Food That Makes Memories | My Favourite Festive Recipes

Christmas is one of those times that can really divide people. The Christmas carol lovers vs the Grinches, the maximists from the minimalists and the restrained vs the festive feasters. But celebratory preferences aside, for most of us it’s a time of traditions, memories and people we love even if they drive us crazy.

I fall on the “more is more” side of Christmas. Overwhelming decorations, Christmas carols 24/7 and pass that second bowl of trifle thanks! I got this obsessive festive joy from my Mum, whose Christmas decor looks like an editorial in Home & Garden ( even if that did mean redecorating our childhood tree in the night after we mashed the ornaments on!). And it’s not Christmas until she brings out a massive plate of glossy chocolate dipped strawberries.

Christmas pinup Velvet DeCollete shares the classic Kiwi dishes that make her Christmas memories

Food is inextricably linked to my memories of family events, with reoccurring dishes defining birthdays, holidays and seasons. While ham and turkey are great, for me these are the festive foods that make Christmas, Christmas. As Kiwi as Pohutakawa and Boxing Day BBQ’s. Like a Labrador I don’t know when to stop eating, overindulging until I have to lie on the floor because my stomach is crushing my internal organs! But even then there’s probably room for a wafer thin mint, a tiny little thin one

 

Lolly Cake

Classic Kiwi Christmas foods the festive season isn't complete without.

If you’ve ever been to a bakery or a birthday party in New Zealand, you’ve seen lolly cake. This humble no bake slice is uncomplicated, easy to make and while it’s not classy, it’s a classic. My Nana has been making this for god knows how long. It’s not a special occasion without her producing at least one wax paper wrapped log, usually two. I can reliably tell the date in December by it’s appearance in the fridge.

While recipes may vary slightly depending on the family, the most common recipe is something like this one from Foodlovers. I remember using a can to crush the biscuits in a big metal bowl as a kid – no food processor required!

Classic Kiwi Christmas foods the festive season isn't complete without.

 

Steamed Pudding

Classic Kiwi Christmas foods the festive season isn't complete without.

Steamed pudding comes in various flavours, but this is the one I wolf down every December. ( Well, the closest recipe I can find anyway, I have a photocopy of my Nan’s recipe but the cursive handwriting is intelligible ).

Firm, moist, spiced and sweet this is my ALL TIME FAVOURITE festive treat. While it’s traditionally served warm with custard I’m quite happy slicing off a chunk and eating it cold while helping in the kitchen. Stuffed with fruit it’s an energy rich snack in my opinion! Best of all it’s actually best to make this plum pudding at least a month in advance. It gets better with age and is one less thing you have to do during the silly season!

 

Pavlova

Classic Kiwi Christmas foods the festive season isn't complete without.

Love it or hate it, it wouldn’t be a NZ Christmas without a marshmallowy, crispy shelled pav piled with whipped cream and fruit. And if you’re an Aussie – you’re dreamin’ mate, it’s Kiwi as. As Kiwi as Edmonds, whose recipe book and it’s pavlova recipe are a quintessential gift for New Zealanders leaving the nest.

At least one of my aunties brings a pavlova to Christmas every year. The sugary clouds of meringue challenge even my sweet tooth to handle more than one generous slice, but you can’t resist a second helping. Strawberries are my ideal topping, balancing the sweetness with their tart summery taste. That and I’m not a huge fan of the traditional Pavlova dressing – kiwifruit – eurgh.

 

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Classic Kiwi Christmas foods the festive season isn't complete without.

Chocolate + strawberries are a no brainer right? This classic combo makes me nostalgic for lazy Christmas brunches at my Mum’s house. Plates piled high with fruit, muffins and fresh bread, wrapping paper everywhere and new books to read. No matter where I am these have a direct line to my memories and stomach.

The recipe is so basic it’s not even a recipe. Melt chocolate over a low heat ( I like Whittakers ), dip your strawberries in and sit them on a wax paper covered tray to set in the fridge!

Christmas pinup Velvet DeCollete shares the classic Kiwi dishes that make her Christmas memories

Food Photography | As linked
Pinup Photography | Bay Glamour
Find more of this domestic pinup photoshoot in the September ’17 issue of Delicious Dolls Magazine.

I’m off to wrap gifts and sing along to White Christmas now, but I’d love to know what your festive foods and traditions are! Please share your Christmas classics in the comments below, on this post on my Facebook page, or on Instagram!

With Style & Sass,

     Velvet DeCollete

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