Monday, 22 December 2008

Christmas traditions (153)

Reading Candace's post today, I was reminded of my thoughts yesterday when I was decorating our Christmas cake. Before I started blogging and finding out about life in different parts of the world I think I had assumed that everyone ate the same traditional Christmas food that we do. But, of course, that's daft. Different parts of the world have their own traditions. So, what do you eat at Christmas?

Our menu for Christmas Day is as follows:

Breakfast - a traditional English breakfast, the one time of the year that we do have a cooked breakfast with all the trimmings - bacon, eggs, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms followed by toast and marmalade, with fruit juice and tea or coffee.

Lunch - when I was young we always had prawn cocktail for a starter, but these days I do smoked salmon and cream cheese pinwheels and pate on toast squares. We have these in the lounge with pre-lunch drinks. The main course is usually turkey, but this year my men have opted for goose (I always have salmon as I don't eat meat). With that we'll have apple sauce, stuffing, roast potatoes, red cabbage with apple, brussels sprouts with chestnuts and bacon, sausage and bacon rolls and gravy. Then a break for present opening. Pudding is, of course, Christmas pudding and mince pies with custard or cream (something else I don't like!) followed by cheese, nuts and fruit. After that, of course, we all roll into the lounge in a state of collapse!

Nobody wants any tea of course, but there's always ham and pickles and rolls for supper.

And the cake? Well, I always make one, and nobody ever has room for any on Christmas Day, so Christopher works his way through it over the next few weeks. Not for me though, it's something else I can't eat.

From Christmas 2008 03/12/2008 10:43
I didn't have anything to decorate the cake with this year, so pinched a santa-on-a-sledge off the tree and toasted some marzipan stars to go on the top. The cake is a rich fruit cake decorated with marzipan and royal icing. As I said, you've got to have a Christmas cake!


Rhonda said...

Great post Amanda. Well, I'll tell you....we have a big Thanksgiving dinner around my house so for Christmas I grill our favorite....rib-eye steaks and shrimp. Add to that baked potatoes, whole green beans wrapped in bacon, an apple salad, hot rolls and for desserts...peach cobbler, apple pie and peacan pie all with ice cream on the side.

Amelia said...

Certainly different than what we do at our household...only similar is we will have turkey for noon time. You mentioned stuffing - how is yours made?

Dessert is always pumpkin pie.

Supper is what ever is left over from lunch.

We absolutely eat too much on Christmas day is for sure.

Kay said...

This looks just fabulous, Amanda. I do remember those amazing English breakfasts. Our kids totally LOVED them.

By the way, we went sewing machine shopping today. I'm down to deciding between a Bernina 1008 mechanical or the Bernina Activa 230 electical model. The salesperson was really recommended the electrical model but I'm wondering if the mechanical version would be cheaper to maintain and last longer. Sigh...

It would be a lovely Christmas present...whichever.... if I make up my mind by then. Or it could be a New Years gift. :-)

Now that you're all talking about food.... I shall put up a post also about our menu here in Hawaii.

scraphappy said...

We are a bit nontraditional as far as Christmas feasting. Santa comes a day early for us and we have donuts during the presents. Brunch is usually ham and eggs while the kids break in their new toys. Christmas day is spent with my parents and a feast of prime rib and lobster tails. Not quite the traditional Christmas goose, but it sure is yummy!

craftydiane said...

That's a beautiful cake! We don't usually eat breakfast. For lunch we have always had baked ham with sliced pineapple and Maracino cherries on it and then brown sugar melted and spread on that. Then we would have potato salad, macaroni & cheese, English Peas (or sweet peas), deviled eggs, and rolls. Since my daughter doesn't get to come home for Thanksgiving from college I now cook a Turkey breast and cornbread dressing and sausage dressing for Christmas, too. So we have a big variety to choose from. We have also discovered a new recipe for green bean bundles. So I will make those this year, also. Of course we bake the cookies and sometimes I make a dessert called Yum Yum, which is made of pudding, cream cheese, and cool whip. This year I am making Cheesecake Squares. It is a recipe I got out of a Kraft Foods magazine. My daughter, Tara, discovered cheesecake at school and loves it. For supper we will just have left overs. I will also open up a couple cans of Cranberry sauce to go with the dressing and white gravy. I forgot to mention I make white gravy, too. Most of these things I make are the same things my mother used to make. She always made a nut cake every year and fudge. I was just thinking, last night, that I wished I had gotten her fudge recipe from her. I am sure it must be in one of the cookbooks she had, but I have no idea which recipe it is.

Anita said...

I'm about the only one here who eats fruitcake so we seldom have one. I do make Magic Bars, Pecan Coconut pie and Rice Krispy candy along with some kind of cookie. This year probably won't do much of any baking since we are staying home and no one can get here to help eat it. Your cake looks wonderful. Now I am thinking about traditions.

