Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Day 7: Australia

Christmas celebrated Down Under is different than what so many movies make Christmas look like. It's not snowing, and there's no "white Christmas" for Australia-instead, Christmas comes right in the middle of their summer holidays. For them, their warm months are over Christmas, and their cold months are during our summer, so many Aussies (such a fun word!) spend their Christmas break camping or on the beach.

Even though it's hot during the Christmas season, many Aussies still hang wreaths on their front doors and go caroling on Christmas Eve. They also decorate their houses with Christmas trees and lights, and sometimes neighbors have competitions to see who has the best light display. Neighbors go and visit each other's houses at night to look at the different light displays-sometimes starting even as early as December 1st.

People think that when Santa Clause arrives in Australia, he lets his reindeer have a rest and instead uses kangaroos. He also changes his clothes for less hot ones and enjoys some well-earned time on the beach. The main meal on Christmas Day is eaten at lunch. Sometimes people have Christmas barbecues with seafood, like prawns and lobsters. But traditional Christmas meals are also prepared and include ham, roast turkey or chicken, salads, vegetables and other delicious foods.

Sydney, Australia 
Fun Facts: 
*One street in Sydney works together to make beautiful light displays on their houses, and they raise over $35,000 (Australian dollars) every year for a charity.

*Carol services-called "Carols by Candlelight"-are held in state capital cities, and they're broadcast on TV for other people to see.

Make some Delcious Pavlova
Pavlova is a dessert that's often part of the Christmas Day meal in Australia. It's a crisp white meringue that's topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream.

*4 egg whites
*1 1/4 cups white sugar
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 teaspoon lemon juice
*2 teaspoons cornstarch
*Whipped cream
*Mixed fruit (whatever you like-strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, mangoes, etc.)  

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 9-inch circle on the parchment paper.
3. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until they're stiff but not dry.
4. Gradually add sugar (about 1 tablespoon at a time), beating well until thick and glossy.
5. Gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon juice and cornstarch.
6. Now you can spoon the mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Spread the mixture toward the outside edge, working from the middle so that the edge gets slightly higher. This will act as a rim, and it will almost look like a shallow bowl.
7. Bake for 1 hour. When it's done, cool it on a wire rack.
8. Once it's cool, you can fill the center of the meringue with the whipped cream and fruit.

*All of the above information has been taken from the Wycliffe-created characters, Kate and Mack. If you would like to sign up for more children's activities or learn about the book they feature in (Around the World with Kate and Mack), clink on this link:

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