If you love indulging in traditional festive fare, then the cooler month of July is the perfect time to bring these winter-warming dishes to life. Here’s how to make Christmas in July just as memorable as the real deal in December.
Deck the halls
Pull out your festive decorations to bring yuletide cheer to your home. If low key is on the agenda, head to your local nursery where you’ll find small fir or pine trees that won’t cost a fortune. Decorate them with generously thick red and green ribbons and their distinctive festive smell will fill your home. Light a few candles and dig out your Christmas CD that usually gets a spin only once a year. Hand out glasses of mulled wine and the scene is set.
For many Aussies, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without prawns and there’s no reason this can’t apply in wintertime too. Make your own prawn cocktails by placing iceberg lettuce leaves in a cocktail glass, squeezing over lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil, a grind of black pepper, then top with peeled, cooked prawns. Serve with cocktail sauce – a mixture of equal parts tomato sauce and thin cream, a dash of lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce, plus Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste. If you’d like to serve a warm starter, why not stick to the prawn theme but use them in a colourful prawn and chorizo frittata?
Tradition really calls for a roast turkey. Do it old school and roast a fresh one according to your butcher or packet directions. Otherwise make it modern by roasting a turkey breast with pistachios and prunes. Serve your bird with lovely winter veggie dishes that are at their best right now, such as a brussels sprouts gratin, honeyed Dutch carrots, cheesy cauliflower and bacon gratin or crispy roast potatoes. Stuck for time? Ask your guests to bring their favourite festive side.
There are two kinds of people sitting at your festive table – those who like traditional Christmas fruit pudding, and those who don’t. Meet in the middle and serve a sticky date Christmas pudding with spiced caramel sauce. You’re bound to win fans when this delicious treat arrives at the table.
As for the finishing touches, replace backyard cricket with board games and lounge by the log fire rather than the swimming pool. It’s all the things you love about Christmas, only cosier.
Top tip: There's no better excuse to pull out your best tableware than Christmas. Help protect your favourite festive dishes, glasses or pots and pans by adding Finish Protector to your dishwasher cycle.