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Our top tips for your chilled beach Christmas

Off to the beach to escape the seasonal heat? We don’t blame you – we’re doing the same! What could be better than an Aussie beach Christmas, complete with chilled summer feast?. Here are our top tips to make it all go swimmingly. 

1. PREP THE ESKY

Have your esky clean and ready, with cool bricks in the freezer. And if you don’t own an esky (of course you do!) then use a Dinner Ladies box with its insulation and chiller bags. 

2. CHECK YOUR STORAGE CONTAINERS

Make sure you have enough food storage containers, and of varying sizes. Now’s a good time of year to clear out that tupperware drawer and check everything’s got a lid and seals well. Otherwise, treat yourself to a new batch. 

3. KEEP IT SIMPLE – AND MAYBE DISPOSABLE

Plan ahead and make sure you have enough plates, cups and napkins. Depending on how many of you there are and how far you have to carry heavy bags, you might use ‘real’. But if you’re catering for a crowd, disposable reduces the stress factor, and the washing up. There are plenty of biodegradable and sustainable ‘paper’ plates and cups on the market now. Christmas crackers are fun too, and light to carry.

4. PACK YOUR CHILLED DINNER LADIES BEACH FEAST, ALL EASILY PREPARED IN ADVANCE

We’re cooking our turkey buffe beforehand, so we can serve it cold in rolls or wraps with beetroot cranberry relish and salad. Shredded turkey or chicken, mixed in our bang bang sauce with chopped raw veg and noodles, makes a great, portable, Asian-style salad. Quinoa, pea and feta salad plus wimmera grain salad are both super easy to transport – no real prep needed. Salmon, sweet potato and edamame bites plus beef and quinoa meatballs both need just a few minutes’ prep and a great sauce for dipping, and are brilliant for small elves. 

5. WHEEL IT IN!

If you own a wheelie shopping trolley, now’s the perfect time to use it! It’s basically a picnic hamper on wheels. 

6. SITTING PRETTY

Pack waterproof picnic blankets (especially if La Nina is still doing her stuff and the ground is damp). In dry weather you can use good, thick, colourful cotton tablecloths to cover a wider area. If you’ve not far to walk, take a collapsible table and camping chairs.

7. SHADE AND SHINE

Pack a few beach umbrellas or a marquee – for protection from sun and/or rain! 

8. FESTIVE FUN

Don’t forget ball games, frisbee, beach cricket, tennis racquet and ball for French cricket. (Because nothing says ‘Christmas’ like overcompetitive family members bickering over whether little Johnny bowled Grandma out.)  

9. SLIP, SLOP, SLAP! 

Be sun safe! Make sure everyone has hats, rash vests and sunblock. And then slide on your sunnies, too. Don’t forget drinking water – and plenty of it. Sometimes we’ve – somewhat embarrassingly – packed champagne and cold beers, but forgotten the water! If you’ve a dog with you, pack a drinking bowl for them too. 

10. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

You’re done. Sit back with a turkey roll, relax and enjoy your day!