10 December 2014

A Real Australian Christmas

I was asked recently (and the story aired tonight on A Current Affair) to comment on the number of Aussie Christmas staples that aren't really Australian.

When Allison first called me I was literally putting the last of my December/Christmas/New Year/January groceries away, I had to call her back. I shopped for December and January, including the celebration days last Friday so now I don't need to set foot in a supermarket or a butcher until February (yay, doing a very happy dance!).

For this family pretty much everything we'll be eating and drinking over Christmas and the New Year will be Australian grown or made.

Nibblies will be MOO pita chips with MOO dips, veggie sticks, homemade popping candy Santas and of course the obligatory chocolate almonds and sultanas. The almonds and sultanas aren't Australian, nor I think is the popping candy - I've thrown the packet out so I don't have one here to confirm.

All our salad veggies will be from our garden: tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber, lettuce, basil, mint, spring onions, red onions, garlic, cabbage and cauliflower.

Our chicken is Australian grown and processed (and bought for $7.44 from Aldi, marked down from $11.44 and put in the freezer).

The Christmas pudding and cake have been made from a family recipe using Australian fruit, butter, flour and sugar. Sadly the spices aren't Australian.

I will make the pavlova and sponge for the trifle from scratch. I'll use the egg yolks from the pav to make the sponge for the trifle - nothing goes to waste. The strawberries for the pav are from our very own strawberry patch in the backyard. I'll make the custard for the trifle from scratch using Australian cornflour, eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla (although the vodka  I used to make the vanilla extract isn't Australian).

The shortbread we eat for afternoon tea on Christmas Day will be made from Australian flour, sugar and butter, using my mother's recipe (it's in the Recipe File, called "Grandma's Shortbread"). The mince pies are Australian, with pastry made from scratch using Australian flour and butter and my Slow Cooker Fruit Mince as the filling.

Drinks on Christmas Day will depend on what's ready. There should be ginger beer and rhubarb champagne, they've both been made and bottled. There will definitely be orange and lemon cordial.

Our tea on Christmas night will be Australian too - leftovers! We're a traditional kind of family and Christmas Dinner leftovers are traditionally tea in our family.

Is it hard to have an Australian grown Christmas? No!

Is it more expensive to have an Australian grown Christmas? No!

Is it better to have an Australian grown Christmas? YES!

We Aussies are losing not only industry but farms and food producers too. And when those farms and food producers are gone, they are gone for good. We will never get them back. We will lose jobs. We will lose money. We will lose food quality. We will be stuck, or rather held to ransom, by whatever imports we can get.

When you do your grocery shopping for this Christmas try to see where your food is actually coming from, and if you can, buy Australian grown, made and owned. And have a very merry, Aussie Christmas.

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