Forget the snowflakes and fir trees – there are loads of time-honoured Christmas traditions that have a uniquely Aussie flavour.
When preparing for Christmas it’s easy to get caught up in all the images of snowflakes, crackling fires and eggnog. However, Australia has its own special summer Christmas traditions that are worthy of celebration.
An Aussie Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a game or two of backyard cricket while the younger kids take turns swinging on the Hills Hoist clothesline. The Aussie version of Jingle Bells may also get a run, who can forget the line “its summertime and I am in stubbie shorts and thongs”? Homemade pavlova topped with mango definitely adds to the summery Christmas feeling and, as we hear from many macadamia lovers, cracking macadamia nuts with a hammer on the back cement pathway is an essential part of Christmas fun.
Queensland nutritionist and recipe developer Casey-Lee Lyons from blog Live Love Nourish, shares some of her summer memories with us. “Living in the sunshine state of Queensland, I grew up with macadamias being a family favourite, whether as a snack or showcased in a family celebration feast. Growing up I remember, at parties, you had to get in quickly to steal the prized macadamias from the bowl of mixed nuts. I particularly also remember having great admiration for my Dad, who had the knack of opening them to crack through to the treasured kernel inside, while we waited eagerly to catch the delectable nut that bounced around the table like it was a backyard cricket game! The creamy buttery crunch of the macadamia always has a place in our family celebrations and Christmas feasts and this is something I will continue to proudly share with family and friends and as my toddler grows up.”
One of Australia’s famous foodies Lyndey Milan also loves an Aussie Christmas. “Nothing says “Australian summer” to me more than prawns, mangoes, avocado and our own native nut, the macadamia”.
Lyndey’s prawn salad with macadamia dressing is the perfect dish to add to your summer Christmas menu.
Preparation 15 minutes.
Cooking 3 minutes
200g baby rocket leaves
2 medium (2 x 300g) mangoes, sliced thinly
2 medium (2 x 170g) avocados, sliced thinly
1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves
1 ¼ cups (175g) unsalted toasted macadamia nuts
Coarsely ground black pepper
2kg medium cooked prawns or 1 kg peeled prawns
1/3 cup (80ml) strained passionfruit pulp (6 passionfruit)
1/2 cup (125ml) macadamia oil
2 small fresh red chillies, seeded, chopped finely
2 tablespoons (40ml) lime juice
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon caster sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt
Barbecue or grill asparagus until just tender. Cool and cut into thirds on an angle. Roughly chop ½ cup (70g) macadamias, finely chop ¼ cup (35g) and leave remainder whole.
For the macadamia dressing, combine all ingredients in a screw-top jar; shake well. Just before serving add the ¼ cup finely chopped macadamias and shake again.
Combine asparagus, rocket, mango, avocado, mint and macadamias on serving platter or individual bowls.
Just before serving, put prawns on serving plates, drizzle with macadamia dressing.
Other favourite Christmas recipes include macadamia and fruit mince tarts, which use a homemade macadamia pastry; macadamia freekeh salad, with the pomegranate seeds adding a pop of Christmas colour; the non-traditional, but extra delicious, macadamia Christmas ham; macadamia Christmas cookies, using fresh berries and white chocolate and of course macadamia and tropical fruit Christmas cake, which has been a long standing favourite in many Australian households.
For more Christmas recipes or to share your macadamia Christmas memories please visit Australian Macadamias on Facebook.