Christmas dinner

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Nov 30th, 2001, 05:37 AM
  #1
Cass
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Christmas dinner

The thread about Thanksgiving got me thinking about traditional Christmas dinners. My in-laws wouldn't consider anything but turkey appropriate. I feel that two turkey dinners within a month is needlessly redundant, and I've started a tradition with my own recipe for a stuffed filet mignon with a wine glaze.

In Europe, I doubt if turkey is commonly on the Christmas feast menu -- please share what is traditional for your area and what you like to serve.
 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 05:48 AM
  #2
Peg
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For many years now, our Christmas dinner has always been Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding. There is a little British shop in Norcross, Ga. (near Atlanta)where I purchase the Christmas Crackers and adults and kids alike have a great time wearing the crowns and playing with the prizes inside. It wouldn't be Christmas for us without this menu!
 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 05:48 AM
  #3
Ana
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Although my parents are originally from Spain, we currently live in Venezuela.
Traditional Xmas meal at home:

Hallacas (corn meal dumplings stuffed with minced meat of pork, beef and chicken, olives, raisins, capers).

Chicken salad (potatoes, chicken, carrots, and apple dressed with mayo/mustard.)

Pan de Jamón: (like a jelly roll of bread and ham, also has olives and raisins).

Pernil: roasted leg of pork sliced and with its natural juices.

Dessert: Traditional fruit cake receipe that has been in my family forever and originally from Spain.

 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 06:19 AM
  #4
mia
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My childhood Christmas dinners,in the South were usually roast beef and trimmings or ham and Grandmother made her own pickle relish and pies.These days, in the NE,I and my family don't eat red meat, so it is usually something "International"-one year I made tons of Mexican dishes,this Christmas will be Lasagna and salads and breads.Italian families have a huge seafood feast on Christmas eve, we just try to get ourselves invited to one of those Our Christmas eating begins first thing in the morning, with something special with coffee while presents are being opened..there is food out all day for munching..then after dinner, we usually find a minute to sit and admire the tree and a fire and have dessert...No wonder January 1st is the beginning of diets if everyone eats like this on Christmas~M
 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 06:26 AM
  #5
david west
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In England turkey is very much the traditional christmas meat, often served with ham and/or pork, stuffing, sausagemeat, cranberry sauce and sprouts (incidentally does anyone eat sprouts at any other time?).

Before we had turkey (indigineous to the New World) goose was the tradition, and is much my favourite (expensive though). Hence the nursery rhyme "Christmas is coming the goose is getting fat".

In the Czech republic carp is the "meat" of choice, and very nice it is too.

The wierdest Christmas dinner I have had was in a kurdish restaurant in Jerusalem. You would never have realised that it was not just another day.
 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 06:29 AM
  #6
Ana
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In itself it is curious, that not only meals differ from country to country, but the celebration dates themselves.

In Vz. we celebrate and open gifts the nite of the 24th. with mass at midnite.
The 25th is spent mostly with the family visiting and enjoying.

In Spain, gifts are oppened in "Reyes" (I believe Jan.7 Mom used to put small presents inside our shoes and it would be a double treat for us.)

In VZ we have also adopted the Xmas tree. It is usually up and decorated on November, and taken down in some homes, even as far as February. There is a festivity on Feb.2 that is called "la paradura del Niño" (the Child stands up", where little baby Jesus is taken down the street with singing and dancing. This is mostly done by the Andean people, not in Caracas where I live.
 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 06:48 AM
  #7
Ana
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Hi David:
What are sprouts?
 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 06:51 AM
  #8
Jenny
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Sprouts are a quite horrid vegetable (I think) which no-one else seems to eat at any other time of year! It's a British traditional thing. BTW we don't have turkey on Christmas Day in our house, but often a duck, or raost beef instead.....
 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 07:14 AM
  #9
xxx
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Might David be referring to Brussels sprouts?
 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 07:20 AM
  #10
Ursula
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Brussels sprouts, yes. Most probably. I love it , but can do it without leek.
 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 08:32 AM
  #11
Ana
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I think the brussel sprouts killed this thread.

Please, more input.
 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 08:48 AM
  #12
michele
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Cass,
The traditional meal in our family is Christmas Eve--southern Italian--fish, fish, and more fish. For the past several years, Christmas Day has been roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, and all the trimmings (usually spinach, carmelized onions, baked potatoes). Although we have roasted a goose (prune and apple stuffing)and also roast port ( red cabbage, apple sauce). Roast Beef is one the menu this year.
 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 08:49 AM
  #13
michele
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make that "pork"
 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 08:49 AM
  #14
Cass
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Ana, I would love your recipes and I'm sure others would as well.

My understanding is that Yorkshire pudding is something starchy that falls somewhere in between popovers and bread - no?

