This year, I stepped up my Christmas game :)
We hosted both Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day dinner for both sets of families (and a few extra friends), each night we had about 17-20 guests.
I made my prettiest ham ever in my short history of ham making! I got the inspiration from a few different sources of online ham inspo though, so I can’t really take credit for it.
I think the secret was : fresh herbs and brown twine. I used fresh thyme and sage from my garden.
I also made my own stuffing which was just amazing!
I found a few recipes online and didn’t like the sound of any of them, so I just made up my own recipe. I shall share it here, so I have it for reference next year.
My Nutty, Cherry Christmas Stuffing
1 large finely diced onion, 1 garlic clove, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup of chopped cashew, 1/2 cup of chopped almonds, 6 chopped glacé cherries, a handful of parsley leaves, few springs of sage and thyme leaves, salt, and pepper.
The trick is to slow cook the onions, garlic and butter for a really long time on medium/low heat until it’s dark brown and caramelised. Throw in nuts and everything else and slow fry, until it all clumps together and looks golden brown.
It was SO YUMMY. I could have just even that for dinner and saved myself all the extra Christmas calories haha!
Again with the fresh herbs and brown twine.
I made tonnes of roast potatoes (peeled, scrubbed, squashed and roasted to a glorious crisp), roast pumpkin and beetroots, I made salads and dips. My parents made the turkey, roast lamb and roast pork too! Basically I was in my element and I had a fantastic, stress-free Christmas!
However, I was only able to do it because of my husband and my three kids – they were the real superstars of the weekend. They spent two days cleaning the house… everything from toilets, bathrooms, to cleaning cobwebs, sweeping the carport, mowing the lawns, cleaning windows, cleaning the walls, door frames, skirting boards, omg so much cleaning – and they even set up our above-ground pool and our bouncy castle.
Soooo, whether they had a stress-free Christmas is… a matter of perspective :)
Christmas morning: was fun as usual.
This time everyone got a silly Christmas hat to wear.
It’s always so lovely to see the kids, all sparkly eyed and happily dancing around with their presents.
As for Christmas Day, I made more food.
My 11 year old son and I put together this Christmas grazing platter!
We researched a lot of platter inspo on Instagram and came up with our own “design”.
I bought waaaay too much food for my board… and we were tempted to turn the whole dining table into a grazing table. I decided against it, because I made potato salad… and I didn’t imagine it would look good served up on a wooden board ha!
My extended family brought more food and desserts (not pictured). And yes that’s my ham and uneaten chicken from the night before haha.
Yep I really, really like cooking and hosting big dinners!
I love big gatherings of family and friends, good food, good conversations and I’m so thankful and humbled that I get to have all these amazing people in my life.