ASSIGNMENT:

What's on your menu this Christmas?

KATARINA FILIPE
Last updated 10:50 21/12/2012

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Tell us what's on your menu this Christmas. Are you sticking with a traditional spread or trying something new? How many people are you celebrating with this year?

In my family, Christmas is a chance to eat our way through dozens of dishes.

We're a colourful bunch with an equally colourful menu. My mum is Chinese and my dad is Rotuman (Rotuma is a little island near Fiji). Each year we have a family dinner with two of my mum's sisters and their families, who also live in Christchurch.

In recent years our gathering has grown, with my English partner and his parents joining us, as well as my sister's Kiwi partner and their two daughters.

This year, we also have family visiting from Ethiopia, Wellington and Auckland, which means more flavours will be added to our already varied menu.

I know this Christmas is special because my dad is doing a lovo - the traditional Fijian way of cooking using an earth oven. So in our backyard we'll cook pork, corned beef and chicken, as well as octopus and fish.

Continuing with the seafood theme, we'll have kokoda - another Fijian recipe. The fish is cut into bite-sized chunks and is cooked by marinating it in lemon juice before you add capsicum, tomato, cucumber, chilli, spring onion and lots of coconut cream.

A new dish we're trying this Christmas is goat curry. We'll also get to taste some Ethiopian bread and spices.

But a few old favourites will make an appearance, like my mum's roast belly pork, my aunty's Chinese dumplings and my partner's mum's seasoned potatoes.

If last year's festivities are anything to go by, we'll also be eating nachos and a range of salads and desserts.

Sticky date pudding with maple syrup sauce, trifle, mudcake and a fruit cheesecake will all be on the table on Tuesday.

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