12 Days of Kiwi Christmas Deliciousness (2014 Edition)

For more years than I can now remember, my wife has been coming up with a special 12 day menu to celebrate the “Twelve Days of Christmas”.

She alternates each year between the traditional and the New Zealand version, otherwise known as “A Pukeko in a Ponga Tree”

Some of the dishes have direct references to the songs, others have used a fair chunk of artistic licence – I’ll do my best to explain as we go.

So sit back and enjoy as I reveal what my true love made for me over the Twelve Days of Kiwi Christmas Deliciousness for 2014:

A Pukeko in a Ponga Tree
1 Pukeko
Penne Pasta with Carrot-top Pesto:
The heavy “P” count is an alliterative reference to the Pukeko, with the Carrot-Top Pesto representing the Ponga Tree’s foliage – as they look quite similar.

Two Kumara
2 Kumara
Baked Kumara Wedges:
Self-explanatory, really 

Three Flax Ketes (“Kits”)
3 Flax Kits
Aubergine Croquettes with Kohl Rabi and Cabbage Slaw:
This is kind of a “two-for-one” deal – the slaw pieces are like the flax that is woven to make the woven ketes / bags, while the croquettes, once crumbed and fried actually looked quite like them too!

Four Huhu Grubs
4 Huhu Grubs
Coconut Crusted Prawns with Vermicelli Salad:
The prawns are very Huhu Grub- looking, and vermicelli looks like worms. The salad is the undergrowth they live in / feed off.

Five Big Fat Pigs!
5 Pigs
Pork Burgers with Bacon, Apple and Fennel:
Big Fat Pigs make Big Fat Pork Burgers! The Bacon is an added bonus, while a feed of apples and fennel would keep your average Kuni-kuni quite happy.

Six Pois a Twirling
6 Pois
Bacon Wrapped Poisson with Home-grown Vegetables:
Poi(sson) was the obvious play on words, the bacon is wrapped around the bird, like the poi’s cover is wrapped around it.

Seven Eels a Swimming
7 Eels
Eggs Benedict Swimming in Hollandaise Sauce:
Eggs for “Eels” and they are swimming in Hollandaise, just as eels swim in creeks.

Eight Plants of Puha
8 Puha
Spinach, Potato, Asparagus and Pea Salad with Tarragon Mayo:
Pretty obvious once again – Puha is a green, leafy, wild vegetable, so we made a salad heavy on the greens and replaced Puha with slightly more mainstream spinach.

Nine Sacks of Pipis
9 Sacks of Pipis
Pomegranate Ice Cream:
The Pomegranates represent the pipis – they’re a similar shape and, like pipis in the low-tide sand, they need digging out!

Ten Juicy Fish Heads
10 Juicy Fish Heads
Fish and Chips!
Each year we try to fit a takeaway into the 12 days, mainly to give us a break from cooking, so what could be more Kiwi Christmas to represent fish heads, than Fish and Chips! 

Eleven Haka Lessons
11 Haka Lessons
Steak with Roasted Beetroot, Broccoli and Carrots:
All good Haka-performing All Blacks know the importance of a good steak and vegetables in their diet. Like the steak, some rugby players are also quite “Beefy”.
We had intended to do a cauliflower puree (to represent the common rugby injury of “Cauliflower Ear”), but ended up doing broccoli instead.

Twelve Piupius Swinging
12 Piupius
Squid Ink Pasta:
As the title indicates, Piupius sway – as do squid tentacles! The Squid ink Pasta also represents the different coloured flaxen strands that make up piupiu skirts.

We hope you’ve been inspired to try some of these, or your own version next Christmas.

From the Napier in Frame family to yours, we wish you a Merry Kiwi Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!

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