We may be at the beach, bach or just want to be in the backyard on Christmas Day. Fire up the barbecue and stay out of the kitchen as much as possible. Create a setting with the brightest plastic plates and cutlery you can find. Make a New Zealand Christmas tree by binding together some flax heads and decorating it with fresh flowers. Use plastic cups to drink from. Search the picnic section of the supermarket and party shops for vibrant plastic vessels and hot coloured napkins. Keep the menu as simple as the setting.
1 Buy a generous amount of prawns and cook on the barbecue.
2 Pile on to a platter with lots of lemon or lime wedges and some crisp lettuce leaves.
3 Eat with your fingers. Provide plenty of paper napkins, a bowl for the discarded prawn shells and a bowl of warm water to rinse sticky fingers.
Scotch and ginger ale
My friend Drew from Freedom Farms invented this recipe for butterflied pork - it's a winner.
Freedom Farms Butterflied Scotch Fillet Marinade
¼ cup soy sauce
1 cup of ginger ale (top up to cover pork)
1 tsp five spice
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tbs vegetable oil
1tsp sesame oil
1 Combine all ingredients and pour over pork. Marinate for at least three hours.
2 Heat barbecue. Cook with cover down for 12 minutes each side. Rest the meat before slicing.
3 Serve with boiled new potatoes and a fresh green salad.
To continue the garden feel use well-washed terracotta plant pot bases as platters (buy them from a garden centre). If you soak these in water for a while then chill them completely in the fridge they will keep food cool when serving outdoors. Pile up one with big slices of watermelon and strawberries to end your outdoor feast.
Tidy up then lie back and have a festive siesta in the sun, remembering of course the insect repellent and sun block.