South African Christmas Menu

In Europe and the USA Christmas is a winter holiday with either snow or blazing cold wind and weather. In South Africa (and Australia) it is summer time, which makes a turkey, stuffing and hot sides just impossible. Nobody wants hot food on a hot day. So here is what we did for our BIG family in 2014! Lost of salads and cold meat platters with some traditional meat like beef tongue. These are great ideas even just for a BBQ or braai, something different, fresh and not too time consuming! Sorry about the blurry photo! We took amazing photo on the digitial camera and then lost the card!

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat's Cheese and balsamic dressing.

Basil, Chive, Cucumber and Corn Salad

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Hollandaise Sause

Carrot and Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Bacon and Pea Pasta Salad

Brusselsprout and Grapefruit Salad

This year we are only about a third of the people so we will be doing only 2 meat platters and 3 salads.

It is so amazing how quickly the little One grew this year. The leap between one year and two years are amazing. She talks so much, is very head strong but polite and friendly and really is my beautiful little baby girl. Last year she didn't understand anything but loved ripping up the paper. This year she understands the concept of 'gifts' but not yet the concept of Christmas (or the fact that we have more than 10 birthdays in December!). But we are getting there.

One issue is whether we are doing the whole Father Christmas- thing. You know: hide the presents until Christmas eve then bring them out and lie to our little girl saying someone broke into our house, judged her on her behaviour and then decided to give her some presents... okay so I guess you can see how I feel about it. Hubby is adamant that this is a part of her childhood and should be embraced. So I have left it up to him and also the talk one day when she realises there is no Santa. When I was young I questioned the whole idea and my mother never lied to me. I knew she was the one buying me a present and since we weren't rich I was taught to damn well appreciate it because I will only get a new toy on my Birthday in the middle of the year!

What do you do with your little ones?

But what ever it is you do: Have a happy and safe festive season!


Alice in Wonderland High Tea at Work

I am fortunate to work at an office where some seriously creative individuals work. I mean organising a party for 30 to 40 people on the cheap, while still showing some creative flair and providing some decent grub is not any easy feat! Most of the events are held to support a charity and all the funds are collected from staff, while one or two staffers donate funds for the food.

We have held domino competitions, burger and rugby days and so on, but it was decided to do a buffet style event with a 'cover charge' instead of having people order a burger, waffle or pancake before hand. As the group of 5 that were selected to do this event consisted out of 1 vegan and 2 vegetarians and most of the staff having other religious requirements, a theme of Alice in Wonderland High Tea was selected.

And they organised it with as little fuss as possible: platters of miniature cakes and pastries were ordered from  local bakeries so they only had to plate it up and do as little as possible food wise.

The goodies were really scrumptious and there was enough for everyone. A small bit of  savoury were included in some sausage rolls and other mini pies and home made cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches.

To add to the theme they included flowers in quirky pots, some appropriate Alice playing cards with the white rabbit on and signs that said "eat me" or "drink me" next to food and coffee cups.

As the men also supported the Movember challenge of growing out their moustaches in support of men's health in November, we utilised the High Tea to have all the staff compare the growth, style and attitude of the men's hairy upper lip and vote for their favourite. The winner is to be announced at the year end function.

While enjoying or miniature cakes and coffee we had an unexpected fire drill which meant we had to leave the goodies and go outside. But the good thing about this theme was that we were able to leave and come back without it spoiling anything!

The food was great, the table looked beautiful and colourful and the theme worked with just a couple of cake stands needed for effect.

They were able to increase the amount of delectables by adding cheaper options (such a croissants and bagels and homemade cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches) to medium costs goodies (the fruit buns, fruit platter and savoury bites) to more expensive items (like the miniature tarts and cakes) to make everything look like a lot but not tasteless.

Everyone had a ball and dressed up in flowery ensembles with hats and ribbons. Without a doubt our Alice in Wonderland High Tea was a huge success and definitely a good idea for a not so expensive party whether in is a bachelors or a girly baby shower, maybe even a birthday party. All you need are cake stands, vibrant flowers and cake platters from a decent bakery!