I find the biggest problem with reading through recipes and menus for Christmas lunches is that we have all grown up with our own traditions and ways of doing things.
But as we grow, families merge and friends are made; our traditions and ways can change – but slowly.
So, I’m not about to give a whole new way of doing Christmas – but I would like to make some suggestions and provide some pointers for those venturing outside the comforts of home this year.
The recipes below also appear in our recipe pages.
Keep it Simple with Christmas Lunches
My family originates from South Wales and South-west England in the United Kingdom. As such, the Christmas lunch was a huge baked affair with chicken and heaps of vegetables (including bucket loads of sprouts). In fact, on our visit there last year, a roast was cooking through the day and we all enjoyed (immensely) roast beef and gravy sandwiches for our evening supper.
So, if you’re like me, that’s a vision we may need to park, scale down or manage.
Do the roast at home before hand and have cold roast meats from the eski or fridge. Think too about the vegetables – will some nice fresh salads or pre-made ones do. Or perhaps cooked prawns?
When I think ‘simple’, my mind is drawn to how campers who ride push bikes or motorbikes, or even hike cater for themselves.
For a great mate of mine who does adventure trails on his motorbike, it’s not unusual for him to stop at a convenience store or cafe etc mid/late-afternoon and buy a range of cheeses, crackers and dips and chow down on these at their night’s stop.
- several blocks of cheese – your choice
- 1 box of Captain’s Table crackers
- 1 box of Jatz
- 1 dip
- Beer, Spirit or Wine
- Open the cheese, dip and crackers
- Wash down with the liquid ingredients
This reminds me too of a late afternoon snack on the banks of the Clarence River in Northern New South Wales. Had packed chocolate chip biscuits and my mate had some boxed port. Well… the Clarence River water had leaked into half of the biscuits and we resorted to dipping the dry biscuits into what was no the choc-chip dip and drank the port – while watching the sun set over the western walls of the river. I still remember that snack but it can never be replicated.
Clarence River Choc-chips
- 150g soft butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups plain flour
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate bits
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate bits
Method – At Home or in Camper
- Preheat oven to 160C-180C
- Line baking tray/s with baking paper
- Mixer or whisk butter and sugars until smooth and well combined
- Beat in egg and vanilla
- Stir in flour
- Stir in milk and dark choc bits
- Roll into balls and place on prepared trays about 3cm apart
- Press down slightly
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until light golden and cooked
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool
Optional (for a laugh)
* Moisten one (or more) biscuit in water (or port) and spoon onto a second biscuit
Bush Tomato Dip
- 300ml Sour Cream
- 2 tbs chopped fresh purple basil (green will do)
- 4 tbs tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 or 2 dash’ of tobasco
- 1 tsp of Mountain Pepper or 0.5 tsp Ground Pepperberries
- 2 tbs Ground Bush Tomato
- Mix by hand until uniform
- Flavour matures overnight, especially the finer taste from the bush tomato’s so make a day or two before use, keeps for at least a week & freezes well
Make it Fun
The meal should be fun for everyone.
Get in and help and perhaps get the kids involved.
It’s also OK to start early with a hearty breakfast of your choice – perhaps pancakes.
Blueberry Bush Breakfast Pancakes for Hungry Campers
* Get the recipe here: https://campandtravel.com.au/recipes/breakfast-pancakes-for-hungry-campers/
And don’t forget those all important snacks and treats. These will help fill in the gaps between meals and other snacks.
Beachlife Camping Vanilla Slice
- Get the recipe here: https://campandtravel.com.au/recipes/beachlife-camping-vanilla-slice/
Camping Bush Donuts
- Get the recipe here: https://campandtravel.com.au/recipes/camping-bush-donuts/
While deserts may not be top of the ‘hit parade’ on Christmas Day, the days camping either side (or over the New Years) may require that something a little extra.
For this reason, its always a good idea to pack a few apples and some other simple ingredients. This’ll allow you to whip up a storm that everyone will love.
Camp Table Bribie Island Apple Crumble
- Get the recipe here: https://campandtravel.com.au/recipes/camp-food-bribie-island-apple-crumble/
Or even a simple damper will go down well. This one has an Australian flavour with the addition of wattle seed.
Deborah’s Bush Damper
- 900 g self-raising flour (sifted if you can)
- 2 tbsp wattleseed
- 2 tbsp thyme leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- 500 ml (2 cups) full-cream milk
- butter and golden syrup, to serve
- build a fire and get a nice bed of coals going
- In a bowl, combine the flour, wattleseeds, thyme and salt, then make a well in the centre and pour in the milk
- Combine everything to form a smooth slightly moist dough
- Turn the dough out onto a floured bench and knead until the dough is smooth
- Shape the dough into a round loaf
- Use a sharp knife to score the top with an “X”
- Lightly dust the top with flour just before baking
- Set the camp oven on a bed of gently glowing coals and get it hot
- Place the loaf inside, put the lid on and, using a shovel, lay some coals over the camp oven
- Bake for about 35 minutes or until the loaf has a golden crust and sounds hollow when tapped
- Serve with butter, golden syrup and hot cups of billy tea.
To keep it really simple, how about a tinned self-saucing plum pudding. All you need to do is pierce the tin and warm it up in a saucepan of boiling water.
Other Recipes I’ve Come Across
- 375 gms grated zucchini
- 200 gms grated carrot
- 3 bacon rasher finely chopped
- 1 cup SR flour
- 5 eggs
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 cup grated cheese
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl leaving the eggs until last
- Add eggs after beating them lightly together
- Pour into a greased cake tin for a depth of about 3cm
- Place tin in a moderate heat camp oven for about 30 – 40 minutes
- Pinenuts add just that extra dimension to the dish.
- Crack 2 eggs (large or extra-large) into the bag (not more than 2) shake to combine them
- Add prepared ingredients such as: cheeses, ham, onion, green pepper, tomato to the bag and shake well to mix further
- Make sure to get the air out of the bag and zip it up
- Place the bag into rolling, boiling water for exactly 13 minutes
- You can usually cook 6-8 omelettes in a large pot. For more, make another pot of boiling water
- Open the bag and the omelette will roll out easily
- Be prepared for everyone to be amazed.
Breaka Christmas Cake
- 500gms dried fruit
- 600ml of Breaka chocolate milk
- 2 cups of self-raising flour
- Soak dried fruit overnight in the fridge with a 600ml of chocolate milk
- Add 2 cups of self raising flour and mix
- Cook in a preheated camp oven for approx 2 hours at about 170 deg C
Whatever you decide to prepare for Christmas Lunch or Christmas Dinner will be a winner if you make it with love.