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Mango Prawn and Avocado Salad
Roast Loin of Pork with Apple and Macadamia Forcemeat Stuffing and Cumberland Sauce
Roast Potatoes, Steamed Asparagus and
Carrots with cream
Home made Rum Truffles
Roast Turkey with stuffing
Baked sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top
and a choice of Mincemeat or Pumpkin pie for dessert
Oops!! I almost forgot! Our families favorite dish at every 'big' meal....Apple Salad I don't think we have a turkey dinner without it!
Turkey is the traditional choice for Christmas here, and often for Easter too (we don't have an equivalent of Thanksgiving).
It will be just my mum and me, but I will do it properly:
Smoked salmon with Melba toast
Roast turkey (just a crown)
Chestnut and sausagemeat stuffing
Parsley and lemon stuffing
Chipolatas and bacon rolls
Mince pies with hard sauce (we don't much like christmas pudding)
If it is a big family gathering there would be desserts too, but not this time.
Edited to add: Of course, its the leftovers that are the real treat... cold bread sauce! Turkey sandwiches with stuffing and cranberry sauce! Sneaking a spoonful of hard sauce! Yum
When the holiday is at my house I have served
Roasted Winter Veggies
Mashed Sweet Potato w Maple Syrup
Wild Geese have gotten so plentiful near me that I am very tempted...
We don't. It's just that we're so used to having potatoes with dinner that we do it for holidays as well
But there's nothing special about mashed potatoes, per se. It's just, people love them so... and I suppose many don't make them from scratch, normally. My mother didn't, except at holidays. As fleela says, it's also too normal (and, if I might add, with everything else in a holiday meal, refreshingly bland) an accompaniment to leave out.
Roast potatoes have a rustic elegance, but they're equally easy, I think. :)
Speaking of which, TLCrawford: roast winter vegetables are an absolute favorite of mine! The sweet potatoes, always simple, are in another's province, though.
My husband's family has a Mexican background, so we celebrate Christmas Eve with them and have puerco con salsa verde, carne con chili colorado and chicken with a molé sauce. Accompaniments are corn and flour tortillas, shredded lettuce, salsa fresca, guacamolé, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, olives, corn chips and refried beans.
For dessert it is whatever goodies we have all baked. My daughter is thinking about making a gingerbread tiramisu.
On Christmas day, we usually eat leftovers and goodies from stockings. It's become a sleepy lazy day for us to relax.
The meal is mostly standard British Christmas fare, but has to include a dish of rice and peas (Jamaican) and rice pudding with a single almond in it (Danish). Neither strike me as very festive! But they would not feel it was Christmas without them.
MrsLee: I am very envious. It sounds utterly delicious. :) Also, it's nice to see you.
I wasn't going to cook mashed potatoes for Christmas, but I might do some Pommes Duchesse
Twice Baked Potatoes
Green Salad -I'm bringing the salad
Green Bean Casserole (blech - but it makes some family members happy)
Rolls & Butter
Pecan pie - I'm bringing the pie
Orange Cranberry Torte - I'm bringing the torte
Christmas Day was supposed to be Prime Rib for my husband, daughter, and me, but MiL messed that up... and she always overcooks it... I am not up to making a Turkey Dinner for the three of us, so will have to figure something out.
On the mashed potatoes issue, I always make them from scratch. Butter, milk, salt, and a small amount of pepper. I use a potato masher too, not an electric beater, so they're mashed, not whipped. Of course, here in the south, lots of folks call them creamed potatoes.
Filet Mignon(Mom makes it medium rare; if I get ambitious I'll make a bearnaise sauce)
7 Layer Salad(My Aunt Barb)
Baked sweet potatoes
polish sausage and sauerkraut
Green salad with a basil vinaigrette(my contribution)
fried zucchini and tomaoes(my sister)
someone always shows up with a polish ham.
We usually have about 6-10 people.
My sister is also making a bunch of Christmas cookies.
My wife, I think, is making a cake.
I get off easy on this Holiday but I'm responsible for picking a wine. If anyone has a suggestion for a couple of good $15-$20 bottles of wine I would appreciate the recommendation.
