SF, CA Level 1
Hello all, for those of you who celebrate Christmas, and those of you who are also responsible for the cooking of the traditional Christmas meal, what are your plans for Christmas lunch or dinner?
What is traditional in your country and do you feel it's best to stick to that, or do you go "off piste" and do something different?
I tend to stick to traditional, but that doesn't mean turkey. Here in the UK, most people think of a roast turkey as the required main course for a Christmas meal, but actually, that is an imported American tradition. Goose would be a far more traditional British option, but not many people go for that anymore (expensive!). I don't actually know anyone that loves turkey, so I usually go for a different bird.
What if you are vegetarian or vegan? Last year, due to Christmas kind of being cancelled here in London, I spent it with my one housemate who was officially a pescatarian (although mostly ate vegan food) so I had to get creative. It turns out better than I thought.
Anyway, I am rather late in planning the Christmas meal I am shortly to cook for my family. We are talking about people from different cultures who have very different preferences. Ideas and inspiration would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you! Yes there was a lot of stress, particularly over the six month old baby, but she was taken to the hospital for observation and is now well again. Phew.
Le's hope that next Christmas is a happier one.
I hope all is well with you.
estamos todos bem !
e desejo que fiquem bem também
e no outro natal e so gratidão
esta esperança temos que ter dia .elhores virão 😒
Sadly, my family Christmas got 'corona cancelled' on Christmas morning 😞
I still cooked though (I had bought sooooo much food) and made sure everyone got something to eat. We just weren't able to eat it together.
@Huma0 Oh that's too bad. We curtailed our Christmas also, but that was mostly due to so much drama in getting plans finalized for Thanksgiving that we felt a little burnt out on trying to herd cats, I mean family, to commit; and we vowed that next year we're going away for the holidays.
I did not make Christmas Pudding, but am still considering it. I don't think we sell 'suet' in the US, but I read you can use old fashioned shortening instead, assuming that can still be found. I do remember my grandmother used Crisco to fry everything back in the day.
Yes, I think many people missed Christmas again this year. My family came to pick up food so at least it didn't all go to waste and they were not left with empty bellies!
It's such a long time ago that I made Christmas pudding. I can't really remember what I used.
You could maybe give this a go. It uses butter instead.
@Eles0 nao se preocupa tenho tradutores. Automático consigo entender bem
então onde tenho minhas meus apartamento de aluguel
e são francisco do sul SC. praias
200 km da. capital Florianópolis SC.
Unfortunately, Google translate isn't translating your message so well, but I understand that you are not so far from Florianópolis?
sim fazia amava em toda simplicidade que meus pais tinha!
natal era especial tinha cheiro de natal !
trouxe para minha casa. como princípio
só que alguns anos não conseguimos mais fazer algo tão especial!!
mais quero retomar e muito gratificante reunir a família ao redor de um mesa compartilhar uma ceia de Natal
a comida e mais carne assada do dia do natal peru! chester! Ou um bom assado de forno carne vermelha! acho que de cada região
do Brasil os costumes. mudam
como somos descendente alemão
e outra cultura de outros lugares
I wish I could respond in Portuguese. I live in a Brazilian/Portuguese neighbourhood, so really should try to learn, but I find it difficult!
So, I hope you don't mind me responding in English.
Yes, that sounds amazing and I am sure so many of us are looking forward to finally sitting around the table together again.
Brazil is such a huge country. I can understand how traditions and cuisines vary enormously. I visited Rio, Paraty and Florianopolis only, so really only a tiny fraction of it. I would so much love to go back there again. I have very found memories of my time there!
Here is a Google translation. I hope it's not too off the mark!
Eu gostaria de poder responder em português. Eu moro em um bairro brasileiro / português, então realmente deveria tentar aprender, mas acho difícil! Então, espero que você não se importe que eu responda em inglês. Sim, isso parece incrível e tenho certeza que muitos de nós estamos ansiosos para finalmente sentarmos juntos à mesa novamente. O Brasil é um país tão grande. Posso entender como as tradições e cozinhas variam enormemente. Eu visitei o Rio, Paraty e Florianópolis apenas, então realmente apenas uma pequena fração dela. Eu adoraria voltar lá novamente. Eu encontrei muitas memórias do meu tempo lá!
Thank you! Those are not actually my photos though (stolen from the Internet). I am very into presentation of food for special occasions though, so I will try to take some photos this year, if things aren't too frantic, and post them after.
Do you celebrate Christmas and, if so, what do you normally eat?
