Sunday, January 1, 2012
Christmas Australian Style and a Blog in Review
My husband and I lived in London for a few years so, believe me, I know what I'm missing when it comes to a northern hemisphere Christmas. There's a certain magic about crisp winter evenings, streets strewn with twinkling lights, and chestnuts roasting on every city corner that we simply can't replicate in December, Down Under, hence the ever increasing popularity of the Christmas in July festivities here.
Australia does have its own customs though, which was something I started to think about as I read many posts about the making of Christmas fudge and sugar cookies, a ritual that doesn't happen here, although shortbread and gingerbread are often served at Christmas social gatherings. The summer heat means that seafood, in some form or another, is on most menus with some people barbecuing outdoors rather than having a formal indoor meal. We also don't do eggnog. Champagne is the primary beverage I would associate with any Aussie Christmas get-together. Also, Christmas happens to coincide with the relatively short cherry season here, so cherries are absolutely synonymous with Christmas in Australia.
Many Australians stick resolutely to the British tradition of Christmas cake (fruitcake) and plum pudding (I personally don't like either of them), but fresh, summery desserts, especially Pavlova, are served at Christmas as well. Pavlova is a dish which originated in Australia and New Zealand, and there is actually enormous controversy and rivalry over which country came up with it first. The dessert was named in honour of the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. Basically, it consists of a meringue base that has a crisp, fine outer shell, and a marshmallowy centre. The base is then topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit. I usually top a "pav" with strawberries and/or raspberries, and then sprinkle some chocolate shavings over the top.
I started blogging on May 24, 2011, although in all honesty, blogging was not one of my goals when the year began. The idea just grew organically out of other goals I had, so I suppose that just goes to prove there's something to be said for not being too rigid about resolutions. Sometimes wonderful things just happen serendipitously!
I really love my blog. Anyone who blogs regularly, knows that blogging actually requires a good deal of work, yet despite how busy I usually am, it doesn't feel like a chore. My blog allows me to indulge, or dare I even say wallow, in all the little things I'm enthusiastic about. It's like having my own magazine with total editorial control. Most of all, however, I love the fact that my blog has brought me into contact with some amazing people from across the globe. Yes, I'm talking about YOU! I have made some lovely friendships over the last seven months, and by visiting your fabulous blogs, I have not only been entertained, but also often learned many new and interesting things.
Happy New Year!