Christmas has always been a pretty big deal in my family. Ever since I can remember, we all gather in our hometown of Canberra to eat and be merry with an entourage of sisters, parents, cousins, aunties, uncles and grandparents – four generations in all! It’s a casual affair but absolutely manic. There’s always far too much food (and drinks if I’m being honest!)
Mid year, my family and I were discussing this year’s Christmas. I don’t know what came over us, maybe it was the winter blues, but we started brainstorming ideas for a Christmas holiday away. Two weeks later, we had booked an eight night luxury escape to Hamilton Island!
Being an island, I was looking forward to eating as much seafood as I could handle. And boy did Christmas deliver! For our Christmas feast I had pre-ordered three large seafood platters which were literally overflowing with prawns, bugs, crab, salmon and more. And to add to this, we had an abundance of fish which was caught on a fishing trip the day prior. I think we had in excess of five kilos of fish fillets which for the next few days was almost all we ate. I think I have eaten my dose of omega-3′s for this month!
Maintaining my paleo diet was always going to be a challenge, but I think I did reasonably well. We pre-ordered all our groceries through Coles Online who deliver from Airlie Beach. I know… I try to avoid the supermarket giants but this certainly was convenient and allowed us to prepare our own meals at home. For the Christmas Day feast, I ordered a second delivery from Coles which came on Christmas Eve – ham, turkey, chicken, salads and all the trimmings. The seafood was ordered from a local seafood shop called Fishi – they deliver to your accommodation the day before Christmas.
We made a strategic plan to go on our fishing trip the day before Christmas, optimistic that we would bring home the goods. We caught a couple of kingfish and I don’t know how many nannygai (red fish). I even hooked a giant trevally – not a great eat but makes you feel like a modern-day hunter reeling it in as they are super strong and quick!
I did manage to try out the local dining scene too. On boxing day we caught a ferry over to Dent Island, which is home to Hamilton Island’s golf course and the Hamilton Island Golf Club. Yes that’s right golf fans… an entire island just for golf! I’m not really a golfer (truth be told I have never played!) but I really enjoyed the buggy tour of the island and the lunch that followed. In true Australian summer holiday style, we ordered as many seafood dishes as we could manage. It was a nice way to spend boxing day, they even had the Sydney to Hobart yacht race on, which I barely noticed for the breathtaking view from our table.
The holiday was filled with fresh food, a few festive drinks (goes without saying in our family!) plenty of laughs and many adventures. It was so good we are all talking about returning next year.
I hope everyone had a very happy Christmas full of good food shared with family and friends. Happy New Year and thank you for following my blog in 2013.
All the best and dine well everyone!