Friday, December 18, 2009

Food, Glorious Food

Christmas celebrations in our family features a meal of biblical proportions. There's always a huge turkey, homemade noodles, dressing, green bean casserole, crisp garden salad, sweet potatoes, several varieties of pies and my mother's heavenly fudge.

But in Regency times when A CHRISTMAS BALL is set, roast beef and venison were the main course of the dinner. Of course there might also be goose, capon, pheasant, bustard, swan and/or peacock!

But the real treat of the Regency Christmas meal was the pudding.

A pudding needed to be started before the first Sunday of Advent in order to be considered a true Christmas pudding. It was thought to improve with time. The recipe called for a mixture of thirteen ingredients (to represent Christ and the twelve apostles) which was boiled in a pudding cloth. Usual ingredients included suet, brown sugar, raisins, currants, citron, lemon and orange peels, spices, crumbs, flour, eggs, milk and brandy.

Other Christmas deserts included gingerbread, butter shortbread, trifle and syllabub (a milk, brandy and wine concoction which might be drunk or later whipped, gelled and eaten.) Children delighted in sugar plums and ginger nuts.

What special treats will your family enjoy this Christmas?

If you'd like to learn more about a Regency Christmas, visit my website and follow the bouncing Christmas ball!

PS. If you're in New England, you can see me on Saturday from noon to 4 pm at Well Read Books, 37 Plaistow RD, Plaistow, NH! I'll be signing copies of my books, alongside my critique partner Ashlyn Chase, just in time for all the romance readers on your list. If you're not able to make it, you can still get autographed books at THE BOOK OASIS. They'll ship anywhere! Merry Christmas!

Today is my last day at Chicks of Characterization and it's Friday, my regular posting day for The Chatelaines. Hope to see you there!


Danica Avet said...

Well, I can say we don't do anything as complicated as the pudding. Our menu does have oddities for an American family, I think though. Turkey, ham, roast, gumbo (usually), beans, peas, yams, potato salad, and Korean food...bulgogi, daiji bulgogi, and if we can our aunt to bring it, kimchee. We're an equal opportunity food family :)

EmilyBryan said...

Wonderful, Danica! I love to hear about incorporating new traditions. My sister's family has a Mexican meal with homemade tortillas for their Christmas eve celebration to honor her husband's heritage.

librarypat said...

We make rum balls (but usually use bourbon), swiss meringue horns (a light, wonderful cookie), and sour cream crescents (a melt in your mouth roll) each Christmas. Add gingerbread men to decorate with the grandkids and we are set to go.
Hope you enjoy all your favorite dishes for Christmas.

EmilyBryan said...

Yum! My DH's family always had interesting Christmas treats--lefsa, krumkake, rhubarb pudding (I know, ick! But he loves it.) Swedish meatballs and lutefisk (codfish stored in lye--definitely an acquired taste!)