Last-minute Christmas provisions
Author: Maya Kerthyasa
Photography: Geoffrey Zabell
10:58AM, Dec 2, 2013
Of course you've been nurturing the pudding for months already, patiently feeding it booze. You had the turkey ordered back in spring, the mince pies are on the go, you've grown your own tree - heck, you've even cured the ham yourself. But on the off-chance, the microscopic possibility, that you've left some of your Christmas preparations to the last minute this year, we've pulled together a few lifesavers, a few fall-back Santa's-little-helpers that will keep you on track for a cool Yule. Let's get festive, people.
TRADITIONAL SUET PUDDINGS
Alistair and Teena at Hobart's premier pâtisserie, Sweet Envy, are good at many things, making traditional English suet puddings being one of them. They also make a mean fruitcake, not to mention Christmas cookies, mince pies and shortbread, so be sure to stock up while you're there.
The Cat's Tongue chocolates are among Hobart's finest. This year's Christmas specials include pistachio-coated spiced truffles with confit orange and lemon, Christmas "carolmels" (caramels jazzed up with booze and spice), gingerbread ganache with molasses, as well as fresh marzipan. You'll find them at their newly opened café and chocolate shop in Huonville (open weekends only), as well as at The Pigeon Hole café and Wursthaus Kitchen in Hobart.
Joto, one of Sydney's top seafood suppliers, now extends its services to the general public. Head to the Botany warehouse on Saturday mornings, from 8am until noon, for all your Christmas seafood needs (all sustainably sourced, no less). Among the offerings are hampers packed with festive favourites, such as lobster, prawns, Balmain bugs, Split Rock oysters, Tetsuya's soft smoked ocean trout, Yarra Valley caviar and more.
Phillippa's bakery in Melbourne is doing Belgian chocolate and vanilla Christmas trees, lemon-iced vanilla stars and button-sized shortbreads this festive season. Don't have a sweet tooth? The handmade sesame and parmesan sablés have your name on them.
GLAZED HAMS AND DEEP-FRIED TURKEYS
Pressed for time? Cooking for a crowd? Perth's prime butchery, Mondo, is doing hams glazed with brown sugar, honey and maple, and Bourbon-brined deep-fried turkeys as part of its Christmas spread. Centrepiece sorted.
For top-shelf hams in Sydney, head to Lucas Meats. They do a double-smoked boneless ham and an easy-carve option, but it's their beechwood-smoked version they're best known for. They're in high demand, so get in while they last.
For all things Italian this Christmas, look no further than Enoteca Sileno. Their panettone portfolio ranges from classic to glazed, beer-spiked and gluten-free. They've also got a handsome selection of pandoro and panforte. Buono.
Sustainable Sydney providores Feather and Bone are selling GreenAg Organic Farm turkeys from the Toowoomba area this year. Not only will they make a striking (and tasty) centrepiece, they're also minimally processed and hormone-, antibiotic- and preservative-free. Win-win.
DRY-AGED WAGYU BEEF
Who said Christmas had to be all about pig and poultry? The dry-aged wagyu offerings from Brisbane's beef specialists Cabassi & Co are good enough to put any old ham or turkey to shame.
HAMS BIG AND SMALL
Griffith Butchery in Canberra source their hams from Bundawarrah pork in Temora, NSW. They're free-range, naturally smoked and come in both bone-in and boned-rolled versions for easy carving.
RUM TRUFFLE BALLS
Sherbet, one of Perth's top destinations for provisions of the baked kind, are going all out this Christmas with snowballs (bite-sized fruit truffles injected with rum), gingerbread cookies, mince pies and old-fashioned fruitcakes big and small.
BRIGITTE HAFNER'S STOLLEN
Brigitte Hafner's stollen has made a name for itself in Melbourne and it's not hard to see why. The recipe comes from Hafner's mother who, unlike commercial stollen-makers, goes for the traditional method using almond meal and dried fruit with spiced essences of rum and bitter almond. They're available at Hafner's Gertrude Street Enoteca or via post, but you'll need to get your order in quick - they're one of her best-sellers.
Berkshire or Hampshire? Apple or hickory-smoked? The good folk at Feast Fine foods will leave that decision up to you. They're doing tailor-made hams, offering a range of pork breeds, cures, spices and smokes - all that's left for you to do is combine them as you please.
Prime Brisbane bakery Jocelyn's Provisions is doing all the Christmas staples this year: puddings, shortbread, gingerbread trees - you name it. But it's the chocolate roulade with white-chocolate cream and fresh raspberries that's really got our attention. What's even better is that you can place your order online. Too easy.