Having a somewhat eclectic set of grandparents, we celebrated "Weinachtsman" on Dec. 5, filling shoes with oats for Santa's reindeer and rewarded, if good, with candy or, if bad, coal and sticks. Christmas eve was oyster stew and Midnight Mass. Christmas Day was stockings and one gift before more church, dinner and the rest of the presents after dinner (roast beef, mashed potatoes, peas, and plum pudding with "hard" brandy sauce). Epiphany (Jan. 6 -- visit of the kings) was the official day for dismantling the tree and house decorations.

But more dinner menus, please!
 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 10:25 AM
  #15
cdf
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Whatever I make for Christmas, I try to keep it colorful..this years lasagne will be spinach and tomato sauce,keeping the colors of the season fresh Italian bread,salads with peppers tomatoes and bocconcinis,appetizers are usually capanota and olives(that I toss in warm olive oil,red pepper flakes and lemon zest)...gets the taste buds hopping! Then dessert is usually apple tarts or something ridiculously high calorie and chocolate...
 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 10:31 AM
  #16
Ess
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I live in New York. My mother and I both feel that turkey on Christmas after having had it on Thanksgiving is unappealing, though the men can eat turkey anytime. I think a turkey Thanksgiving dinner is the all time favorite meal of most American men.

We usually have a Christmas Eve dinner at my mother's home of seafood. After dinner we open presents, sit around, admire the tree, talk and have more drinks or coffee. We're not Italian (everyone always asks me that when I tell them we have fish on Christmas Eve, which is an Italian-American tradition here in NY). We just started this because we have no small children in our immediate family, so therefore no reason to get up early Christmas morning to open presents. My mother and I can't wait to open presents on Christmas Day anyway. We tear into them the night before. Seafood and fish we just happen to enjoy, and we get good seafood in NY. So we start with caviar often, and oysters or sometimes clams on the half shell, smoked salmon, and we continue the fish theme with a main fish dish, perhaps a whole roasted sea bass. We wash all this down with champagne, sometimes followed by other wines. Desserts include a yule log, a chocolate cake shaped like a log and decorated with elves and trees and "snow", and which is orderd from a local baker not homemade, Christmas cookies and pies, usually a mincemeat, and pecan.

Christmas Day at my mother's home is leisurely. We get up late'ish, depending on wine hangover and how many Christmas Eve guests we've had. The last few years we've had more intimate dinners with fewer people. Usually my boyfriend and I go to his parents on Christmas Day. They always have turkey, therefore he gets his second turkey and "fixin's" fix. I eat relatively lightly on Christmas Day (except for the sweets).

So that's our "tradition". It isn't necessarily a regional thing, just what has evolved for us over the years.
 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 01:05 PM
  #17
Pris
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Does anyone else have the tradition of oyster stew on Christmas eve? My roommate's family, from the US's midwest, always served a gruesome version with a thin broth -- seemed to think it was penance somehow, even though oysters weren't cheap. My New England family always made it a rich celebration with celery, cream, potatoes and sherry. We weren't Italian or even Catholic, but I do know it had something to do with not eating meat on the day before Xmas. Can anyone shed light?
 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 01:46 PM
  #18
Marilyn
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My protestant Irish family in western Pennsylvania always had oyster stew on Christmas Eve - and little else. I never knew why except it was tradition. Seems to me that we were supposed to eat lightly before the big feasting on Christmas day.
 
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Nov 30th, 2001, 09:07 PM
  #19
Carin
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Mexican food!

Christmas eve: tamales, beans & rice with my dad's family

Christmas Day: tamales, beans & rice at my mom's

Yummy!
 
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Dec 1st, 2001, 05:35 AM
  #20
Rosemary
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From a Brit living in the US:

Yes, turkey is definitely the traditional British Christmas Dinner. But then we don't celebrate Thanksgiving so it's the only turkey of the year. Served as David says at the top of this thread. The traditional dessert is Christmas Pudding. I have a recipe handed down through my husband's family for generations. You make it with raisins, currants, golden raisins, sugar, breadcrumbs, eggs, suet (that's a problem over here in the US, we have it brought in from the UK!), lemon rind, stout (e.g. Guinness) and milk to make it moist. A few spices too. Put it in a pudding basin and boil it for hours - never fails.

Cass - Yorkshire Pudding is traditionally served with Roast Beef. You make it from a batter much like pancake batter - 4 oz flour, pinch salt, 1 egg, 1/2 pint milk. Beat it up and bake in a tin or in a special Yorkshire Pudding tin a bit like a shallow muffin pan. The US flour is different to our British "plain flour" so the result might not be quite the same.

We are going to Florida over Christmas so had our traditional Christmas Dinner aat home on Thanksgiving Day - turkey with all the extras, the dreaded Brussels Sprouts (don't overcook them then they are fine), Christmas Pudding and crackers (see Peg's posting)- again brought in from England. You have to wear the paper hat from the crackers while you are eating - and drinking of course!!
 
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