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.
Yes, I imagine that if you come from the southern hemisphere, Christmas food traditions could be very different. My cleaners are from Brazil and they told me that Christmas Day to them means barbecue!
Christmas in winter is totally OK with me... but the carnival is certainly more fun in summer than in winter 🙂
In Croatia tradition is different in different areas. On the coast it is a codfish, inland is turkey with mlinci. My family's tradition is sarma. It is meat and rice wrapped in sour kraut leaves.
If you ever come to Croatia you should try "purica sa mlincima" and " sarma" 🙂
@Branka-and-Silvia0 again I am learning from community forum friends. Looked up puricasa milincima being a crispy unleaven flatbread served with your turkey and sarma being minced turkey wrapped in vine leaves. I will have to try this receipe.
sarma is made with pork + beef mixed meet, not with turkey meet. And it is cooked in water with added red paprika and a few spoons of flour. It has to be cooked a day in advance and then cooked again the next day bc the same as beans or cakes or french salad... it is better the next day when all the flavors settle together 🙂
My mum is 90 yo but she is still cooking sarma for Christmas. (she doesn't cook anything else anymore, she has her dinner delivered every day during the year but she doesn't let anyone else cook sarma. It is my grandmother's receipt from a very old cookbook 🙂
I am in charge of Franch salad and today is the day when I will mess up my entire kitchen (I also rarely cook)
I will also bake chocolate muffins (if anyone needs a new receipt for muffins let me know, it is THE BEST muffin receipt in the world (chocolate, cherries and nuts) and everyone who ever tried them always asked for the receipt 😉 Of course, muffins are not traditional Croatian meal 🙂
Silvia has an American friend over Christmas and they will prepare some vegan dishes and cakes together bc he is a vegan. We are all curious to try 🙂
By the way, I have been to Croatia and was lucky enough to sample local food, but I simply cannot remember the names for any of it!
I did eat well though 🙂
Mlinci are thin, dried flatbread that is broken up into pieces and mixed with the roasting juices from a roast turkey. The juices make the mlinci soft and somewhat like noodles. They suck up all those delicious juices and carry the turkey flavor.
here is a receipt 🙂 https://www.chasingthedonkey.com/croatian-recipe-roast-turkey-with-mlinci/
Recipes please @Branka-and-Silvia0 !!
We have a friend who's a chef originally from Croatia who makes the best baking and treats.
We first meet them at a local Italian Restaurant when they came to New Zealand and without fail once a week had the best Garlic Pizza Bread in an era when the Restaurant business was operated primarily by those of nationality of foods created.
@Huma0 Since we have turkey for Thanksgiving, we usually have a prime rib roast for Christmas. I stopped eating ham [due to factory farming] years ago and no one in my family likes duck or goose, so that leaves beef. Someone gave us venison one year and that was a novelty. Sides are mashed or scalloped potatoes, salad, rolls, some kind of green, maybe broccoli.
On Christmas Eve we do the 'seven fishes' apps & dinner even though that is I think an Italian tradition, but its fun. There will be some mulled red wine both nights.
Since you mentioned it on the other thread I looked up Christmas Pudding and I might try making it, but steaming something in a glass basin seems REALLY difficult, also almost none of the recipes are in 'American' measurements, ha, so even more of a challenge.
@Mark116 can you not buy pre-made Christmas puddings in NJ? Those actually just need heating up, which means you can steam them if you can be bothered, but you can also just heat them briefly in the microwave.
A traditional Xmas pudding should, in theory, have enough alcohol in it that you can light it so that it is flaming just before being set on the table. There should also be a gold coin in it, which the lucky recipient of that portion gets to keep (let's hope they didn't break their tooth on it), but to be fair, those traditions aren't very closely followed anymore. Definitely the shop made Xmas puddings do not have gold coins in them 😞
@Huma0 and @Mark116 Christmas pudding it is like oysters some like it and some don't. In my childhood it had threepence and sixpences icooked n it or slipped in prior to serving. When we changed to decimal the 5 cent pieces were made of nickle so for safety they were wrapped in alfoil. The pudding is usually served with custard and cream and sometimes ice cream. Other deserts are fresh fruit salad, triffle and or pavlova usally is served as a smorgasbord or hep yourself.
Traditional Christmas deserts here include:
- Christmas pudding
- Christmas cake
- Yule log
- Mince pies
But now, it's quite common to find things like Stollen or for people to do a caramel or chocolate steamed pudding instead of the traditional one.
I am still in a dilemma about what to make for desert as most of my family do not like the traditional ones and half of the adults do not touch alcohol, so boozy deserts are out. One of my favourites is a very boozy chocolate and coffee trifle, which is usually a crowd pleaser, just not suitable for my family 😞
@Huma0 Cheesecake with a nice fruit topping? Or a different kind of trifle w/no booze? Trifle is a wonderful invention because you can use some odds and ends and as long as your serving dish is pretty, the rest can be haphazard.
Cheesecake is out because some of my family absolutely hate it. In fact, custard, cream or anything like that is also out for some (whereas my mum can't eat any desert without extra lashings of cream). Ice cream is okay, but it's too cold right now.
I make an almond and berry frangipane tart that they all love, and can be served with our without cream/ice cream, but they've had it three times this year already 🙂
I am thinking maybe of a lemon polenta cake. Or maybe an orange version, which might be a bit more festive. Anything with pistachios or almonds is also usually a hit, although we have a couple of family members coming for the first time, so I am not even sure if they are allergic to nuts. Better check!
Your mention of threepence, sixpence and 5 cent pieces raises serious issues with any talk of changing to Digital only currency worldwide.
We simply can't afford to loose 'Real Money' and cash because Christmas Pudding would not be the same.