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The perfect Christmas dinner…

If you already can't wait for Christmas Day then this is going to make the wait even more difficult…

We asked you, our wonderful and amazingly good-looking readers, to describe for us the perfect Christmas dinner.

We had a ton of responses – not least because we put a Christmas cookbook up for grabs for the description we deemed the best – many of which were so good that we simply had to share them with you.

And we’ll also announce the winner of 4 Ingredients: Christmas below – you might be impressed with what they came up with!

“Christmas with the smell of the snarls sizzling on the BBQ, the tossed green salad all crispy and fresh. Watties tomato sauce and, of course, the bread on the table. Everyone laughing, relaxed and enjoying a sing song to the carols playing, and a creamy strawberry topped pavlova for afters… now that’s my best Christmas dinner and I can’t wait till it comes around again!” – Amy Rhind, Taupo

“My perfect Christmas dinner is simply sharing delicious food with those I love! The whole day revolves around food. We start with poached eggs, salmon, spinach and hollandaise sauce for breakfast and bubbly of course!

“For lunch (Christmas dinner) we have lamb and ham on the bone with different salads (beetroot and broad bean quinoa salad is a family favourite).  Dessert is the good old Kiwi classic pavlova and homemade fruit salad and also my grandmother makes every year Christmas pudding with lots of brandy in it.  Delicious with cream or custard!!

"Then by teatime we can nibble on the leftovers if we have enough room in our tummies.” – Rebecca Nevile, Wellington

“My perfect Christmas dinner would be one cooked by someone else… roast pork, juicy and with lots of crunchy crackling…  Roast potatoes, all crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside…  peas cooked with a sprig of fresh mint…  Pumpkin slightly caramelised on the top cooked with the skin on all ready to melt in my mouth.

“Oh dessert!  Have to be the classics of course.  A huge pavlova, all crunchy and chewy on the outside but melt in your mouth on the inside.  Home made of course and topped with fresh whipped cream with a hint of real vanilla in it and lots of fresh strawberries and blueberries. Christmas pud with fresh hot home-made custard and fresh cream to pour over the top…  Mmmm, I’m salivating just thinking about it!” – Deborah Watson

My Perfect Christmas Dinner:
1. I get to choose the menu, that WILL be paid for by someone, other than myself
2. This WILL be cooked by someone, other than myself
3. It WILL be served nicely to me (every course)
4. The dishes and clean-up WILL be done by someone other than myself, and quietly
- Gina Lawrence, Bay of Plenty

And the entry that impressed us the most, the winner of the Christmas cookbook is… a Christmas poem!

A hot-glazed ham, all sticky-plump
A minted, pink-fleshed, sweet, lamb-rump;
Some jersey-bennes with parsley-butter
Feel; my little heart’s a-flutter!

Serviettes all crispy-folded,
Pannacottas, smooth and moulded -
Berry coulis on the stove;
Scents of nutmeg, orange, clove.

Table with some tall white candles,
Lady-guests in strappy sandals;
Champagne-flutes with streamlined stems,
Floral fabrics, floaty hems…

For a starter, p’raps bruschetta
Salmon pate, or – still better –
Goat’s cheese, pesto, pan-fried prawns;
Served, at ease, on mown lawns…

Sun all soft, the house all gleaming
Guests all tipsy, fluid, beaming!
Fizz and gloss and froth and laughter
Christmas cake and tea for after

Here I must wrap up this rhyme
But know that, when it’s Christmas time
I’ll be dressed-up, bubbly, hosting
Warm and glowy, pleasure-coasting.

- Kate Duggan, Tauranga

We’d like to thank you all for entering the competition – and give a special shout-out to Carolyn Cummins of Wellington and Mihera Paterson, who both sent us very impressive menus and recipes for their Christmas banquets.

Have a merry Christmas!

While you're here, why not check out our Christmas deals and special events? And the restaurants open for Christmas dinner

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