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Collins Square

Festive Cooking and Craft Tips from your Favourite Retailers

Festive Cooking and Craft Tips from your Favourite Retailers

Hosting Christmas lunch or dinner this year? Or want to learn how to be a pro gift wrapper or expert stylist? Look no further as the Collins Square retailers have provided creative tips to get you into the festive cheer at Christmas this year!

Floral Arrangements

Mellöbarre have suggested that you can add in some ideas around terrariums and cactus plants which serve as gifts for each guest at your Christmas dinner.

Gift Wrapping

Capsule Pharmacy
One of the trickiest shapes to wrap is a cylinder. You should have a little more than a centimetre of paper extra when you roll the paper around the cylinder. Fold a small strip back on itself at the edge before you tape it and the join will be just about invisible.

When securing the ends, make sure to fold the paper up and check that it extends just a little past halfway. Then, beginning at the join, pinch the paper to create small segments and fold them in. This will create a star effect - which is pretty by itself - or can be covered with a sticker or ribbon.

Using sustainable products such as bees wax wraps, paper your children have drawn on/art work and jars.


Mellöbarre have suggested baking a christmas pudding and using native Australian flavours like Kakadu Plums and Wattle seed to infuse.

They have also recommended simple desserts such as rush hazelnuts, lemon sorbet, chocolate Christmas slice, shaved chocolate, cured orange dipped in chocolate and chocolate coated strawberries.

Belluno always advise using a really good Italian Vermouth like ‘Punt e Mes’ or ‘Berto’. Campari is the constant in a Negroni, so real variation and uplift comes from the Vermouth in particular, and then the Gin. We also use Italian ‘Malfy’ Gin in our classic Negroni recipe, which is distilled in Torino.

How to Cure a side of Salmon

Mellobarre Add summer flavours for a festive salad that include mandarin, pomegranate, asparagus, roasted sweet potato salad, board beans and halloumi.

Belluno Crudo, or Cured Fish is a staple of many Italian regional diets, and is a huge part of life in Northern Provinces like Belluno.

We cure with equal parts salt and sugar applied generously to completely cover the flesh side of the Salmon (not the skin side). We also include citrus juice and some zest in this mix – either grapefruit, orange or lemon, as well as a few coriander seeds. We leave it on a deep plate to cure overnight for 8-10 hours. The next day there will be quite a bit of liquid leeched from the fish so use a deep platter/plate. Tip off the liquid, scrape off the salt and sugar and dispose of. Clean and pat dry the fish. Slice finely & we like to serve with super finely sliced red onion & baby capers, and fresh lemon wedges.

How to make a Christmas Ham

Mellobarre Put a healthy twist on the glaze with rice malt syrup, traditional herbs and spices.

Long Shot
Leftover Christmas Day food:
Example: Turkey or Ham
Make pie with green peas, cheese, etc.
pasta carbonara
Green salad with diced meat

Favourite glaze recipe
Pineapple/honey glaze or maple honey mustard glaze.

How to glaze:
Cut-off the hard rind.

Marinate 3 hours or overnight with pineapple juice, pineapple jam or crushed pineapple, honey, brown sugar, wine, spices, pinch of salt.

Cover with foil, put in the oven for 2 hours at 180C.

Basting every 30 minutes.

Take it out, score in diamond pattern, stick with cloves.

Return to oven (without foil) until golden brown.

Food and Drinks to serve with ham
Side dish: Chickpea salad, Bacon Pea salad, Roasted Beets and sweets, Lemon Asparagus Risotto, Mashed potato or Baked Potato with cheese

Drinks: Fruity Wines and Wheat Beers or Malts

Perfect Produce: Look for smooth, even skin and even colouring. If the rind if buckled or uneven, it's a sign of dryness.

Best cut ham: bone-in ham and spiral cut ham

Scoring the Ham
Cut about 1/4-inch-deep into the ham, from one end close to the bottom. Make sure the knife is sharp and place on a thick cutting board or kitchen towel to keep it stable.

Scoring the ham is very important. It allows your glaze to sip into the cracks to give more flavour and juicy. It also gives a nice presentation.

Serving and Presentation Tips
Ham is the centrepiece on Christmas table. Decorate with aromatic herbs. It can be served sliced, cold or at room temperature, with gravy on the side.

Carving Tips
Rest your ham about 15 minutes before carving. Using a large sharp knife, first, cut to remove a small wedge. Make a vertical cut towards the bone, cutting in an angle. Continue to cut towards the ham bone. It's best to cut as much as you need so the meat won't dry out.

For Emma’s delicious glazed ham recipe you can download the step by step guide here.

Head to for Christmas gift ideas, festive workshops and more!