Christmas in Australia

Christmas in Australia is hot and sunny and although we still hold onto many of the traditions of the Northern Hemisphere such as Christmas Plum Pudding, and Roast Turkey, we've added our own touches. Seafood is an increasing menu choice at Christmas. Tiger Prawns, Crayfish, mussels, oysters and often combined with the fruits of the season such as Mangoes and Macadamia nuts.

I cook my turkey outside on the weber BBQ, keeping the house cool. We often swim off the huge lunch with a dip in the pool or a stroll around the neighbourhood. The funniest sight we have ever seen is a cow tethered in the front yard. Apparently he'd come down from the farm to be part of a nativity scene!

In acknowledgment of summer and our unique flora and fauna we have our own Christmas Carol, our own version of Jingle Bells, our own version of the 12 Days of Christmas and of course Santa's sleigh is pulled by six white boomers (Kangaroos!) I adore Mem Fox's Wombat Divine where the nativity scene has a bilby, a wombat, kangaroos and an emu.

Please enjoy an Aussie Christmas seafood recipe, a Christmas Cake recipe, Aussie Jingle Bells and the Australian Christmas Carol.


Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and time to enjoy the company of family and friends.


Prawn Salad with Macadamia Dressing

  • 4 medium prawns per person, shelled
  • 1 large mango
  • 175 gms of water cress.....or if unavailable baby spinach leaves
  • 2 medium Nashi or other pears, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup Vietnamese mint leaves.....or ordinary mint
  • 1 cup of toasted macadamia nuts, halved and unsalted
  • Ground black pepper 


The dressing can be made up the day before

  • 1/2 cup of macadamia oil
  • 1/3 cup strained passion fruit pulp (about 5-6 passionfruit)
  • 2 small fresh chillies, seeded and chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of fine sugar
  • pinch of salt.

Place cress or baby spinach on plate and arrange prawns, pears, macadamia nuts and mango.

Drizzle with dressing.




Aussie Jingle BellsAussie Jingle Bells

Aussie Jingle Bells


Dashing through the bush,
In a rusty Holden ute,
Kicking up the dust,
Esky in the boot.
Kelpie by my side,
Singing Christmas songs,
It's summertime and I am in
my singlet, shorts and thongs...

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!
Christmas in Australia on a scorching summer's day, hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden ute.


Australian Christmas Carol

The North Wind is tossing the leaves,
The red dust is over the town,
The sparrows are under the eaves,
And the grass in the paddock is brown;
As we lift up our voices and sing
To the Christ-Child the Heavenly King.

The tree-ferns in green gullies sway;
The cool stream flows silently by;
The joy bells are greeting the day,
And the chimes are adrift in the sky,
As we lift up our voices and sing
To the Christ-Child the Heavenly King.


Christmas Cake

Also the recipe for the cake in Boomerang Bride

  • 1/2 pound of currants
  • 1/2 pound of sultanas
  • 1/2 pound of raisins
  • 4oz of dates
  • 2oz of slivered almonds
  • 2oz of mixed peel
  • 2oz of glace cherries

Cut up all of the above and place in a large bowl. Add to the fruit: 

  • 25ml of vanilla essence
  • 25ml of lemon essence
  • 1/3 cup of brandy
  • 1/3 cup of whisky
  • 1/3 cup of rum

Soak the fruit in the spirits and essences for a minimum of a week (ideally three weeks) in a covered container. Shake every day. The longer you soak the fruit, the tastier the cake. I have soaked it as long as 4 weeks, but 2 weeks is fine.


  • 1/2 pound of butter
  • 1/2 pound of castor sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 10 oz of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg

Cream the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs separately beating well between each one. Add the fruit gradually alternating with the flour and spices. Pour into 22cm tin lined with cardboard and greased baking paper. 

Preheat the oven at 325 F. Place the cake in oven for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven to 275 F and bake for another 3 - 4 hours.

***This recipe can be divided evenly into 6 tuna tins and make 6 individual Christmas cakes. They take about 1 hour to cook. You can decorate with almonds or fondant icing. They make great gifts for people who don't bake.