Here are some tips to ensure you and your guests have a memorable Australia Day:
Remember the Cancer Council’s advice…
Slip on protective clothing; Slop on SPF30+ sunscreen (always good to have a large pump action bottle handy); Slap on a hat (consider providing broad-brimmed hats for guests who forgot to bring their own - the more unfashionable the better!); Seek shade (market style umbrellas and/or shade cloth take the sting out of the afternoon sun and keep your guests relaxed and comfortable; and finally, Slide on sunnies.
Stay Cool and Hydrated
It’s really important to stay cool and hydrated. You can never have too much ice whether it’s for chilling drinks or making your favourite cocktail. Always remember to fill all your ice cube trays in the freezer the evening before. Then one hour before your guests arrive, place your drinks in an esky/tub before covering with ice. You can always ask one of your guests to pick-up additional ice on their way so you don’t run out. And don’t forget water and soft drinks.
A cocktail on arrival is always a good idea. Try this Lime and Mint Mojito - just blend white rum, fresh mint, soda water, lime and simple sugar syrup and serve on the rocks. Or leave out the rum for an equally refreshing mocktail.
Share & Serve in Style
Prepare your favourite Summer dishes, where possible in advance, and serve on generous share platters. This makes it easier for everyone to mingle, chat and help themselves (and head back for seconds!)
Spice Things Up
Since it’s Australia Day, why not incorporate some native herbs and spices in your cooking. These are becoming increasing more popular and available – just check online for your nearest supplier.
Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
Mountain pepper – add to meat, eggs and vegetables at the beginning and end of the cooking cycle to add some zing to your food
Forest Anise – add to white meat, seafood, desserts, feta and cream cheese for an aniseed and lemon myrtle flavoured finish
Lemon myrtle – use with fish and chicken dishes for a uniquely lemony finish.
Pepperberries – a great pepper substitute, with a unique Aussie flavour
Yakajirri and Akudjura (bush tomatoes) can be used in sauces and marinades
Wattleseed – a nutty/chocolatey/coffee flavour great for desserts and baked foods.
Remember to refrigerate any leftovers in these handy glass food storage containers as soon as possible for later enjoyment.
And as the day slips away into early evening, a few citronella tea lights will boost the summer ambience and keep the mozzies at bay.