Last minute English Christmas!

Dec 22nd, 2007, 05:11 AM
  #1  
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Last minute English Christmas!

Just found out that my niece's boyfriend, who is from Bristol, will be joining us for Christmas dinner and I would like to have at least one English tradition (either food or drink) to surprise him with. Thought of Christmas Crackers, are they common throughout England? Any ideas would be most welcome! Merry Christmas to all and thanks!
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 05:14 AM
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Christmas Crackets - if you mean the things that go bang and have a paper hat, joke and toy in the middle. Yes absolutely! EVERYONE has crackers at Christmas, it's practically the law over here.

If you are talking about some type of cookie/biscuit, then no.

Foodwise, Christmas pudding, mince pies but I don't know how easy they are to get over there. Sprouts are very traditional which is odd as few people really like them, it's just one of those things you have to get regardless!
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 05:15 AM
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I meant Christmas Crackers not crackets, sorry. They aren't food or drink though.
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 05:18 AM
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Yes, I realized I kind of mixed up my request...definitely will get the crackers, when do you do them, before dinner after? Do they come filled? Any other things I could have around that he would be delighted to see?
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 05:28 AM
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Gotta top this, want to get actual traditions, sometimes the internet is not exactly accurate! Any ideas flanneruk?
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 05:33 AM
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lvillinois:

Our Christmas dinner in not complete without yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes.

Where are you from lvillinois (Illinois perhaps)? Don't sell your own traditions short, he will enjoy them as a visitor. I know I did my first Christmas away from the UK.

Sandy
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 05:46 AM
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English Christmas Pudding
Mince Pies
Cider -- the alcoholic kind (I ordered apple cider at a Christmas Market and was surprised!)
We've been to a couple of traditional Christmas parties since arriving in the UK and these were the staples.
Good Luck!
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 05:48 AM
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Sandy,
Thanks for the help! Found a recipe for Yorkshire pudding that seems doable and am also using some of Nigella Lawson's ideas for dinner. We are in Illinois and have loads of our own traditions, some Irish, some German, now want to add English to make him feel at home!
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 05:53 AM
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Someone posted this website for Christmas crackers. I've ordered some and they arrived and look good. But I don't think you have time to get them for Christmas Day now.
http://www.oldenglishcrackers.com/
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 06:06 AM
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oddly enough, Costco has the crackers!

OK ...have the food down, what would he like to see as a traditional decoration...or are most of our decorations taken from the English anyway!
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 06:14 AM
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I see crackers for sale just about everywhere in the US these days. Yes, I noticed them at Costco too -- really big ones. And they have them at William's Sonoma, and at WalMart, and at CVS pharmacy, and at Publix supermarkets here in Florida. As I said -- just about everywhere.
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 06:27 AM
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I bet that all families are different, but we pull the crackers after the pudding has come into the room and while the flames are dying down.
Paper hats are donned and stupid jokes are read out while people are eating their pud.
By that stage enough wine has been drunk to make people uninhibited enough to wear a paper hat.
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 06:27 AM
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I had them at Christmas a couple of years ago, no one knew what to do with them! At least we'll have a Brit with us to show us how this year!

Decor ideas???
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 06:32 AM
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Isn't it too late for me to make the pudding, doesn't it have to sit for several months?

However, we know how to drink the wine to make the crackers fun!
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 06:39 AM
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lvillinois:

Our daughter is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Very proud of her.

My recipe for yorkshire pudding: In a 425 oven, heat fat till it sizzles, in a shallow pan about 9"x9" or proper yorkshire tin if you have it. Fat MUST be very hot.

Sift 1 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt and add to 2 unbeaten eggs, 1 cup milk. Beat till it's barely smooth, then pour it into the sizzling fat in the pan. Bake in that same 425 oven till it's puffed and brown, from 30 t0 40 minutes.
Enjoy.

Must tell you when our daughter-in-law joined the family she couldn't wait to have the yorkshire pudding because of how our son spoke about this treat. Not sure what she expected but she couldn't quite understand what all the fuss was about!

Growing up our house had those silly steamers strung about the ceiling. That probably isn't done any more. We did have a live tree but that may have changed as well. MissPrism would know.

Do report back how this all works out.

Sandy
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 06:56 AM
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We always have a real tree, but I think that the artificial ones are gaining ground.
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 07:07 AM
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I live in Illinois(Chicago suburb) and the crackers are always at all TJ Maxx,Marshalls and Tuesday mornings-completely filled and ready to go.Our family always has an English Christmas to honor my side of the family and I always make a crown roast of pork or roast beef with yorkshire pudding. The crown roast(can get at any grocery store already strung with the foil tips) looks great in pictures with the cracker hats on! Have fun-
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 07:32 AM
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I grew up in England, and we never had Yorkshire pudding on Christmas day, because we had turkey. YP goes with roast beef which we had on Christmas Eve. (The day before that was ham.) Our Christmas meal started with smoked salmon, and then went on to turkey, stuffing, baby chipolata sausages wrapped in bacon, roast potatoes, brussels sprouts and another green veg. Dessert, was, of course Christmas pudding (from the batch made the year before). I always thought the best part of the pudding was the rum butter served with it. I believe we opened the crackers before the meal, but the adults had already had mixed drinks in the middle of the morning when we opened presents.

Christmas cake and mince pies were for "tea".
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 07:40 AM
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Never heard of yorkshire pudding for Christmas dinner (but why not if you enjoy it). Turkey is the most common choice in UK for Christmas Day although a few people prefer goose or duck.
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Dec 22nd, 2007, 08:03 AM
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We pull our Christmas crackers after the main course, usually (like MissPrism) after the pud has been placed on the table. Silly hats must be worn by all, and everybody must read out their joke.
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