I thought it might be interesting for readers from other parts of the world to hear a bit about what we consider to be our traditional Christmas fare.
Our main Christmas meal is eaten on Christmas Day itself, in the middle of the day. We usually eat a bit later than our normal lunchtime, simply because it takes a fair old while to prepare and cook the food - especially if you are having a big fowl or joint of meat which will need several hours of cooking (and who wants to get up at the crack of dawn to put the turkey in the oven??)
This is what's the Christmas lunch menu in our home:-
Selection of "nibbles", including home-made spiced nuts: peanuts, almonds, macadamias and cashews briskly fried with salt and smoked paprika
Pork sausages wrapped in bacon
Roast potatoes and boiled potatoes
Brussels sprouts with chestnuts
Carrots and peas
Cranberry sauce and cranberry relish (the relish is spicier and less sweet)
Gravy (must be home-made!)
Choice of various red and white wines
Christmas pudding with cream
Home-made Rum-and-Raisin ice cream
Mince pies with Brandy butter
|Home-made Mince Pies|
And then, later on (if anyone has room...)
Christmas cake (a very rich fruit cake, made weeks in advance and "fed" at intervals with brandy)
Dried fruit (dates, figs etc)
Nuts (walnuts, brazils, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans etc)
Clementines / Satsumas or equivalent
Chocolates and Turkish Delight
Accompanied by our home-made Spiced Vodka
The traditional Christmas cake is covered with marzipan and royal icing, but we don't like the marzipan and icing, so we leave ours plain. To be honest, not much of it gets eaten on Christmas day, because we are usually too full of other things, but we enjoy the cake later on. It's especially nice served the Yorkshire way - with a piece of Wensleydale cheese.
Throughout the Christmas period we usually have other treats that we generally don't eat much of at other times - for instance there's always a tin of chocolate biscuits on the go, into which we dip whenever we feel like it, and probably a big tin of Quality Street or similar chocolates and toffees. The bowl of nuts is available throughout.
Another essential feature of Christmas in our household is the presence of some bags of chocolate coins.
In our family, tradition also dictates that on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas Day) our main meal is based around a joint of roasted gammon ham, served with Cumberland sauce (made with port wine and redcurrant jelly). Usually Jane cooks a massive piece of meat, only a small proportion of which will be consumed on Boxing Day. The remainder will supply us with cold ham for several days afterwards - and some of it may even get made into a turkey and ham pie... I'll probably be too busy to photograph the finished item, so here it is in its raw state.
|Our 4kg piece of gammon|
Looking forward to hearing what other people eat for their special meals...