I spent 30 plus years living in the northern hemisphere but for the past 10 I have had Christmas Dinner in the Southern Hemisphere. Well minus the one where I took the Fashion Mister north for his first ever white Christmas.
It’s a whole different thing to have Christmas in the middle of summer. No more cold nights, snow and going to see the neighbours lights when it gets dark at 5:00 pm. My first Christmas in Australia the Fashion Mister and I went up the street to check out the lights – it was 9:00 pm, still light out, we were wearing shorts and flip-flops because it was so hot and drinking ice-cold beer to keep from having heat stroke!
I didn’t like it much.
It just didn’t seem right. That wasn’t what I knew Christmas to be like. Eventually The Fashion Mister and I started creating our own Christmas traditions that were a little blend of the north and south, like collecting ornaments from around the world. Now I kind of like Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere.
It’s a bit more laid back and not quite as stressful. But then in part that is because with the weather being so hot, many people opt for barbecue’s and seafood buffets (this I like very much)! Adding to the laid back vibe is that lot’s of the local businesses actually close for two weeks over the Christmas-New Year time which means most people have a bit of a holiday. They head to the beach, hang out with their families and just enjoy.
Unfortunately, I work in a hospital…so no time off. I often work on Christmas Day and then catch-up with the Fashion Mister at home where his kids and grand-daughter come over so we can have dinner together. Because they have all usually had a big lunch, I tend to keep things simple and light but I like to have some of the flavours I remember of cold weather Christmases past, cinnamon, nutmeg, roast turkey and cranberries. You know, those things that remind me of where I come from.
I created this salad for Thanksgiving with the Fashion Mister…he likes Thanksgiving…or all the food anyway, and I like hanging on to a little of my heritage. It’s going to make a comeback for the Christmas dinner table.
- Potatoes (par-boiled until soft but not mashable)
- Green Beans (steamed)
- Pancetta (crisp in a pan and save the rendered fat to grill the turkey)
- Turkey Breast (grilled in the rendered turkey pancetta fat)
- Dried Cranberries
- Almond Slivers
- Red/Spanish Onion (finely sliced and quartered)
- Pomegranate Molasses
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Light Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the salad ingredients as on the list above
- Mix the cooked potato and green beans with the red onion. This will allow the onion to wilt but not cook.
- Add in 3/4 of the crispy pancetta, cranberries and almond slivers and mix (mixing with your hands will keep you from roughing up the cooked veggies but do it however you are comfortable)
- Mix equal parts pomegranate molasses, red wine vinegar and light olive oil in a small bowl – taste it and adjust to your preference for sweet or tart, then put salt and pepper in the dressing mix (optional). Pour the dressing over the salad and lightly mix again.
- Place the salad onto a serving tray (family style)
- Slice the turkey breast in thin diagonal slices and place over the top of the salad
- Sprinkle the remaining crispy pancetta, cranberries and almond slivers over the entire dish.
- Serve while warm
I’m not a 100% sure what else I will serve this year on Christmas but guaranteed it will be something this easy and it’s likely to include grilled prawns…maybe in a chili sauce!
Hope you like this little taste of Christmas dinner in the southern hemisphere!
What will you be eating for Christmas dinner?
- Our Christmas Tradition (astimegoesbuy.me)
- Inventory: the perfect wine with Christmas dinner (jaderings8.wordpress.com)
- Holiday Traditions: It’s all about family (newsregister.com)
- DIY – Christmas Tree Ornaments (astimegoesbuy.me)