Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category
Recipes in This Post
One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is eggnog. Spane and I love eggnog. I like mine with a little Jack Daniels, Spane likes his plain. If we have any left, I make French Toast with it. Well, it’s July now, and no hope of going to the market and getting eggnog.
What do you do when there is no eggnog at the store? You make your own. Some eggnog tastes strange – last year I wound up giving one I didn’t like to an unsuspecting neighbor – they liked it, so no harm done. Based on what I made today, I’m confident that this Christmas, I’ll be making my own eggnog. I have a friend who raises chickens, and always has fresh eggs – he even has a big orange chicken that I am waiting to get old – I’ve named her Coq au Vin (seriously).
Dickens’ Christmas Dinner Menu
- Christmas Salad
- Roast Goose with Sour Cherry Sauce
- Chestnut Stuffing
- Wild Rice
- Haricots Verts
- Christmas Pudding
I lucked out this year and got a free range goose! I was so happy when I found it that I was jumping up and down. It was going to be a Dickens’ Christmas after all!
There never was such a goose. Bob said he didn’t believe there ever was such a goose cooked. Its tenderness and flavour, size and cheapness1, were the themes of universal admiration….
In half a minute Mrs Cratchit entered — flushed, but smiling proudly — with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quartern of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top.
`A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us.’
Which all the family re-echoed. `God bless us every one.’ said Tiny Tim, the last of all.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 1843
Getting suet was difficult. Why? Because most people don’t buy suet, so it’s hard to come by. What is suet you ask? Suet is the hard fat around the kidney of a cow or sheep. Suet has a high burning point, so it’s perfect for making such things as Christmas pudding and mince meat.
I had mince meat pie that was made with suet, and it is truly superior to that which does not have it. So many people said “Ew!” to suet that manufacturers removed it from the ingredients, thereby producing a far inferior product. It’s been so vilified that younger butchers don’t even know what it is.
I finally found a butcher who had it, and asked my friend to pick it up for me, as he was closer to the butcher shop. He brought me this mass of fat, and I put it in the refrigerator. So, today, I started actually making the pudding.
I decided to use a recipe from Housekeeping in Old Virgina. Actually, I used a combination of the various recipes. They all had the same thing in common, equal amounts of bread, suet, eggs, brown sugar, and raisins. This was some true eyeballing.
Life has been hectic since then, and Spane really wanted to help me to decorate the Roll Out Cookies. Today was also the last day of school before the winter break, a perfect opportunity to give his teacher and the front office some nice treats.
So, today we’re baking and making candy. I’m writing down the recipes on cards that I’ll give to the children so we won’t have to do anything with the computer except take pictures.
Here’s what we’re going to make:
- Fudge -
- Cookies -
Before we get cooking, here’s a little entertainment for you. Presenting Mr. Leo, Mr. Spane, and Miss Noelle doing their rendition of Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. Amber and I are backup singers (seriously, we’re off camera).
Recipes in this Post
So, this morning, I got a while hair up my rear. Whilst thinking about making waffles for breakfast, I looked in my pantry and spied a jar of peanut butter, a can of Spanish peanuts in their skins, and a box of Dark Hershey’s cocoa. Reese’s peanut butter cups jumped to mind.
The choice of peanut butter is important in this recipe. Don’t go for the extra cheap peanut butter that has no flavor. Since the recipe has Spanish peanuts, you will want to use creamy style peanut butter, Jif is my favorite.