Food

A Christmas in July

What happens when you want to eat Christmas food, you live in a tropical country, and it is 35 degrees (nearly 100 F), in the shade. What do you do?

Christmas Decorations

You organize a Christmas feast, in July, when it is actually wintertime.

I know all the citizens of the northern hemisphere might have a hard time comprehending things being so upside down here. It really is too hot to eat rich Christmas food in the summer months in Australia – which can be up to five months long!

You see come the month of December, I’m more focused on keeping cool and retreating to the ‘Pool room’ – (don’t worry Aussies will understand the reference); lying in air conditioned comfort and watching old home movies or reading a good book, or maybe writing a blog post or two.

photography

The only appetite I have during that time is for salad greens, which is acceptable for me on December 25, but not the rest of the family. Surprisingly, they expect a bit more than rabbit food at Christmas time.

A growing tradition in Australia is to have Christmas in July gatherings, with friends and family and enjoy a mock Christmas meal of Roast meat, Yorkshire pudding, Christmas mince pies and plum puddings with custard.

Scandinavian Glogg

Since the sixteenth century, Glogg is a warm drink brewed at Christmas time in Nordic households to welcome and warm guests travelling in the cold December weather. The name can be translated to mean “glow,” and may be served fortified with alcohol, or non alcoholic. Either way Glogg incorporates a number of spices that resemble the aroma and flavour of a Christmas cake.

Traditionally, the ingredients in mulled wine include: cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, orange, and almonds all of which infuse hot fortified wine. However, other recipes have called for cherries and raisins, as well as brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup, and in place of red wine, local distilled spirits such as aquavit or vodka, whisky, bourbon, and even white wine. In the non alcoholic version, ginger provides an added warming element.

The Tea Centre

My Christmas in July celebration happily extends throughout July but not with the traditional Glogg but with a variety of Glogg Black tea from The Tea Centre.

Glogg Black Tea

The supplier offers this tea in both black and green tea blends, and it contains many of the ingredients found in mulled wine: cinnamon for a welcome immunity boost for the Aussie winter and Cardamon, which is known to be beneficial in reducing pain, headaches, nausea and inflammation.

Reminiscent of Nordic Christmas traditions and mulled wines — cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger recreate this special drink … also a touch of almond and orange peel bits.

The Tea Centre

For me, drinking this tea brought back those sumptious feelings of Scandinavian hygge. Danish Hygge is that cosy feeling you have when you are curled up in front of the fire, snuggling under a fleecy throw, candlelight dancing across the walls, with your closest loved ones. It is a feeling of being at ease, comfortable and relaxed.

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Aromas of cinnamon and cloves permeated the air as the pot was brewing. If you’re thinking it is not so dissimilar to a cinnamon herbal tea, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the additional flavours of orange peel, ginger and almond.

This tea would work really well with the Danish Spice cake recipe, I posted recently.

Delicious and healthy.

stpa logo
Cakes, Danmark, Food

Danish Spice Cake for Christmas in July

The Concept of Danish Hygge

The Danish word Hygge cannot be translated to one word in English, but my description would be,’ a cosy and contented feeling of wellbeing one gets when spending quiet time indoors with family and friends.

Tea and cake or a nice glass of wine in the evenings, may help to promote hygge. When I think of hygge, I think of a wood fire, sitting with my family and my dogs, perhaps a cup of Royal Ritz Loose-leaf Tea from the Tea Centre or perhaps a glass of Shiraz/Port in the evening.

It might be summer in the North, but here in Australia, we welcome winter and that cosy feeling inside our homes that adds a touch of Danish ‘Hygge,’ with a Danish Spice cake reminiscent of warm drinks by a fire, and a relaxed atmosphere.

teapot with teacups and candle

A Spice cake might also be a great compliment if you are planning a Christmas in July. Including cloves, cardamon and cinnamon, this recipe is packed full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, giving the immune system a mild boost.

A growing trend in Australia, a Christmas in July event, capitalises on the mild winters and is the perfect excuse to indulge in hearty Christmas dishes, Puddings and Mulled Wine. Foods that are harder to digest when the mercury passes 30 degress Celsius around December.

Bundt Cake Danish spice cake recipe

Spice Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 litre or 2 American cups Plain flour
  • 3.5 deciliters or 1.5 cups Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon each of ground Cloves and Cardamon
  • 3 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
  • I/2 tablespoon Baking soda
  • 1 Egg
  • 350 ml or 1.5 cups of Kefir/cultured milk/yoghurt/sourcream
  • 2 dessertspoons of Lingonberry or Cranberry jam
  • 75 g or 2.5 oz Butter

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celcius [180 degrees fan forced], or 390 Fahrenheit [360 fan forced].
  2. Mix kefir and jam well in a bowl, electric whisk is always preferable.
  3. Melt the butter, let cool a tiny bit.
  4. Add melted butter and egg to the kefir and jam mix, mixing gently.
  5. Mix together the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients until combined.
  6. Pour cake mix into a greased Bundt tin or cake tin of your choice.
  7. Bake for around 30-40 minutes. [Precise baking time will depend on the size of your dish, and on your oven. You know your oven best!]

Tips for measurement conversions: 

American

1 cup = 8 fl oz = 2.4 dl = 24 cl = 240 ml

British

1 cup = 10 fl oz = 2.8 dl = 280 ml

Australian

dl – 1 deciliter = 6 (scant) tablespoons

Two more Spice cake recipes containing immuno-boosting cinnamon, cloves and cardamon can be found on this post at The Home by the Sea.

stpa logo
blogging

Christmas Hygge Challenge

Over at the Cove, Cyranny has thrown out a Christmas challenge.

As Friendly Friday is in recess till the end of January, time permits my joining this fun challenge. As it is now the 15th January, I mean December, (thanks Sandy), I have some catching up to do. Here is 15 days of postings.

Crafting time and a fun way to recycle paint strips into a personalised Christmas card.

If you wish to try out this DIY, the Christmas trees don’t have to be shades of green; red; pink; purple and grey paint strips would look great with a coloured or white card.

Christmas craft
Day 2 : Christmas Crafts
Day 3: Not my all time favourite Christmas song, but it is up there and suits our tropical Christmas weather
  • Denmark
  • shopping art
  • singapore
  • kristina ohlsson book review
  • Dancing at Christmas time in Skansen museum, stockholm
  • lights

Here is the list from Cyranny’s cove for the Hygge Challenge

I have to admit I am stumped for Day 7: holiday movies. It is not a tradition here to watch television at Christmas or to watch a particular movie or show. Australian traditions are all outdoorsy things – hey, it is summer here at Christmas!

Think barbeques, pool parties, trips to the beach, so who has time for movies?

But everyone has times for gifts at Chrsitmas.

candle gifts

Join in with the Christmas challenge and get in the festive spirit at Cyranny’s Cove.