A recipe for a Merry Christmas

The thermometer is tipping 38 degrees, Paul Kelly’s How to Make Gravy is playing, and your parents are singing off-key and cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Meanwhile, relatives are ripping open presents and kids are running amok with those paper hats on their heads that you find inside bonbons.

You also get to make awkward small talk with aunts and uncles who, once again, “cannot believe how much you’ve grown”. Just like the past five Christmases.

But really, small talk aside, Christmas is pretty great. Sun, blue sky, the beach and a bit of backyard cricket. And of course, lots of eating, drinking and being merry.

Prawns, pavlova and too much meat

Talking of eating, in 2017 Aussies devoured around 2 million kilos of prawns from Woolworths, while at the Sydney Fish Market, 120 tonnes of the favourite Christmas crustaceans were bought just 3 days prior to Xmas.

That’s a lot of shelling to get through. Not to mention dealing with those semi-transparent legs that never seem to peel off easily.

In fact, despite the huge number of vegetarians and vegans in Australia, it doesn’t seem like our carnivorous nature has been tamed too much. Woolworths alone sold 80,000 turkeys and 550,000 hams in 2017 at Xmas.

There’s also a significant number of Aussies that like to be ambitious with their meat eating. Last year, more than 50,000 kilos of Turducken – a turkey, duck and chicken product – were bought and consumed. If you’re really keen, you could keep going and make a Turduckenham. Or a Turduckenhamoo (add ham and stuff it into a rump of beef).

I’m starting to feel ill and I haven’t even spied so much as a mince pie yet. But while we’re on the subject of mince pies, 6 million of them were scoffed down during Christmas in 2017, while half a million pavlovas satisfied our sweet tooth.

If you know someone who’d lick their lips at the thought of all this turkey talk about Xmas lunch, you might enjoy giving them our new Wise(ish) Words for Foodies and seeing them devour it.

And a bit of plonk

Xmas isn’t just about stuffing your pie hole though. It’s about plonk. Lots of it. And we’re lucky to have some of the greatest wines in the world. Just this year, a Clare Valley Cleanskin Riesling won a gold medal at the International Wine Challenge in the UK.

Now I’m no expert, but if Riesling isn’t your thing, I do know that a Cab Sav or a Merlot pairs nicely with a lamb roast (and possibly even Turduckens) while a semi-sweet, crisp Pinot Grigio and a drier Sauvignon Blanc washes down well with seafood and salads.

I’m not the only one who thinks the festive spirit should be celebrated with spirits on of a liquid kind.

A survey conducted last year of 1,000 Australians from across the country, found that we love to knock a few back in the holiday season. Respondents each spent between $200 to $1,000 on alcohol during December and January alone, when intake also tripled. Around 7% of them also said they drank more during Xmas to help cope with their family. Hmmm….

But that’s OK because you can never really go wrong with wine. As we like to say: “A glass of wine a day has health benefits. Glasses two and three give you wit and dubious dance moves.” So when your cousins twice-removed start making you feel bad about your Christmas jumper or wearing reindeer antlers, plonk (and dubious dance moves) could get you through.

And if you know any oenophiles that love a chilled glass of chardonnay or a warm Merlot and wax lyrical about hints of oak and berry aromas, our Wise(ish) Words for Wine Lovers might be on the nose.

Don’t forget the rest of your family and friends…

If all this reading about festive food has got you thinking about Christmas and worrying about all the people you’ve still got to buy gifts for then relax!

We’ve got a new range of books that should cover everyone – from Loveable Grumps to the Eternally Cheerful and everything in between.

If you get in quick, you can also buy three but only pay for two in our 3 for 2 Santa Special.

So deck the halls, jingle those bells, and have a fantastic Christmas!

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