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» Cook a Traditional British Christmas Dinner

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The traditional Christmas Dinner in the UK is Turkey, however it was not always so, and some of the trends of yesteryear are returning. One of those trends is to have duck or goose instead of turkey. In the nineteenth century these were the traditional meats at Christmas and they are now making a comeback, although turkey is still popular.

Turkey Dinner
Turkey Dinner

There are several traditions surrounding Christmas food, many of which are still followed today. For example, brandy is poured onto the Christmas pudding and then lit so that the pudding is on fire. The lights are turned off so people can see the flames.

Another is to put a clean silver coin into the Christmas pudding which will bring luck to the person who almost eats it!

Christmas Pudding
Christmas Pudding

In most households not everything is eaten on Christmas Day and for the next few days people eat the turkey leftovers, until they swear they won’t eat poultry again for a year. Whatever they eat, it is for certain that Christmas and food definitely go together!

MISTLETOE, considered sacred by the British Druids, was believed to have many miraculous powers. Among the Romans, it was symbol of peace, and, it was said that when enemies met under it, they discarded their arms and declared a truce. From this comes our custom of kissing under the mistletoe. England was the first country to use it during the Christmas season and typically still do, as well as a sprig of holly (WHICH IS NOT EATEN) on the Christmas pudding.

The Christmas pudding known today began life as Christmas porridge called Frumenty, a dish made of wheat or corn boiled up in milk. Now, a Christmas pudding is a brown pudding with raisins, nuts and cherries. It is served with custard or brandy butter. Often brandy is poured over the pudding, which is then set a light as it is carried to the table. The lights are turned off so people can see the flames.

Christmas table should be just as festive as the rest of the home. It can be use pine garland, candles, Christmas ornaments and other special touches to create a memorable holiday table.

When Queen Victoria came to the throne, the roast beef was the centrepiece of the Christmas feast in the North, while the goose was the traditional fare of the South.

christmas crackers
christmas crackers

Typical British fun on Christmas is the Christmas Cracker, a sort of British style mini pinata, that is pulled from either end, to release toys and small gifts.
If you are interested in getting some of your own traditional Christmas Crackers for your British holiday celebration
Visit TOM SMITH CHRISTMAS CRACKERS

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Traditional Recipes From ENGLAND

Trifle: The Great British Pudding
(Olde English Trifle)

Serves 6
1 pint milk
1/2 vanilla pod
2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
2 tbsp. caster (fine) sugar
1 Victoria sandwich cake (see recipe)
6 oz. raspberry or strawberry jam
4 oz. medium sherry
10 oz. Devonshire Cream
1 1/2 oz. flaked almonds, toasted and
2 oz. glaze cherries to decorate.

Scald the milk with the vanilla pod. Cover the pan and leave to infuse for 20 minutes. Beat together the eggs, egg yolks and sugar and strain on the milk. Cook over a gentle heat, without boiling, stirring all the time until the custard thickens slightly. Pour into a bowl; lightly sprinkle the surface with sugar and cool.

Spread the sponge cake with jam, cut up and place in a 3 1/2 pint shallow serving dish with the macaroons. Spoon over the sherry and leave for 2 hours. Pour over the cold custard.

Whip the cream until softly stiff. Top the custard with half the fresh cream. Pour the remaining cream on top and decorate with the almonds and cherries.

Christmas Pudding

This dates back to the late 19th century. Although Christmas puddings should be made well in advance, it is possible to make this pudding on Christmas Eve with very successful results.

8 oz currants
8 oz. sultanas
8 oz. stoned raisins
8 oz. Barbados sugar
4 oz. grated beef suet
4 oz. fresh breadcrumbs
4 oz. ground almonds
4 oz. blanched almonds, chopped
4 oz. mixed candied peel
6 oz. cooking apple, peeled and finely chopped
8 oz. plain flour
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
Finely grated rind of 1 orange
2 tbsp. lemon juice
3 fl. oz. stout
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 oz. ground mixed spice
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
5 tbsp. brandy

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl with 2 tbsp. of the brandy. Pour the mixture into a greased 3 1/2 pint pudding basin and cover with a double layer of greased, greaseproof paper or aluminum foil–pleated in the middle to allow for expansion. Tie string under the rim and across the top to make a handle. Place a trivet in the base of a large saucepan. Lower the pudding into the saucepan and fill with enough boiling water to come two-thirds of the way up the sides of the basin. Pour in more boiling water if necessary.

When the Pudding is cooked, pour the remaining brandy over the surface and re-cover. To reheat, boil gently for 3-4 hours.

To serve, decorate with a sprig of holly and flambĩ at the table with warmed brandy, if desired. Can also be served with Brandy Butter or delicious Devonshire Cream.

Victoria Sandwich Cake

6 oz butter
6 oz. caster (fine) sugar
3 eggs beaten
6 oz. self-raising flour
2 tbsp. jam
Caster (fine) sugar to dredge

Butter two 7-inch sandwich tins and line the base of each with a round of buttered greaseproof paper.

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in half the flour, using a metal spoon, then fold in the rest

Place half the mixture in each tin and level with a knife. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, until they are well risen, firm to the touch, and beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tins. Turn out and cool on a wire rack.

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