Christmas in July in the Mountains!

Christmas in July

I love the whole Antipodean tradition of celebrating Christmas in cold weather. Whilst seafood and salad often makes up an Australian Christmas dinner, we all secretly pine for a roast and cold weather food baked in an oven.

Christmas in July

We rented a house in Blackheath and we headed up there early Saturday morning. I had a shopping list in my bag as well as equipment to cook with. Little did I know that the house we had would be so beautifully appointed. As soon as I saw the kitchen I knew that I would love to cook in it. There was even a pot filler! Okay little things make me happy...

Christmas in July
Shopping and viewing

On Saturday we shopped, explored and ate out in Katoomba, Leura and Blackheath. I should have researched butchers a bit better because they were closed by the time we finished lunch and all we had to choose from was a supermarket roast pork. I wasn't able to get a rolled pork loin that produces reliably juicy results and settled for a boneless leg which is leaner (and drier).

Christmas in July
Peeling chestnuts

Sunday was reserved for a stroll around Blackheath and afterwards I set about making the roast. I wasn't quite prepared for the oven - at home mine is a digital oven so it is precise but this wasn't and it ran hot. I opened the oven and the pork appeared to be rapidly on its way to becoming carbon. So the boys raced off to buy some foil and we covered the porky beast.

Christmas in July

We started off with a creamy pumpkin and chestnut soup and followed this with a wooden board laden with the marmalade and ginger pork, Yorkshire puddings, smashed potatoes, parsnips wrapped in pancetta and a rich gravy made on the spur of the moment. Dessert was a creation hopefully designed to please everyone - a chocolate and fruit mince pie made with buttery shortcrust pastry (recipe to be shared soon).

Christmas in July

Kris Kringle presents were opened-it was a lucky dip as to who you received for the $20 unisex present. Luck was on our side and it matched up perfectly. I received a book on Grumpy Cat from Mr NQN, Belinda received a jar of marinated figs from Nick because she loves cheese platters. Mr NQN received a stag head decoration from Belinda and Nick received a cactus from me that I insisted that he call "Lorraine." Because sisters can be pushy like that you know ;)

Later that evening, the leftover roast pork was sliced and made into toasted Cuban sandwiches with mayonnaise, pickles, ham and Swiss cheese. Eaten on the lounge in front of the fireplace while we watched movies. And the snow? Well we missed it by a day which is either a good or bad thing depending on who you asked :)

Dear Reader, a few weeks ago I did my first television appearance. I was being interviewed on Sky TV Business on the Your Career segment alongside Lorraine Murphy from my agency The Remarkables Group. It was going to be live.

Yep live. As in you can't beg or bribe anyone with cake to edit anything out. Gulp...

The producer Kim mentioned that I would be doing my own hair and makeup and all I needed to do was turn up at 2:15pm and the interview with Ingrid Willinge would start at 2:30pm. Unfortunately, a few days before the appearance, I contracted this dreaded flu that is going around. I postponed all appointments until the week after and buried myself under the doona. The flu didn't budge and wrapped in lots of layers the other Lorraine and I made our way to the television studio.

Christmas in July

In my daze I realised that I hadn't washed my hair at the right time. You know how on day 2 it is clean but not too clean so that it is just right (am I alone with this whole hair thing?). I was on day 3 so it was what I called dirty. I asked if I could loan Lorraine M's dry hair shampoo just before we stepped on stage. After some spritzes she remarked, "Look at how much hair you have!"

And that my dear is how I ended up with Working Girl hair on live tv. You can laugh, I did too when I saw the pics ;) I wish I could share the footage with you but to share it here apparently requires a hefty licensing fee.

Christmas in July

Anyway, the segment was actually really fun to do and after it was over I relaxed and put on my metaphorical sweat pants because the very next day we were leaving for a Christmas in July celebration in the Blue Mountains!

So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever celebrated Christmas in July? Do you usually have a hot meal or cold meal at Christmas? And when is your best hair day?

Christmas in July

Pumpkin & Chestnut Soup

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Christmas in July

Click here for pumpkin chestnut soup recipe

Ginger and Marmalade Roast Pork

Christmas in July

Click here for ginger marmalade roast pork recipe

Parsnips Wrapped in Pancetta

Christmas in July

Click here for parsnips wrapped in pancetta recipe

Yorkshire Puddings

Christmas in July

Click here for Yorkshire pudding recipe

Smashed potato recipe from here

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