Of course, proper mashed potatoes (Copyright my mother) are made with a potato masher, or possibly a ricer (anything else gives you glue), with butter, milk and seasoning added. The result is piled in an ovenproof dish, the top smoothed/roughened with the tines of a fork, then put in the oven until just browning at the edge.
In our house, we are creatures of habit, and have the same menu every year for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We look forward to it all year, and it saves us the stress of menu planning!
Christmas Eve dinner:
Spiral Honey-Baked Ham (store bought)
Homemade macaroni & cheese
Mixed green salad with red onion, walnuts, dried cherries, blue cheese and balsamic vinaigrette
Christmas cookies (keeping some for Santa, of course!)
Breakfast - Bagels, cream cheese, ham (see above), and fruit salad
Lunch - Split pea soup with ham (made ahead of time using ham bone)
Dinner - Beef Wellington, green beans with slivered almonds, garlic mashed potatoes (there are those potatoes again!). For dessert - sticky toffee pudding (store bought) with vanilla ice cream
Have you a recipe or source of recipe to share?
BTW garlic mashed potatoes are my personal favorite!
Mash has never really appealed to me. I like roast and jacket potatoes about equally.
German Christmas eve dinner is always fish. I can't remember what they do for Xmas day itslef, not a lot IIRC.
I'm going to my niece's for Christmas; she's planning to have both turkey and ham, so I'm sure we'll have the usual accompaniments, including the mashed potatoes. I agree with MrsLee that it's the gravy that makes them a natural part of the holiday meal! I sometimes make them with the addition of an onion and chive cream cheese for flavor, but butter, garlic, and half-and-half are also good.
Don't know about Christmas Eve--I'm driving over with my great-niece, but my niece will actually be meeting her boyfriend's family for the first time, so the great-niece and I will probably be on our own. Pizza or Chinese, maybe? Or the diner?
One of my friends used to prepare a huge Swedish feast, including authentic Swedish meatballs, for her family, but in recent years she pretty much ignores Christmas and celebrates Chrismakah (made up holiday combining Christmas and Chanukah) in February so as to avoid the stress and hype.
I frankly don't have them more than a few times a year (I prefer other root vegetables mashed). But Sarahemmm's remarks regarding them prompted a pretty strong reaction for some reason.
It's one of the paradoxes of food culture that we often overlook or even dismiss simple and common foods. Often, simple and common reflect who we are most clearly. Also, quite often, there's a reason that common foods are common - they can be both delicious and nutritious. That certainly can be the case with Mashed Potatoes.
Make mine coarsely smashed yukon golds with olive oil, salt and pepper. I don't add butter to the potatoes themselves, but garnish with nubs good, fresh butter just at serving time.
A friend of mine (a food chemist) has a long, technical explanation involving the molecular structure of potato starch that justifies his claim that a ricer is preferable to a masher. But since I like large lumps in my potatoes, I'm not as enthusiastic about his solution as he is.
Agree entirely about simple food! I don't often do mashed potatoes nowadays, or the even simpler boiled potatoes, which were standard fare in my childhood. Nothing nicer than a good quality potato, boiled, with a fish dish.
I will be having two weekends of holiday meals to accommodate my children's work and travel schedules. On the weekend before Christmas, I will be making carne asada tacos on Saturday, Sunday will be homemade pizzas with sourdough crust.
Christmas Eve will be either a prime rib roast (if it's raining), or steaks cut from that roast and grilled if the weather permits. Salad with orange segments, toasted pecans and feta cheese, roasted mushrooms and potatoes will accompany it. For dessert, I am trying two recipes I haven't tried before from Christmas Carol Cookbook by Sarah Key. "New World Pecan Bourbon Shortbread" and "Chocolate Brandied-Cherry Christmas Cake." Probably accompanied by eggnog and my persimmon brandy.
Christmas Day we will have sausage gravy with baking-powder biscuits. I don't cook anything as a rule on Christmas, we snack all day on whatever is left.
New Year's Eve, my daughter requested Roast Goose. That's as far as my planning has gone for that weekend. Problem is, I have to work until 5 on New Year's Eve, so I need to keep things as simple as possible.
