37 days till Christmas ... or is that 38? I hate writing a blog post that appears simultaneously in all time zones. OK just over 5 weeks till the big day. Too soon for Christmas ideas? Not in my part of the world. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia so it's a clear downhill run from now until the 25th. I thought I would ask one of Australia's top stylists and author of the fab book Homelove, Megan Morton for a little help on how to make sure that Christmas in summer is cool. Please turn away and weep now Northern Hemisphere readers at the sight of Christmas on a gorgeous beach. We live in paradise in Australia!
The weather is hot for Christmas in the land of Aus but what is cool this holiday season?
GENEROSITY. Christmas Day is even more special when you know you have really dug deep in an attempt to make others day more bearable. Pick your charity - there are so many organisations needing good samaritans. I support as many charities as I can that deal with rehousing, accommodating people. As we all know, four walls and a roof is second to food and water. St Vincent De Paul. The Smith Family. Lou's Shelter, Potts Point. Youth Off The Streets.
To tree or not to tree?
YES - most definitely a tree! Even when I was in an apartment I made room for a tree. This year mine is a huge wonderful olive tree in a large zinc pot. I am dressing him (olive trees seem male to me) with glass, crystal and mercury decorations and lots of small beads of garland. Its a respite from last years which was a fully loaded, all colour inclusive one.
It's just over 5 weeks to Christmas and I'm starting to think Christmas table inspiration. (I know but I like to plan ahead.) What should I be doing?
Best lunches (or dinners) are ones that have the foresight of a console or side table to handle the large plates of food. Even the most elegant of fare takes up table space. I like to leave the table some breathing room and have the food displayed, ready to go on a side table. We celebrate Christmas Eve as our major meal (part-Austrian, part-English husband) which includes traditional fondues at the end. This year I am buying up for the day at Pedlars Farmgate - pig and spanish doughnuts.
It's the day before Christmas. I've done nothing. I'm panicking as I pick up prawns and wonder if I can just forget the turkey. What can I do for my Christmas table? Please Megan HELP!
A Christmas meal is never really about the food, more of the thought.
For prawns I make a pretty ice bowl by freezing some flower heads and herbs in between two bowls (one slightly smaller than the other). Put them in the freezer and remove bowls for your prawn serving bowl that will keep them perfectly cold. Speaking of freezer, Christmas isn't Christmas without a vodka injected watermelon also laid to chill in the freezer. For the prawns, buy some lovely french proper butter (it really tastes nothing like "butter" as we know it) and serve with fresh Vietnamese baked rolls and aioli.
I would also would suggest huge jugs of rosewater cordial that can be put on ice for children and on bubbles for the adults. Put all in a blender - 1 cup of chilled water, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoons of caster sugar, 1 teaspoon of rosewater, a few drops of pink food colouring and 1 cup of ice cubes. Whizz it up and pour over more ice for kids and over bubbles for adults.