IT’S STILL WEEKS AWAY,
but our gift to you within this Christmas issue is the gift of time. Time to share the load with Fiona Smith’s orphans’ Christmas menu, time to cook in advance with Ginny Grant’s plan-ahead festive feast and if all else fails, some cheeky kitchen cheats from Sarah Tuck to help you throw things together if/when you run out of time.
Our magnificent cover shot has once again stretched the talents and patience of our creative team, bravely driven by art director Fiona Lascelles. After dropping the lemon tarts at our French issue cover shoot, I have been given permanent instructions to not step within five metres of cover shoot area at any time. I have to admit, as I stood helplessly watching the construction of that fragile Champagne saucer tower using Fiona Smith’s fabulous apricot doughnut trifle with rosemary praline (recipe on page 78), I thought we may have been a touch too ambitious. But once again we have managed to beat the odds. I doubt you’ll want to try this at home in case Auntie Shirl picks up the wrong glass (we all know how that might end), but the trifle does look as spectacular in individual servings as it does served from the bowl.
If you’re wondering about our editor’s picture (above), yes, it is me, in terry towelling with my trusty iPhone (without heels and humming Dave Dobbyn), wandering the banks of the mighty Waikato. This issue I have found a little slice of NZ heaven at the magnificent Huka Lodge. So engrossed was I in the early morning birds that seemed to be in tune with the magical rhythm of that impressive river that I managed to wander into the front yard of another cottage, bathrobe and all. The fact that my early morning stroll was photographed is, of course, a bonus (not). I hope the other guests didn’t insist on a refund.
Immerse yourself in this beautiful magazine and you will find not only wonderful things to cook and share but also a bloody good read. We asked some of our favourite people to give us their takes on Christmas and the result is a collection of terrific stories that highlight hi our differences when it comes to the meaning of it all.