay recipe. And finally we will glaze a gammon with plum and chilli. The accompaniments will be salads and baby potatoes using all the beautiful fresh produce we are so blessed to have access to here in NZ. Dessert is my take on an I Quit Sugar For Life recipe – sugar free individual lemon meringue pies in jars.
We will try and fit in our homemade Christmas Pud and Vanilla Custard for a quiet Christmas Day dinner or perhaps wait till Boxing Day.
I haven’t covered the Christmas mince pies, gingerbread men or the summer fruits sangria we will also indulge in – three days of complete excess really. Having experienced Christmas times the complete opposite of this – alone and with no means for a feast – I am so incredibly grateful for all we have been given to enjoy.
I wish you happy planning and anticipation – it is half the fun!