1. What is your favourite Christmas food?
Anything seafood with a good herb mayonnaise, and I love the tropical fruits – pineapples, lychees and mangoes and of course stone fruits – always a treat after the endless apples and mandarins of winter. We used to get trays of mangoes each Christmas which we’d devour over the Christmas break, but we live down south now and go to the cherry farms and get 3 − 4, 10 kg boxes of cherries at a time, store them in the fridge and gorge ourselves on them until the short cherry season is over! Cherry ‘earrings’ are SO this year’s festive jewellery!
2. What is your favourite Christmas movie?
Miracle on 34th Street.
3. Your favourite Christmas drink?
We do a new cocktail each year which we drink throughout the festive season – but something fruity such as the Lychee Capriosca we did last year is always a favourite.
4. Is there something you love to do every Christmas?
Our extended family live in other States of Australia, so I cherish the little family I have living close by – so the most special thing, is having them in my life. Forget the gifts – having my little family with me is always the most special gift!
5. Do you have any Christmas family traditions?
I grew up with a mix of Scandinavian and Dutch traditions, so we have carried on some of those, but added our own more Aussie traditions as well. We make an occasion a couple of weeks before Christmas, of trimming the tree, with Christmas carols playing and Christmas cake to eat and a nice cup of tea (well, that’s what I’m telling you!). This is after some deep dark mutterings from the male members of the family, while trying to put the tree securely in its stand!
Christmas Eve marks the real start of the celebrations. We have a feast of small bites on Christmas Eve, where we give each person one gift from under the tree. Even though we are not at all religious, someone reads the Christmas story, to remind us of the reason we really celebrate Christmas!
On Christmas Day relatives go to their respective other families to celebrate with gift giving and meals, and we always have the evening meal at our house usually consisting of a cold meal of seafood, glazed ham – oh…let’s face it, none of the food I serve is diet friendly, just full of festive goodness, let’s say! Gifts are given out after the meal, when everyone is barely able to move, or is groaning with the age old cry of ‘I’ve eaten too much ….again’.
6. Do you have a favourite shop that you visit at Christmas time?
Any specialty food shops – just love the smells and sights around this time of the year.
7. Do you bake at Christmas time? If yes, what are your favourite things to bake? Would you share the recipe?
I am known for a Christmas cake I bake each year that is flourless and is a Sri Lanken recipe from Charmain Solomon’s ‘The Complete Asian Cookbook’. Full of fruit, and soaked in booze – it just gets better the longer you keep it.
9. Where does Santa leave presents in your house?
Under the Christmas tree – although the stockings are still popular, even with older people!!
11. Finally, do you thing you’re on Santa’s naughty or nice list and why?
I’d love to say that I’m on his naughty list because I’d like to give you the impression that I’m a bit of a wild thing, but the truth is that I’m pretty boring, so I’d have to say, I’m on his nice list – well, I work for Polka Dot Bride don’t I!