Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing Disney’s take on A Christmas Carol featuring Jimmy Carrey, Gary Oldman and my personal favorite, Colin Firth. There are fine performances by all in the revisited tale by Charles Dickens. The film is very dark almost to the degree that one would think that Tim Burton is behind this rather than Robert Zemekis. The visual interpretation of the film is also altered with use of marvelous 3D animation to present a new look at the Christmas holiday classic.
In the story there are number of Christmas celebrations albeit dinners or Christmas parties. My hope was to get a good look at the spread of holiday food Brittish style. My best insight into history of English dinner comes when Tiny Tim’s family wishes they had a turkey instead of a goose. Gain some insight too, read the history of Traditional English Christmas below.- Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor
History of English Christmas and its foods
A traditional English Christmas dinner consists of roast turkey and stuffing, roast potatoes and vegetables, bread sauce, cranberry sauce and gravy, followed by Christmas pudding with brandy butter.
For lots of people, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without a turkey. But in fact, in this country the tradition of eating turkey at Christmas only dates from the 19th century, when it gradually began to replace goose as the Christmas meal. A Christmas tradition involving the turkey is to pull its wishbone. The person left with the larger piece of the bone makes a wish.
Nut roast has become the traditional Christmas dish for many vegetarians . For a festive twist, try adding cranberries (fresh or dried) or chestnuts.
Heaps of vegetables are another traditional part of Christmas lunch. Many people will eat more fruit and vegetables on Christmas day than on any other day of the year.
A vital part of the traditional Christmas is the roast potatoes. Cranberry sauce is great for adding flavour.
Another Christmas classic is the Christmas pudding, with its rich concoction of dried fruits such as raisins, currants and sultanas.
The Christmas pudding known today began life as Christmas porridge called Frumenty, a dish made of wheat or corn boiled up in milk. Now, a Christmas pudding is a brown pudding with raisins, nuts and cherries. It is served with custard or brandy butter. Often brandy is poured over the pudding, which is then set a light as it is carried to the table. The lights are turned off so people can see the flames.
Christmas table should be just as festive as the rest of the home. It can be use pine garland, candles, Christmas ornaments and other special touches to create a memorable holiday table.
When Queen Victoria came to the throne, the roast beef was the centrepiece of the Christmas feast in the North, while the goose was the traditional fare of the South.