LifeStyle FOOD spoke to the Queen of home cooking, Julie Goodwin, to find out her Christmas plans.
Julie Goodwin shot to fame as the winner of MasterChef Australia in 2008 has since taken the Australian cooking scene by storm.
We spoke to the professional cook and mother-of-three about Christmas at the Goodwin household.
What is Christmas usually like at your place?
Christmas at our place is quite a lengthy affair and usually pretty chaotic! In the week leading up, we have canapes and cocktails with our closest friends, we have a street party with all the neighbours, we have a full hot roast on Christmas Eve with whoever has nowhere else to be - it gets bigger every year! Then Christmas day and Boxing Day are both sides of the family for a cold Christmas buffet and a swim.
What is your go-to Christmas recipe every year?
Because it’s Christmas, there’s a lot of ritual and regularity about the menu which everyone loves. But it wouldn’t be Christmas without a glazed ham, my curried mango chutney, Grandma’s shortbread and a nice big nip of McWilliam’s Cream sherry in memory of Nan.
What do you love about Christmas?
I love the reason for the season. I love gathering with all the people I love the most and sharing wonderful celebratory meals. I love the silliness, the fun, the laughs, the reminiscing. I love the opportunity to reflect on another year of blessing gone and another on the way.
What are your top Christmas planning tips?
Unless you are Martha Stewart, give yourself a break. Christmas never looks the way it does in magazines. Don’t plan anything so extravagant that it will ruin your day. Get the family to pitch in and bring things.
What are the top three Christmas ingredients you keep in your fridge throughout the festive season?
Mangoes, ham and champagne
What’s the perfect Christmas meal involve?
There’s way too much pressure associated with the word “perfect”. My favourite Christmas meal involves silly paper hats, even sillier jokes, my favourite people, some festive music and a lot of laughing.
How do you like to decorate the table?
I decorate it differently every year, I occasionally try to make it elegant but 5 minutes into dinner it’s covered with popped bonbons and prawn shells so mainly I try to make it colourful and cheerful.
What do you usually make with Christmas leftovers?
SO MUCH HAM. Frittata, sandwiches, quiches, breakfast, lunch, dinner…for the rest of the Christmas meal I try hard to shop so there won’t be too many leftovers as I hate wasting food. Storing the food properly after Christmas lunch is really important. My cooking school is fitted out with domestic Westinghouse fridges and they do a great job of keeping everything fresh.