Preparing a scrumptious Christmas dinner
Let’s face it – we’ll never have a white Christmas here in sunny South Africa.
Christmas falls in the middle of summer, when we’d much rather enjoy an outdoor braai than spending time inside a hot kitchen. So why stick to oven roasted turkey and fruitcake?
Borrow a few ideas from the Australians, who also celebrate Christmas during summer. Meats such as ham, turkey and chicken are served cold and they often indulge in seafood, served along with a platter of colourful, fresh seasonal fruit.
Now, doesn’t that sound delicious? And it’s healthy, too!
Seafood platter with three dips
- Place 2 cooked lobsters, halved lengthways, 2kg cooked prawns and 500g smoked salmon slices on a platter of crushed ice.
- Serve with seafood sauce; avocado and lime dressing; roasted capsicum and caper salsa; and lime wedges.
Mix 1 cup of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce and half a teaspoon paprika in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill.
Avocado and lime dressing
Toast ½ teaspoon ground cumin in a saucepan over low heat for 1 minute or until aromatic. Process in a food processor with 1 ripe avocado, 1 cruched garlic clove, ¼ cup lime juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Capsicum and caper salsa
Preheat a grill on medium. Cook 1 red capsicum (halved and seeded) skin-side up for 5 minutes or until its skin chars and blisters. Transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 5 minutes. Peel the skin and finely chop the capsicum. Add 200g finely chopped tomatoes, 1 tablespoon baby capers, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Christmas shopping list
Breathe in, breathe out, and tell yourself ‘This, too, shall pass’. But in the meanwhile, you can make your life a whole lot easier with this free printable Christmas shopping list.
- Office party survival guide
It’s that time of the year when employees get a chance to let down their hair, mingle with their co-workers and bosses in an informal setting and celebrate the fact that the annual Christmas shut-down is just around the corner.
No matter what your sentiment is, remember that this is a slightly different version of the party you’d have with your best buddies. There are a few rules:
- Show up. Look enthusiastic. Remember, your boss is throwing this party for you, a valued staff member of the company.
- Don’t be a party pooper. Participate in any activities that may have been planned. If there’s a theme, dress accordingly. It’s great for team-building and improved office morale.
- Don’t get drunk. Do not show off intimate body parts. Do not try to seduce anyone. Always remember that you’ll have to face your colleagues again the following day.
- Interact with your boss. However, now is not the time to complain about the work environment or ask for a raise.
- There will always be that one colleague who totally loses control and embarrasses him- or herself. No matter how tempting, do not broadcast such photos on Whatsapp or tag him on Facebook or Twitter. Let’s try to save some dignity, folks.