Kay said...

Everything sounds so delicious, Amanda and that cake is just gorgeous!

Jo-Anne said...

Your decorations all look so lovely. (Including the cake!) The menu you have planned for Christmas day sounds delicious!
I hope your husband gets to feeling better and you have a wonderful holiday!

Simone de Klerk said...

Your Christmas cake looks amazing and will probably taste amazing too. In Holland, we don't have that kind of cake, but I know from my sister in England, that they're very traditional there too. Have a very Merry Christmas, for you and your beloved ones!

suz said...

Wow! what a meal - sounds delicious, except for the mincemeat pie - never was a fan. We do a big dinner Christmas Eve - ham, sweet potatoes, brocolli, carrots, salad. We have nibbles before dinner. After dinner we each open a joke gift (my niece assigns names) and my 8 year old great niece gives us all the gifts she bought at the Dollar Store. Christmas Day we have a big breakfast - bagels, cream cheese, lox, some kind of egg creation my niece comes up with. Then we open the Santa gifts. During the day we snack on leftovers from the night before and there are plenty of nibbles and cookies.
Your cake is beautiful. My mom was a cake decorator so I know what kind of work that was. I never heard of toasted marzipan - I'll have to mention that to her!
Merry, Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Can i come round for dinner please, sounds so yummy,

Callum is a big fan of homemade roasts potatoes,

Merry christmas,

SueR said...

Your menu sounds wonderful. We usually have ham for Christmas, but this year we're going to try duck. Merry Christmas, Amanda!

Gretchen said...

Your Christmas meanus sound fabulous and the cake is so pretty.

Becky said...

Thanks for sharing your family tradition with us! I love to hear what different families have for the holidays. We will be traveling to visit our elderly parents the day after Christmas so we are doing simple meals. I've made cookies twice. My boys devoured the first batch. Have a glorious holiday!

MouseChirpy said...

Your Christmas cake is gorgeous and your holiday menu sounds scrumptious. Our Christmas menu changes every year. This year the main dish will be prime rib. Can't wait! LOL
I want to wish you a healthy, happy, and safe holiday season.
Mele Kalikimaka and Hauoli Makahiki Hou!

Amy (lilme2_99) said...

Oh Amanda, Amanda, Amanda.....what a GREAT topic!
In the past two years of visiting "Grandma's house" for Christmas, it seems that my family has adopted a NEW tradition for the "main course."
((**Brace yourself**))

Yup....*nodding*! My mother just read your blog and said..."Well---I hope they understand! It's just easy, simple, and everyone loves it. So, why not??"

Thanksgiving is the "big family meal" of turkey, stuffing, potoatoes and the whole nine yards for us. So....we decide to relax for Christmas.

I hope your day is filled with lots of love and joy! Merry Christmas!

Candace said...

Your menu sounds so delicious, both breakfast and lunch. Your cake is so elegant. I think that dinner at your house sounds better than a gourmet restaurant, and hope you all enjoy it thoroughly.

Katie said...

Gosh you are making me drool. What I remember best about my trips to England (years ago) is breakfast...and the frustration of not being able to duplicate it here!

The cake is beautiful too. The Tramp has been moaning all day about the lack of a Christmas cake. I guess I'm going to have to learn how to make one. :-)

mreteveian said...

Wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! It ahs been great to get to know you, - looking forward to know you better in 2009, Amanda!

Karen said...

Your cake is very pretty!
I also wonder like you what people around the world have for their Christmas dinner. We usually have ham since we have turkey at Thanksgiving. This year, we had Christmas on Christmas Eve since our daughter had to work on Christmas Day. And dinner was at her home. And we had ham. On Christmas Day, my husband grilled steaks for us.

Candace said...

I've thought about your post so much that I can't remember for sure if I left a comment or not. I told at least two people yesterday about your Christmas as it sounds so different from ours. The grilled tomatoes and mushrooms for breakfast sound very tasty, but here it would probably be grits or hash brown potatoes. Grits are pretty much a Southern tradition. Is the lounge the same as what we call our family room, or is it more of a library? It sounds very elegant either way.
Your lunch with goose sounds so much from a charming Christmas tale, and the vegetable combinations remind me of the vegetables that we would have when DH and I were first married and we would visit his grandmother in Philadelphia. She came over from England with her husband and 3 boys after WW2 I'm not sure exactly what year, but I do know that he had fought for England in the wars, and had been a prisoner of war for some time. My husband used to tease his dad and tell him that he missed the Mayflower and came over on the Septemberflower. And your desserts and cake, all I can say is I wish I had had Christmas at your house. I hope that you all enjoyed the day and had a wonderful Christmas. I would think that after all that cooking that you need and deserve a day (or two or three) of rest.