Today we are happy to have our friend Leigh Ross, a member of our Homeschool Flat Traveler Exchange group, share her family’s experiences of celebrating Christmas in New Zealand!
Christmas is a time for celebrating with family and friends. We have Christmas parades in the town we live in which we like to participate in.
Christmas day is normally a family gathering during the afternoon with everyone pitching in with making a plate of food to bring along. Lots of veges, meat etc. Often there is some starter finger food first as well! Lots of music, wine and conversation.
Our favorite dessert is Pavlova (very much a ‘kiwi’ thing)!
Here is our recipe for Pavlova:
6 egg whites (at room temperature)
2 cups Chelsea Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla essence
1 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp cornflour
300ml cream, whipped
4 – 6 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced for decoration
Mint sprigs to garnish
Pre-heat oven to 110ºC (230°F)
In a large metal, porcelain or glass bowl (don’t use plastic), beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, gradually a teaspoon at a time. The mixture should be getting glossy, thick and shiny with each addition and the whole sugar adding process should take at least 10 mins. Beat in essence, vinegar and cornflour.
Spoon mixture out into a plate sized mound on a baking paper covered tray. Bake for approx 1 1/2 hours, until dry and crisp and it lifts easily off the baking paper.
Cool on a wire rack.
To serve, place on a serving plate, pile with whipped cream and spread with sliced kiwifruit and garnish with mint sprigs.
Older eggs work better as the white breaks down easier.
Wipe the bowl beforehand with lemon juice to remove any greasy residue before beating the egg whites (grease affects the ability for the egg whites to reach the fluffy peaks you need).
Caster sugar is needed as the fine crystal size traps and holds air – more air is trapped because there are more crystals.
As our Christmas is during the summer – we tend to spend all our spare time at the beach and often camping for a couple of weeks after Christmas and New Year.
It is very much a time to spend with family playing in the water and sand.
My daughter and I have started a tradition of going camping at a Folk Music Festival at the end of January.
Greetings from New Zealand!