From homemade ham to canned treats, five women talk about festive tactics



So, I’m thinking of a lunch with glazed ham, good bread from the Summer Kitchen organic bakery, bowls of cherries, new season pink-eyed potatoes, crayfish, abalone, tangy lettuce salads. crunchy and many condiments and mustards, then cherry clafoutis for dessert with homemade cream.

Advices ?
Condiments are your friend. Keep everything product-oriented and seasonal so you don’t have to do much. I like to cook food slowly on Christmas Eve while dancing around the kitchen with Mariah Carey.

Annabelle hickson

Editor, Galah magazine

Annabelle Hickson plans to spend Christmas on the farm.

Magazine launch winner of the year and (consumer / personalized) editor of the year for Galah magazine at the Mumbrella Awards was the highlight of the year for Annabelle Hickson, a town girl who married a pecan farmer and once wondered what she would do for some country fun.

Galah is billed as ‘a modern voice of the bush’, covering regenerative agriculture, art, food and gardens from an Australian perspective.

“What was just a dream two years ago is now a real post with a team of amazing people and readers actually buying it,” she says.

However, the festive feast is likely to be busy, with several guests.

What does Christmas day look like to you?
Christmas will be at home this year, on our farm in the middle of nowhere. It sounds peaceful, but 50 people arrive and I don’t know where they are going to sleep.

What is on the menu?
I insist on a traditional, hot Christmas lunch, but with just one working oven, I’m going to have to be strategic. The ham – glazed according to Elizabeth David’s Barbados Glaze recipe with brown sugar, mustard and milk – will be baked in the oven at morning tea time and rest at room temperature. The turkeys – pickled and stuffed – will be roasted after the ham. In the last half hour I’m going to cook Nigella’s take out mash until hot and crisp.

For dessert, I hope Aunt Joy can bring some of her good Christmas puds with her. There will be pavlovas, custard, ice cream and a large bowl of Tenterfield cherries [NSW].

Advices ?
I asked my husband to lead a waterfall expedition on Christmas morning to get everyone out of the house for three hours, letting the seasoned servants among us take control of the Christmas preparations without having to ask. anyone to stop in front of the drawers.

Pingping Poh

Chef, Nobu, Perth

Pingping Poh can’t wait to share the family festivities with her six-month-old baby.

2021 will always be a special year for Pingping Poh, having been named the very first female chef at Nobu at Crown Perth. “Not only that, I also got the news about becoming a new mom,” she says. “It was definitely a challenge when my perfectionist side wanted to do my best as a mom and as a chef. “

What does Christmas day look like to you?
My family will be hosting a ridiculously delicious spread, and this year will be even more special with my six month old joining us at the table. I’m lucky they understand my “eat and run” tradition as I normally have to go back to work.

Advices ?
There is nothing wrong with using ready-made products if the quality is good. And go crazy over Christmas carols while cooking. It helps!

Bethany finn

Chef in Residence, Life Care, South Australia

Bethany Finn will spend Christmas working in a restaurant at a senior care facility.

After 40 years at the top of the hospitality industry in South Australia, Bethany Finn made a bold move in 2021, transferring her skills from upscale cooking to the Mayflower, the venerable Mayfair Hotel in Adelaide, to the kitchens of retirement homes. .

“I love it,” she said.

“I want to bring the experience of catering to Life Care dining rooms across South Australia, enhancing the skills of existing staff and bringing in highly trained professional chefs.”

What does Christmas day look like to you?
I will be working at the Four Seasons Kitchen and Dining, the five star restaurant for our residents of Life Care’s Gaynes Park Suites. Residents of different nationalities have different ideas about what makes the perfect Christmas so I was busy with a lovely German lady making sugar Fly, and working with other residents to make gingerbread houses.

What is on the menu?
We serve a modern take on shrimp cocktails, then roast turkey with cranberry almond stuffing, roasted root vegetables and spicy honey glazed ham, to finish with a raspberry and blueberry pavlova.

Advices ?
I encourage anyone who is hosting Christmas at home to do so with a gin and tonic in hand! But really, just use fresh, quality ingredients and keep it simple.

Melissa Leong

MasterChef Australia judge

“Christmas is always a last minute meeting of what makes sense and with whom,” says Melissa Leong.

The long established blokey image of Chef changed overnight when Melissa Leong became one of the judges in 2020. The intelligent Singaporean-Australian knows her stuff, having studied food from every possible angle throughout a career in marketing, the food and travel writing.

“It has been a year of cultivation and reduction for me,” she said. “I learn to let go of the things that hinder happiness. “

What does Christmas day look like to you?
In fact, I still have no idea what Christmas will be like this year – I never do! Christmas is always a last minute meeting of what makes sense and with whom. It doesn’t make it any easier when it comes to ordering products from my favorite people, but if it’s the biggest problem you face then life isn’t so bad.

What is on the menu?
This year my partner Rob’s kids requested a pretty hectic Christmas table, but as long as I can have shrimp sandwiches on the beach Boxing Day, I’m happy with everything we do.

Advices ?
Stay in your wheelhouse. If you’re not Nigella Lawson, rely on great vendors and vendors to help you out. Ridiculous party hats and fancy sunglasses are essential, and a quick dance party or karaoke session between each class helps to avoid sleepy sleepers.



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