I have a recurring dream. It involves snow drifting down gently outside a window, a roaring fire and a table set for a feast.
Yes, this is the Christmas fantasy of a Queenslander who has spent every Christmas praying for air-conditioning, often cooking the full Christmas disaster for a family who would probably rather be at the beach.
Somehow Christmas isn't Christmas without hot turkey, glazed ham and plum pudding. All very inappropriate when the temperature is hovering around 34 degrees.
Southerners may laugh in scorn at the idea that it can get cold up here in winter but Christmas in July is close as I'm getting to my dream for the time being. At least it's cold enough to rug up and if I had a fire, light it. But artificial snow just doesn't cut it so that is still on hold.
The other part of my Christmas fantasy is a turducken - not some new breed of fowl but a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey. The logistics of creating one from scratch were beyond me so when I heard that Carla at Vanilla Pod at Ascot had sourced some from Barossa Fine Foods I just had to have one.
So on Saturday night I sat down with some of my oldest friends for a Christmas feast. My friends each brought a dish to share so we started with an indulgent artichoke dip from Vicki, followed by a delicious assortment of Michelle's roast veggies with the turducken.
Carla at Vanilla Pod even had a jar of Pursell's Cranberry Port and Orange Sauce which went perfectly with the turducken and rum balls, yum.
It was a stoke of extreme good fortune that Mandy had one of her highly sought after plum puddings lurking the the back of her fridge. Served with Lick vanilla bean ice cream, it was a winner.
The turducken arrived pre cooked which made my job super simple, just a reheat in the oven at 180 degrees for about an hour and then carve.
To the sound of Dean Martin singing 'Let it snow' we sat down for a feast.
You know that overfull full stomach feeling that accompanies the end of a Christmas lunch, well it can happen in July too.
Bottom line: The pre-cooked turducken felt a bit like cheating but it made this the easiest, stress-free 'Christmas' feast ever .