Yes, for those who celebrate it, it is that time of year again, and it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas - and one would hope so, considering how close it is.
Christmas is basically synonymous with food; in Australia that means summery foods like glorious cold salads, big BBQs, sea food, and plenty of seasonal fruits. Though I've never had a white Christmas, or even a cold one (apart from that year when it randomly hailed heaps and a bunch of peoples' cars got damaged) I don't miss out on the wintery foods as - and I think I said this last year - my Very Italian Father insists on serving up Very Italian Festive Sweets.
For the first time this year he made his own panettone and it's all lovely and buttery and spongey, just as it should be, y'all.
Other things that aren't panettone:
I helped one of my sisters make a rocky road mountain (that is correct, a MOUNTAIN - I'll post more on that when I can). This is the glorious mix before the chocolate was added - popcorn, and lots of toasty things like coconut, almond, walnuts, sultanas, marshmallows, orange rind, crushed biscuits - and dollops of honey.
For the leftover popcorn, I decided to make a Christmas sugar. Sugar (obviously) (caster and brown), cinammon, the rind of one orange, a lil teaspoon of vanilla, ground cloves and ground nutmeg and BAM you have some Christmas drugs!!!! Not just adequate for popcorn - I had a spoonful of it in a mug of hot milk and it was deeeeelightful.
PS: You may enjoy a post I did last year - called How to: Be excited about Christmas. It's a laff and a haff.