The joy of Christmas food

Christmas to me means many things. Food, classical music, family and friends, frantic gift shopping and many consecutive days off work.

Food commands a great deal of consideration on Christmas day. It brings people together and will become a part of your Christmas memories. In years to come you may still be reminiscing over mother’s legendary Christmas turkey come December. Whether a BBQ at the beach, a big family dinner at home or a picnic in the gardens, the nostalgic properties of food are seldom more potent than at Christmastime.

Christmas Dinner 1962. Image from Flickr. File Reference: HWC08-UR-027.

When I was younger Christmas meant scoffing the chocolate from our Christmas stockings by noon. A mid-afternoon smorgasbord of breads, crackers and brie with dips, and finally moving on to whatever fattening banquet my mother had concocted for dinner. Common items included macaroni and cheese, garlic bread, potatoes in various forms, bacon and egg pie, salads piled high with eggs and leafy greens… sparkling grape juice for the children. Everyone was there.

This year, my siblings and I have grown up and we have our own Christmas plans. I’ll spend my first Christmas with my soon to be in-laws. I’ll bring a huge dish of macaroni and cheese and a more grown-up form of sparkling grape juice. They key elements will be there: family, good food and this time, I’ll be helping out in the kitchen. The men can clean up though.

The library has plenty of new and old Christmas Cooking titles to explore:

Cover of Cute Christmas cookiescover of Christmas: The complete collectionCover of Nigella ChristmasCover of Christmas cooking

You can flick through the digital Christmas issue of your favourite magazine through RBDigital Magazines or PressReader. Good ones to look out for include:

Cover of Recipes+Cover of FoodCover of good foodCover of Super food ideas

There are also lots of Christmas events happening this month at libraries around Christchurch.

And finally, I couldn’t help but include some cute photos of Archie in his Christmas best.

Archie the Reindeer
Santa’s Little Helper

What dish do you just have to make every year come Christmas?

Christmas Feasts

This year I’m cooking Christmas dinner and I’m turning to Nigella Lawson for help. I used Nigella Christmas as a reference last year. The turkey recipe is brilliant and my family, which includes three trained chefs, said it was the best they’d ever eaten. High praise indeed!

Nigella’s wonderful book is full of baking, great ways to prepare veges and recipes for left-overs. She also provides a schedule for Christmas day to ensure you stay on track and don’t cook the peas before you put the potatoes on (which becomes increasingly likely after you’ve indulged in some festive champers, darling).

Many celebrity chefs bring out a Christmas recipe collection: Jamie Oliver, the Hairy Bikers, Delia Smith and chocolate connoisseur, Marcel Desaulniers, to name a few.  If the hold lists are long on the book you want, check the internet for recipes. There are plenty available. Add a twist of your own, strawberries, pavlova and ice-cold chardonnay and you’ve got a unique Christchurch Christmas. Bon Appetit!

Kiwi cookbooks for Christmas

What’s the most popular book for Christmas? My bet is on a New Zealand cookbook.
What’s hot at the moment? You only have to switch on telly or open a magazine – it’s food, glorious food.

It seems every New Zealand foodie has published a cookbook in 2009 including:

From ‘grow it, cook it’ to ‘culinary journeys’ there is a NZ cookbook for every budget, taste and time.

Surely a record year for the cookbook industry.

For cooking your own Christmas kai, find more about festive fare from our web site – Christmas pudding? Christmas cake? Pavlova and strawberries? Roast lamb and new potatoes with mint sauce? Salmon on the barbeque? Whatever you’re planning for your home-cooked Christmas dinner, our libraries have plenty of resources to give you ideas.

Cornelia, Selection and Access Librarian