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Help With and English Christmas

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Clara Bow:
I have been threatening for years to do a traditional English Christmas dinner (my love of all thing British has a lot to do with this) and I'd like some suggestions from our British posters as to what the staples are. I don't know if I'll do it this year, as my dad (the person who will most appreciate it) will not be here, but I'd still like some ideas....I can always sneak a thing or two in.
Thanks in advance!

Fluffy_Brit_Bunny:
Partial List (more people will be along)! I have no idea what's traditional where where you are, so I'll list everything I can think of!  ;D

Consider buying Delia Smith's Christmas Cookbook (on UK Amazon here which has lots of traditional British recipes. If you prefer you could subscribe to her website here, which gives you lots of the same recipes.

As general food, a good large fruitcake and a chocolate yule log are always baked in our house (clicky for history of a yule log, and here for a photo). Mince pies are also very popular - see here for a good recipe).

Turkey, roast potatoes, sausages (possibly cooked wrapped in bacon with a cocktail stick stuck through to hold it in place). Yorkshire puddings, sprouts (which should be prepared carefully - clicky. Of course there should be other vegetables - we have carrots, cabbage, etc, wholegrain mustard, gravy, etc.

Crackers on the table to pull after the starters are also popular - http://www.oldenglishcrackers.com/make-your-own-crackers.htm . You can buy cracker kits if it's hard to get 'cracker bangs' where you are!

The best bit is dessert which is usually Christmas Pudding with Brandy Butter. It's traditional to douse it in flammable alcohol (cooking brandy) and then touch a match to it so it's surrounded by light flames when brought in. It doesn't burn the pudding but be careful.

That's all I can think of right now, I'm off to finish my sewing. Have fun!

Bethalize:

--- Quote from: Auntie Venom on December 09, 2006, 06:43:24 PM ---I have been threatening for years to do a traditional English Christmas dinner (my love of all thing British has a lot to do with this) and I'd like some suggestions from our British posters as to what the staples are.
Thanks in advance!

--- End quote ---

Everyone has a different idea of their tradition, so here's MY view.

I like turkey. Goose was traditional in olden days but turkey is modern-traditional and much nicer. Stuffing, sage and onion or sausagemeat. Little sausages wrapped in bacon and cooked in the oven . Roast potatoes, roast parsnips. Brussel sprouts, carrots. Peas for my dad because he likes them (he also has a joint of beef as well). Gravy. Bread sauce. Cranberry sauce. Followed by Christmas pudding (douse with brandy and set alight) with custard (Bird's) or brandy butter (I prefer double cream myself!). Christmas cake is for tea time - if you have any room. Gammon for Christmas eve. Nuts in dishes - hazels and walnuts and almonds but we'll take brazils and pecans now we're a global village!. Apples and oranges. Mulled wine for carol barkers. Holly wreath on the door and a Christmas tree inside. Chocolate log for tea as well!

veryfluffy:
The traditional family Christmas dinners I have been to in England normally included the following:
Roast turkey (often quite dry and tasteless, sliced and placed on a platter so that it's almost room temperature by the time you eat)
chipolatas (small pork sausages, often wrapped in bacon. I believe this is a way of having more meat for a large number of people, because turkeys here seem to be much smaller than in America)
roast potatoes
stuffing (usually made from a packet, and usually made as little balls of stuffing cooked separately in a roasting dish. This is because the health authorities in the past advised that roasting the turkey with the stuffing in it would result in everything being undercooked and dangerous)
gravy (out of a packet)
bread sauce (I don't know what this is because it has the appearance, smell and consistency of wallpaper paste and I have never been able to bring myself to try it)
brussels sprouts (overcooked)
Dessert is christmas pudding with custard or brandy butter, and mince pies (everything bought in the supermarket, rather than home-made).

I'm sure there are people who do a much nicer effort than that, but what I have described is what the "typical" dinner will be like for families here at Christmas. This is exactly what was served to me on numerous occasions when I was invited for Christmas dinners.

Fluffy_Brit_Bunny:

--- Quote ---This is exactly what was served to me on numerous occasions when I was invited for Christmas dinners.
--- End quote ---

Oh darn. Sorry my fellow Brits haven't fed you properly  :-\ If you're ever in London or in the South East around Christmas time, send me a pm and I'll send you some real mince pies or have you over. My mum always starts making mince pies, Christmas cake, and other accompaniments about two months before Christmas day so we always have a pretty good feast.

However this description of bread sauce:


--- Quote ---Bread sauce  (I don't know what this is because it has the appearance, smell and consistency of wallpaper paste and I have never been able to bring myself to try it)
--- End quote ---

Is completely accurate even if it's perfectly cooked! It's got all the flavour of chewy paper to me, and I can't stand it.

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