Note my comment at >2 MarthaJeanne:. By then we were normally three, with me doing most of the cooking. An extra person who would also share cooking tasks made a big difference. Now it's just two, and we take turns. He is very welcome to make as complicated a meal as he wants - if he does the cooking. If I cook there will be some carbohydrate and frozen red cabbage as side dishes.
As I recall we pot roasted it with a port sauce. It was delicious,
When I lived close to family we used to do Christmas Eve rotating among the sisters. My younger sister and I would have fun with the finding recipes an fussing, while my older sister would get a dinner catered from the local grocer (the Jewel, if you're from that part of the American Midwest). Since I've been gone, they go to younger sister's. Christmas morning/day is for the parents and offspring.
Before and at the start of grandchildren, we'd go to my mother's for Christmas morning. She'd make breakfast casseroles of one sort or another, like baked pancakes with sausages embedded or some sort of egg thing. She'd get the recipes out of the newspaper.
I'm mostly alone now on Christmas. My friends and I celebrate together for winter solstice a few days in advance, so Christmas feels anti-climatic. But I like to do something a little special for myself, so I might get a too-expensive steak or roast a duck or a half-duck if I can find one. My grandmother made a transcendent roast duck with apple dressing, but I never attempted one until just a few years ago. I am slowly getting the hang of it, mostly because an online friend who is an amazing cook has shared her recipe.
Re: mashed potatoes. When I was growing up, mashed potatoes were everyday fare, and pretty much the only way Mom served potatoes outside of the occasional baked potato. But there was always gravy. For American Thanksgiving I never saw the point of them, since the gravy could go on the stuffing/dressing and a serving of mashed potatoes only meant less room for said stuffing/dressing. As an adult I rarely made them because they were a lot more work than a simple baked potato. Also, since we had a small household, the protein rarely yielded an acceptable amount of drippings. When it was a holiday, we had my mother make the gravy. I swear I was over 40 before I could produce a gravy anywhere near my mom's. And the mashed potatoes, I love them but make them so seldom, at 67 I still don't think I've gotten the hang of them. I really need to get a ricer.
The absolute best mashed potatoes I ever had were at a restaurant in Germany, somewhere in the general direction of Dortmund. Friends who lived in Germany brought us there after a conference; I have no memory of the name of the town much less the restaurant, but I will not forget those potatoes. The sausages were pretty wonderful, too. My mother's family was Austrian, so I do have a soft spot for German food.
I found a recipe for roast goose with crispy skin by Jacques Pepin online. It is perfect, because most of the cooking is done the day before, then the oven time to crisp the skin is short, so can be done when I get home from work.
Still haven't thought about the sides though. Probably keep them simple like a salad and roasted vegetables. Dessert may be lemon curd tarts. I was given a windfall of lemons yesterday.
Aged Mother insisted on the full British traditional catastrophe, with a gazillion friends and family to "drinks before lunch". They always left late, and so every year there was drama in the kitchen. Now I do need to explain that I grew up in Johannesburg, in the southern hemisphere, so Christmas is about the hottest day in the year. We had heavy velvet drapes in the dining room, which had to be drawn to darken the room so we could see the burning brandy on the Christmas pudding. And the opening windows were tiny and west-facing, so the room was hot and stuffy. Guess why I now avoid Christmas pud wherever possible.
For some years we could get frozen American turkeys -- not that we ever did in our household -- but with the vanishing Rand they seem to have disappeared. Before the frozen birds we had locally produced ones. Summer is not a time when turkeys are at their best, as you all well know. And now you know why IMHO turkeys need mole poblano to make them edible.
Steak and gammon remain more than acceptable, and lack the unfortunate connotations.
I did pick up kumquats and mini avocados as well as the half goose I mentioned at >36 MarthaJeanne:. I would have chosen the duck, but my husband wanted the goose. Goose is good, too. And without him we would have had neither, as they had moved it, and with the bad cold I have, I would not have found it.
Nice Turkey Breast
Fresh Salad ( TBA)
Brownies w/Fresh Mint Gelato