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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stuff Your Stocking Blogfest: Anne Ashby

A Different Type of Christmas

One filled with sun and sand and surf – or mucking about around the pool.

I’d love to invite you to share Christmas Day dinner with my family. Our choice of meal might seem a little strange but I’m sure you’ll appreciate the subtle changes that have occurred over the last twenty or so years, when you feel the temperature outside. Our Christmas is in mid summer, so themes here in New Zealand are more likely to be bound up with barbecues or picnics at the beach or time spent around the pool in the backyard, rather than being stuck inside with ovens adding to heat.

No longer do the women in my family rise at the crack of dawn to prepare the heavy roast dinners of lamb, (or turkey, beef, pork or ham), with all the expected hot vegetable accompaniments before heading off to morning church service. Gone also are the plum duffs, the Christmas puddings filled with coins for the children to find. Instead our fare will consist of steak, chicken nibbles/kebabs, sausages, ham, meat patties, usually marinating from the evening before and ready to throw onto the barbie minutes before eating. New season potatoes and salads abound. Any and every concoction of salad, green, slaw, rice, pasta, carrot. Each year new varieties pop up as yet another recipe is experimented with. Many of these are also made on Christmas Eve, so again lightening the workload for Christmas morning.

Then there is the dessert. Ahh, my favourite part of Christmas is the dessert. I go crazy and make far too many, something my husband feels honour bound to point out every year. Just as I feel bound to ignore his insidious comments every year. My table will be filled with jelly (jello), pavlova, ambrosia (a sweet here), cheesecake, fruit whip, strawberries, fresh fruit salad, cream, ice cream along with whatever else someone might want to make. All of them cold, all of them prepared well before hand. Our tableware might be paper/plastic, depending on the venue and the emphasis remains on no-one slaving the day away. A dip in the sea or the pool is great for rejuvenating oneself after that very necessary afternoon nap. And heating up the leftovers is just a couple of minutes job on the barbie and there’s tea all sorted for anyone who's got their appetite back.

Traditional Christmas dinner still exists for many New Zealand households, our family has just elected to develop a dinner more fitting for our season. Merry Christmas everyone.

About the Author: Hi, I’m a contemporary traditional/sweet author from New Zealand, published with The Wild Rose Press. I grew up in a very small coastal town in Southland, New Zealand’s southern-most province. An eagerness to travel, fostered by my mother, led me to join the Royal NZ Navy where I enjoyed a very satisfying career. I have been fortunate to have travelled extensively and lived in Singapore and Maryland USA.

I began writing contemporary romances when my youngest child started school. I enjoy including family issues, genealogy, rugby and/or snippets from my past military life in my stories. I endeavour to bring something of my beautiful country to romance readers everywhere, so New Zealand always features in my stories, normally as the setting. When not reading or writing, I find plenty to occupy my time with my family commitments. I currently live in Auckland with my husband and two of our four children.

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Catherine Lee said...

I never really thought about how those in the other hemisphere celebrate Christmas. SO, when we're barbequing and at the beach for July 4th, are you hunkered down by the fireplace sipping hot chocolate.


Jean P said...

Your Christmas dinner sounds absolutely delicious.
Happy New Year.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Debby said...

I love your Christmas. It sounds wonderful. We are pretty cold right now but no snow.
debby236 at gmail dot com

shadow_kohler said...

I love your christmas! Your dinner, especially the desserts, sounds yummy! Happy holidays!

Patti P said...

Your Christmas sounds like something I need to experience one year.
musicalfrog at

GladysMP said...

It would be different to spend Christmas in your kind of weather. Christmas is over, but we now have our dog in the house because it is supposed to freeze tonight. Normally he is a yard dog. Your deserts for Christmas sound great. I wondered if your ambrosia is made of fruit like mine.

Frank said...

That sounds fun, Anne! Glad your family's found a way to celebrate that's just right for you! Hoping your celebrating this year was merry and memorable all the same!

--flchen1 using DH's account
f dot chen at comcast dot net

Margo Hoornstra said...

Christmas on the beach. Nice.

margohoornstra at gmail dot com

VampedChik said...

Thanks so much for sharing! I love hearing about how other cultures and places celebrate their holidays!