Christmas Love And Bees
So, the long awaited Christmas day is finally here! Chances are you’ll be full to the brim with food, drink and sunshine this year, as Melbourne (and the rest of the country) is set for a hot one! With heatwave warnings for much of inland Australia– and temperatures set to reach a whopping 45 degrees in South Australia– remember to slather on the sunscreen, hydrate, go easy on the booze and look after each other during the festivities.
For me, Christmas is always a the perfect moment to spend time with my family; after a very busy season with many new bee-lovers needing my help and advice, I’m excited at the prospect of a day or two relaxing, cooking and hanging out with the people I love most. You see, I was lucky enough to grow up in the beautiful Yarra Valley, just one hour’s drive from Melbourne. My parents still live on the property where I spent my formative years, and, as an only child, our Christmases have stayed small, but filled with love. This year, I’ll be out on the farm, cooking up a feast for the folks and my three beautiful children: Summer, Byron and Lachie.
And when I am with my kids out on the property, memories of my own childhood rush back to me. When I was a little tacker, my parents weren’t made of money. Presents, therefore, were not the focus of the day, but I was always lavished with attention and love. At our home, there was lots of laughter and games, and Santa would write me the most heartfelt notes in handwriting that looked a lot like my mother’s. I was always thrilled to see the remnants of carrots the reindeers had chewed outside when I woke up!
These days, things have changed a little, but the focus is still on love and time spent together. Food, however, is very important, and as I was a chef in a previous life, I have always loved to find ways to feature honey in the Christmas lunch (of course!). This year, I’ve prepared my favorite honey-glazed ham with cloves. This is a total classic, and a dish that shows off the area’s local produce: the delicate sweetness of Yarra Valley honey with the salty deliciousness of free-range pork. Everyone loves it, and it’s fantastic on Boxing Day sandwiches.
This year, lavish the ones you love with attention and kindness. Eat food from local sources. Drink responsibly. Stay cool. Talk. Laugh. And thank the bees for pollinating the crops that come to make your lunchtime feast. Merry Christmas everyone, and thank you for your ongoing support!