Day 358 of 366 Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

So we are counting down now to Christmas … only two days to go. Are you organised? Gifts under the tree? A glass of wine on hand for sustenance perhaps??  I do hope Santa is ready though as he has a lot to do before Christmas Eve.

Today I want to report: “Christmas Cheer is coming your way.”  In Australia, we don’t say “Happy Holidays!” No, we say “Merry Christmas!” and we say it with gusto. If someone said “Happy Holidays” (as I saw on an Australian blog on Friday), we would want to hit them across the face with a wet dishcloth and say “hey, we are not American!”

christmas-cheerNo insult is intended here to Americans folks, but us Aussies are quite unique and even though we do copy America in a lot of ways, we like to think we are not copying them when it comes to celebrations. It is hard being a European-style country on the other side of the world and nestled in amongst Asia. Oh … New Zealand is near to us and they are unique too … but basically they are European just like us.

And what type of food do we eat Down Under on Christmas Day? As I wrote previously a lot of people just eat cold food because it is so hot here. But not MY family!

We eat a variety of food with a Lebanese twist because my mother was Lebanese and it has become traditional to include the food of Lebanon in our Christmas fare. In fact, when I am dead and gone, both my children will continue this tradition I am sure as they both love and cook Lebanese food. So, this is the plan for Tuesday:

The Matriachs of the Family

The Matriachs of the Family

The People:

Tess and Geoff (The Matriarchs)

Our daughter Maria and husband Steve with their children Alice (11) and Violet (6)

Our son Daniel and his wife Belinda with their children Isaac (3) and baby Madeleine (6 weeks)

Belinda’s parents Pat and David

The Place:

Maria & Steve’s house (probably outdoors in the coolest place)

The Food


  • selection of cheese and nuts
  • Some dips and selection of Christmas fruits (including mangoes and watermelon)  while we open our presents around 11.30am


Mains (probably served around 3pm due to opening presents and eating and drinking beforehand!)

  • Turkey with cranberry sauce (hot)
  • Ham (cold)
  • Cold large prawns (cold) served with seafood dressing
  • Lebanese mince stuffed grape-vine leaves (hot)
  • Kibbi (a bit like flat meatloaf with wheat in it: the national dish of Lebanon) (hot)
  • Hoummus and Baba Ghannouj (which will be served on top of the Lebanese food)
  • Tabbouleh
  • Green beans cooked in tomato with garlic and oil with rice (hot)
  • A smashed potato salad (warm)
  • Boccchini and heritage tomato salad with basil
  • Green salad
  • all accompanied with a good red and white wine and punch for the children
Pavlova, an Australian and New Zealand dessert

Pavlova, an Australian and New Zealand dessert


  • Plum pudding (mine) served with brandy custard (hot)
  • Pavlova with fruit and cream (Maria)
  • Mango trifle served with cream

Afternoon Tea:

  • coffee/tea
  • brandy Christmas cake (mine)
  • cherry topped shortbread (mine) ,
  • small fruit mince shortbread balls
  • chocolates (before they melt in the heat)
  • other goodies that people bring eg truffles etc

As you can see, it is quite a feast but when your family of origin love to cook food for others and love to eat food themselves, there is always going to be some over-catering. We simply cannot help ourselves folks!

So today it is a little quieter and we have taken advantage of it with plenty of sitting whilst watching the big Christmas Carols event from Sydney that we recorded last night. Tomorrow will be busy. We will cook our Lebanese food for Tuesday and do any other last-minute things.

By 6.00 pm Monday we will be attending Christmas Eve Mass with our daughter’s family at the Church where our granddaughters attend school. After that, we may even do some eating but we will make sure we get home early enough for a good night’s sleep while we all wait for Santa to arrive …

cheerThe recipe for Kibbi was on my blog on Jan 4th :