Because why not?

Blogmas 2015 Day 18 - Quick Christmas Treats Pt 2

18 December 2015
The time has come for more food ideas and as we near Christmas day I'm whipping out my easiest recipes.

Christmas Pavlova is a full blown tradition in our family, it's not a special occasion if there is no pav basically.

 When I'm putting a pav together I consider a few things; I want to eat it & I want to eat it yesterday.

I buy a pre-made pav base from Coles, I know, I know.. But if you ask me it's the best way to go, home made ones never have the height of a store bought one and when we talk about flat pavs we are basically talking about crispy meringue. I don't want that, I want the crispy shell with loads of sweet, fluffy goodness inside. I have come to accept that I can not recreate the store bought pav nor do I have 20 fucking years to try to make one. I just want to eat the damn thing.

 I reckon the most difficult part of this recipe is whipping the cream, I don't add sugar because the meringue is sweet enough, I simply want it to add a layer of rich creaminess. When it comes to laying the fruit this is what gives it that 'wow' factor, you'd be surprised just how fancy you can get with different coloured fruits but, and it's a big but.. When you group fruits like I've shown in the pictures above it doesn't actually make for functional eating, people tend to want a mixture of fruits so they are going to be digging around on top of the pav trying to get a bit of everything, in the end it looks quite a mess, we usually serve it up with a spoonful from each section when I decorate like this.

Finally I really like fruit punch, old fashioned I know, but these are the things I grew up with and one of the best things about Christmas for me is being reminded of happy childhood times, it's all about the nostalgia for me.

Punch can be a tough one, when I was young mum would make a separate one for me because the one for the adults was far from kid friendly. I remember one year there was a big green wheelie bin that had been purchased solely for the purpose of tipping 50+ bottles of liquor in it and topping up with some basic mixers, fruit and half the mint bush we had growing in the yard. I didn't understand at the time but I tantrumed so hard when mum presented me with a little jug of 'special' punch for me. I wanted that fucking wheelie bin punch.

Now days we still have young ones around for Christmas, also recovering alcoholics who we don't want to exclude and people who simply don't drink because they choose not to, so when I put together a punch I do it grog free, but give people the option of spicing it up themselves. This way when the kids chuck a tantrum they can have a cup too.

My fruit punch is extremely simple, I start with a lemon squash or lemonade base and dark fruits, anything that will give off a little colour, for this one I used blackberries and pomegranate, then I add something that will help with tartness, anything very juicy with a tang to help cut through the sweetness of the base soft drink, this time I went for pineapple which works really well with lemonade, passion fruit pulp is also a good one.

I like to cut the fruit over a bowl so any juices are caught and then it all gets poured in to the serving vessel, you can attack the fruit with a muddle at this point to speed up the job that the fruit does but beware if you're using melons or very soft fruits, they can feel a bit yuck in the mouth if they are too squished. Oh and don't forget the mint!

Follow up by pouring your mixer base of choice in, I allow it to sit in the fridge for an hour to allow the colours to run and the tart fruits to do their work. When ready to serve toss a few ice cubes in there (just a couple to keep it cold) and place your alcohol options near by (if you have recovering alcoholics visiting, keep it in the liquor cabinet out of respect for them and if it's early days in their recovery skip it all together).

Do you have a favourite punch recipe? If so let me know in the comments!

Links provided are for shopping examples only, I have personally purchased from some (not all) of these online stores but I highly recommend researching before buying. Items marked * were sent to me for trial and consideration, all other products were purchased by myself and I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies mentioned unless otherwise stated. All opinions are my own and based on my personal experience. Integrity Always..

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