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Winter or Summer Christmas……

Braai – South African word for BBQ

Barbie – Australian word for BBQ

BBQ – American word for BBQ

We all love a winter Christmas, with snow, log fires, gluewine or eggnog but not all countries celebrate Christmas in the snow.  For some it is sunny, hot and humid and this is when we barbeque for Christmas.  All of my childhood was celebrating Christmas in the sun and I used to dream of a cold, snowy Christmas.  Now that I am living in Hong Kong, it could go both ways at Christmas but one thing is for sure it is now barbeque season in Hong Kong.  I would like to share some Christmas barbequing tips to add some Christmas Cheer.

Christmas cheer

Add a little festive cheer to your barbecue by incorporating these simple touches to the braai or barbie:

  • Hold your barbecue outside, and decorate the table with scented candles, bowls of festive punch, platters of pre-made Christmas nibbles and a few festive trinkets.
  • String up fairy lights to set the scene and distinguish your festive barbecue from a normal barbeque – this one should be special
  • Play your favourite Christmas music by tuning into internet radio and you will find lots of stations with only Christmas music. It's sure to have everyone in a good mood in no time.
  • Purchase festive, fun Christmas serviettes to create a relaxed Christmas atmosphere 
  • Also think of introducing a Christmas game, such as, the White Elephant gift exchange, Yankee Swap or Dirty Santa (google for more information).  This brings a lot of laughter and fun, especially after a few drinks.    

Marinate meats ahead

For this special feast, buy good quality meat, fish and Seafood.  If you want to marinate your meat do it the day before and this will ensure tender, delicious tasting meat.  If you are having fish, then only marinate it a few hours before barbequing. For that added flavour always buy fresh fish or seafood.   

Easy sides

Add some variety to your festive barbecue with the inclusions of a few delicious side dishes. From salads and veggies to corn on the cob, curried eggs and a delicious salmon pate to start, these dishes are all easy to make, can be made well ahead of time and you will have very happy guests.

Easy desserts

Desserts don't need to be difficult to taste good. Recipes have proven, some of the best recipes are also some of the easiest.  An easy Tiramisu, the standard Christmas Trifle or a Malva pudding served with custard or ice-cream and not forgetting a traditional Christmas Pudding (I must confess that I would only buy a remade Christmas Pud), all are easy to make and delicious to eat.

Drinks to share

When it comes to barbecues, the best drinks to serve are ones that can be made in bulk to serve the crowd. Think bowls of punch, jugs of margaritas or pitchers of sangria.  Or crack open a few bottles of champagne or sparkling wine and sip on this while your barbeque is firing up.

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