I went to Brazil many years ago. From what I remember, Brazilians love their meat!
By the way, this is roughly what I made last Xmas for our pescatarian meal (these are all borrowed photos as I can never seem to take decent photos of food):
Smoked salmon blinis to start
I think we had these topped with a choice of either dill or caviar. I like that here they have done it with what looks like hot smoked salmon and radish though and I've seen slices of cucumber incorporated too.
For the main, I made Whiskey and Nut Baked Camembert (this was very rich, so you don't need a lot)
With all the trimmings, including roast potatoes, honey glazed parsnips and carrots, red cabbage with balsamic vinegar and cranberries, stuffing balls, gravy and sizzled sprouts with pistachios and pomegranate.
So, the sides were pretty traditional, but with a few little twists here and there.
My housemate made the desert, which was homemade chocolate eclairs.
We did not make it to the cheese and crackers 😞 which seems to be the case every year!
@Huma0 Often my husband helps me with the Ravioli, our daughters may bring some appetizer but for the most part I prepare it myself. It takes 1 day to marinate the beef in red wine and 4 hours to braise it (Brasato) and then 4-5 hours to make 500 Ravioli. All the appetizers are prepared the night before or the same day of the party. The capon is prepared and cooked the same day of course.
I do hope your family appreciates your marvellous efforts. I know I would. It looks amazing.
I better get cracking! As usual, when I have a daunting task ahead, I start procrastinating, e.g. started threads about cooking instead of actually starting the cooking...
@Huma0 We did all the cooking for Thanksgiving this year, except the turkey, at our house. We then brought all the sides/desserts to the family and made only gravy and mashed potatoes on site. They did all the apps.
This meant that we cooked everything 1 day ahead and I cannot tell you how much easier this was! Cooking 1 dish at a time, then wash up, then cook another, maybe rinse/ reuse the same pot. It was completely stress free and much, much easier to clean up. We undercooked everything a little so that it could be reheated right before dinner. I highly recommend this strategy.
I rely very heavily on BBC Good Food for recipes, because there are so many on there but also because there are very useful comments from users (with suggestions on how to tweak the recipes) as well as the star ratings.
I have also always liked Jamie Oliver recipes as I find them very easy to follow and have only ever made one that was unsuccessful. Jamie has a useful page on his website with ideas on how to prep ahead, if anyone is interested:
Yes, I am deliberating about what I can get started on. I like your suggestion, however, I do find that certain things like roast potatoes and other roast veg is just not the same reheated as when fresh out of the oven. I could certainly do a lot of the prep in advance though...
Even though I have usually been the one to cook Christmas dinner since I was about 13 (when I became a vegetarian, which my mother hated, so I had to learn to cook for myself) and there have been no disasters to date (I am 48 now), my family still seem to think I am incompetent. I don't know why. I am generally considered to be a decent cook, but I guess some of them are just better cooks than me and I am a very SLOW cook.
I'm starting to get annoyed by the constant messages asking me what I am going to cook, what should they bring, should they come early to assist. I know they are just trying to be helpful, but I've been doing this for 30 years already! Too many cooks in the kitchen always spoils the broth. I just want them to come, eat, enjoy it and (hopefully) say thank you.
@Huma0 My family is obsessed with food, so whenever my mother comes to visit, she will immediately want to know what are we having for dinner and what about breakfast tomorrow and maybe lunch. She will have a list of restaurants she also wants to go to. She also has a long list of dietary requests, a certain kind of cream, bread has to have X fiber count, must have a green side at dinner, must have a few kinds of fresh fruit for snacks. She's a little on the OCD side, LOL. It used to drive me nuts, but now I just buy everything on her list and she has to assume she's making her own breakfast most days which leaves the mornings more peaceful...this has reduced stress a lot.
Lol, I thought I had it bad!
Yep, this is the problem with having foodies in the family. My brother is a foodie, wine connoisseur and very good cook. My sister-in-law is also a foodie and excellent cook. My niece, who is 12, has been a foodie since she was about three years old. Meanwhile, my aunt is a fantastic cook (Pakistani food) and a domestic goddess, but very, very reluctant to try anything new at all.
Half of them don't drink alcohol and will only eat halal meat. Sister-in-law loves cheese but hates any other dairy. Niece has picked up same dislikes. Lamb isn't an option anymore because some have stopped eating it. Some hate spicy food and others like a lot of spice.
At least there are no veggies or vegans to cater to this time (in Pakistan it's actually considered rude to not offer meat at a meal), although sometimes I think that is easier!