Christmas in July – Traditional Christmas Dinner

Living in the Southern hemisphere means our Christmas day is in the heat of summer so we are more likely to opt for the seafood and salads rather than the traditional Christmas meals like warm ham, pudding and eggnog. Having a Christmas in July celebration is a great way to indulge in traditional Christmas fare enjoyed by our Northern Hemisphere mates and brighten up a dreary winter evening.

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Christmas in July – Traditional Christmas Dinner

Living in the Southern hemisphere means our Christmas day is in the heat of summer so we are more likely to opt for the seafood and salads rather than the traditional Christmas meals like warm ham, pudding and eggnog. Having a Christmas in July celebration is a great way to indulge in traditional Christmas fare enjoyed by our Northern Hemisphere mates and brighten up a dreary winter evening. But who has the time to spend days and hours in the kitchen? Below are some recipe ideas to whip up for a winter Christmas feast with very little effort that will knock everyone’s socks off!

  1. Glazed Christmas Ham* – You will need 1 cooked leg ham, 1 large jar of apricot jam, 1 tbsp ground cinnamon, ¾ cup brown sugar, ½ cup dry sherry, 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard, ¼ cup of cloves. Preheat oven to 200°C. Peel off ham skin gently leaving a good layer of fat. Score a diamond pattern into the fat and place cloves into the criss cross junctions. Sprinkle with cinnamon. In a small saucepan heat the jam and the sherry to thin it out. Spread half this mix over the ham and press generous amounts of brown sugar over the glaze. Place ham in a baking dish and add 2cm water. Bake for 90 minutes. Baste every 20 minutes and be careful not to burn it. Add mustard to remaining glaze and pour over ham slices at the table.
  2. Maple Roast Pumpkin* – Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut up 1kg pumpkin into chunks and place in roasting pan. Combine 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme and ½ tsp ground allspice in a small bowl. Add half the maple syrup mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes. Add remaining maple mixture and roast for further 20 minutes until pumpkin is delicious and golden.
  3. Easy Eggnog (for the adults) – You will need 3 eggs, 1/3 cup caster sugar, 2 ½ cups milk, ¼ cup dark rum, ¼ cup brandy, 1 cup thickened cream and ground nutmeg to serve. Place eggs, sugar and milk in a saucepan on medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly for 6-8 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat, stir in rum, brandy and half the cream. Beat remaining cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Pour egg mixture into 4 heat proof glasses, top with cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.
  4. Christmas Pudding – Everyone loves a handmade pudding, but no one needs to know that it wasn’t your hands that made it! Check out your local gourmet deli for amazing hand-made traditional Christmas puds with no artificial ingredients that you simply heat up in the oven and serve with custard or brandy sauce.

*Recipes adapted from www.taste.com.au

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