Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The silly season

Until last week I have been in denial of Christmas.

This year has been indescribably hard for all of my family and lots of our friends.  We said farewell to a loved one - a cherished bubba- way way too soon.

I'm not able to talk about it here yet- maybe some day but not yet.

We are all kind of waiting for next year to begin and shut the door on 2010.  It's just been too sad for words.

Celebrating anything has just seemed too hard.  Too many reminders.

I normally LOVE Christmas but have really really struggled to get in the spirit this year.

But then last weekend Hubby disappeared into the shed and came into the lounge room where all our five children were with a big long box.

In that dusty box was our Xmas tree and all the decorations.

There were squeals of delight and chatter about whose turn it was to put the star on the top.

All he did was open the box and the kids took care of the rest.  It was beautiful.   Mr.7 put on the daggiest Christmas Carols record he could find and they were away! I had to take a daggy portrait in front of the tree!

A reminder of what Christmas is.



So since then the kids have been busy perusing the catalogues dreaming of all manner of goodies....hoping Santa will indulge them with all the things that us parents won't!

And taking down the decorations off the tree to play make believe games........

"Hi Santa my name is Santa"
And outside the lights are up too- to let everyone know....we are in the spirit!

Now for the menu.........

What do you love to eat for Christmas?

Our family has always been very spontaneous with our menu- when I was growing up the rule was always to choose something you love to eat and love to prepare- we were all responsible for bringing a dish to the table to share.  Not a bad rule me thinks!

The kitchen was full to overflowing with all of us cooking up delicious goodies.   There would be curries, beautiful mayonnaises, pates, ham, and seafood.  I remember my sister once making a killer home made Baileys too- YUM!!!!!

One of the things I remember always being on the table though was- Gravad lax-  a Swedish staple.  Our family learnt to love it from the days we spent living in Sweden.  My dad made it - now most of us do the same.

A simple but DELICIOUS dish.

Click here for a link that gives you simple instructions with step by step pictures- and a link to make the accompanying Mustard sauce too.  You need to prepare it 2 days ahead but it is VERY SIMPLE and soooo worth it!

I would love to  hear what you love to eat for Christmas.

This week I have been listening to ......


  1. Oh Sufjan-ey. I <3 you so x
    Our Christmas lunch is also a shifting feast, with new menus every year and everyone bringing along something.
    I love to make a fabulous Italian salad called panzanella...using stale sourdough, ripe, red tomatoes, green and red capsicums, red onions lots a herbs, anchovies, olives and a dressing of red wine vinegar and olive oil...also a a massive pot of slow cooked red capsicums strips, cooked up with olive oil, slivers of squashed garlic, a little sugar and a splash of good, sticky balsamic.
    Happy ho ho

  2. YUM!
    Panzanella is such a fantastic Xmas dish- the colours are PERFECT! And oh boy is it delish....

  3. Maybe I take for granted that we always have good food at christmas, but I am sure I wont get strident opposition to the idea that the best thing about christmas is that the food and gifts brings everyone together; a time to celebrate even if it has been a hard year, as you have managed to do again this year.

    Lots of Love,


  4. Well, the Christmas tree is just sooo much fun! That smell of pine is simply divine. It's the smell of Christmas. The gravalax is a great idea and we were all thinking of what we might cook this year. Traditionally Marc's family always did seafood - crays, oysters and prawns. This year Marc's dad's going to make his Tahitian raw fish salad which he learnt when he travelled to Tahiti in the early 60s by boat! i think he may have learnt some other things too ... Mum always likes to cook a goose or some sort of game but we then argue how she'll cook it as she's notorious for over cooking and simply CANNOT be told. So oven arguments are part of our Christmas day - but this year I'm going to button it and drink instead! Merry Christmas GG and we'll let you know how the Gravalax went. I made a wholewheat summer pasta for a dinner party the other day from an Alice Waters cookbook. The best bit was Claudia did so much of it, like peeling the roasted peppers and de-seeding them. It was so lovely to sit at the table and get our hands all capsicum-slimed together! XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  5. I love the way when you decide 'its time' you get right on with things with a huge gusto. The tree, the lights, the love, the photos, the gravad lax. The Lot! Gorgeous. Well,this will be my 70th Christmas and that's quite a lot and I have so many memories associated with this special family season - many (that'd be 40!) shared with you. Long before though I do recall the calendar on the side of the kitchen cabinet where my mother put black crosses on days I was naughty with warnings that too many crosses meant no presents from Father Christmas!! fear and dread - and quite a few black marks - but still he, dear man, always came through with the goodies. There was always red jelly and singing around the piano and the Hokey Pokey - and,for some reason, Dad always painted the toilet a few days before Christmas. As you say, our own family celebrations were full of good smells and tastes,lots of laughing and bad jokes, dogs running amok - some family members too, at times. Above all, as Greg says, the best thing is that everyone gets together to celebrate and enjoy themselves and each other. Bring on the 25th! Jomaxxxx

  6. A lovely posting Gourmet girl x


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