What’s for dinner?

We're coming to the end of our daily Christmastide posts, and I'm thinking back to Christmas dinner.

We all talk about a "traditional Christmas" but what is that, exactly? In the lead-up to Christmas there was a discussion on facebook that I found so interesting. It was a discussion of what people were planning to serve for Christmas Dinner, and the variety of dishes to be served amazed me.

6a00d8341c84c753ef01a73dd1bf58970d-pi/#In particular I was surprised by the variety of desserts, because to me, there is only one dessert possible for Christmas Dinner and that's Christmas pudding — also called plum pudding, though there are no plums in it. That's not to say there can't be other desserts served as well, but I've always considered Christmas pudding to be essential to any Christmas feast. It's still widely served in Australia (here's an article about it) and I assume also in the UK, but it did surprise me that none of the Americans in that discussion were having Christmas pudding at all — and that many had never even tasted it.

For me, plum pudding is the quintessential dish in any Christmas dinner — even when we were camping at Christmas (which is in the summer in Australia), Mum would still boil the pudding over a campfire, and serve it up hot with cream or custard and for the adults, brandy butter. For days later we'd eat the remainder cold, served in slivers, like a dense, dark fruit cake — rich and delicious. 640px-Christmaspuddingonahook

A Christmas pudding is made of dried fruit (sultanas, currants etc) shreds of preserved citrus peel, flour, sugar, butter and eggs, mixed up well in advance and boiled in a cloth. These days most of us buy our puds pre-made, in a tin or a cloth, and we can microwave them instead of boiling them for hours. A lot of people still make their own and the recipes are a family tradition. It's a very rich mixture. When I was a kid, silver coins were hidden inside the pudding, which added to the excitement.

Side-story here: my first car was a mini, and one time when I went down to stay at my sister's my little nephew (aged about 8) wanted to earn some money, so I told him if he washed the car and cleaned it out, he could keep any loose change he found in it. As it turned out there was quite a lot —I'd forgotten I'd dropped my purse —and there were shrieks of glee as he pounced on coin after coin. At one stage we heard him yell, "This car's better than plum pudding!" Which shows you what he liked best about Christmas pudding.

Of course, every family has its own traditions, and in our multicultural societies, people bring a range of cultural traditions with them and they get merged and adapted. But it struck me as interesting that while I (from the outside looking in) could work out what a traditional Thanksgiving menu would be, Christmas was quite another matter.

So I thought I'd take this opportunity to ask — if you celebrate Christmas, what did you have for  Christmas dinner? And what about Christmas pudding? Or do you have some other traditional or non-traditional dish? What for you is a quintessential Christmas dish? Or are you completely over Christmas and don't want to hear another thing about it for another year?

105 thoughts on “What’s for dinner?”

  1. Because I’m usually a guest at Christmas, the dinner is always different. At my brothers it’s ham, but at my other brother, my SIL makes prime rib with Yorkshire pudding. My Mom favors turkey. This year, I was with friends, and I made a pot roast in a crockpot so no one was stuck with doing dishes.
    As for desert, my Mom makes a huckleberry-blueberry pie. My host this year made a trifle. I love a flan with berries.

    Reply
  2. Because I’m usually a guest at Christmas, the dinner is always different. At my brothers it’s ham, but at my other brother, my SIL makes prime rib with Yorkshire pudding. My Mom favors turkey. This year, I was with friends, and I made a pot roast in a crockpot so no one was stuck with doing dishes.
    As for desert, my Mom makes a huckleberry-blueberry pie. My host this year made a trifle. I love a flan with berries.

    Reply
  3. Because I’m usually a guest at Christmas, the dinner is always different. At my brothers it’s ham, but at my other brother, my SIL makes prime rib with Yorkshire pudding. My Mom favors turkey. This year, I was with friends, and I made a pot roast in a crockpot so no one was stuck with doing dishes.
    As for desert, my Mom makes a huckleberry-blueberry pie. My host this year made a trifle. I love a flan with berries.

    Reply
  4. Because I’m usually a guest at Christmas, the dinner is always different. At my brothers it’s ham, but at my other brother, my SIL makes prime rib with Yorkshire pudding. My Mom favors turkey. This year, I was with friends, and I made a pot roast in a crockpot so no one was stuck with doing dishes.
    As for desert, my Mom makes a huckleberry-blueberry pie. My host this year made a trifle. I love a flan with berries.

    Reply
  5. Because I’m usually a guest at Christmas, the dinner is always different. At my brothers it’s ham, but at my other brother, my SIL makes prime rib with Yorkshire pudding. My Mom favors turkey. This year, I was with friends, and I made a pot roast in a crockpot so no one was stuck with doing dishes.
    As for desert, my Mom makes a huckleberry-blueberry pie. My host this year made a trifle. I love a flan with berries.

    Reply
  6. That all sounds delicious, Shannon. I'm a big fan of my own slow cooker, though I didn't make Christmas dinner in it this year.
    I've never eaten huckleberries, but any kind of berry pie or berries with flan sounds yum to me.

    Reply
  7. That all sounds delicious, Shannon. I'm a big fan of my own slow cooker, though I didn't make Christmas dinner in it this year.
    I've never eaten huckleberries, but any kind of berry pie or berries with flan sounds yum to me.

    Reply
  8. That all sounds delicious, Shannon. I'm a big fan of my own slow cooker, though I didn't make Christmas dinner in it this year.
    I've never eaten huckleberries, but any kind of berry pie or berries with flan sounds yum to me.

    Reply
  9. That all sounds delicious, Shannon. I'm a big fan of my own slow cooker, though I didn't make Christmas dinner in it this year.
    I've never eaten huckleberries, but any kind of berry pie or berries with flan sounds yum to me.

    Reply
  10. That all sounds delicious, Shannon. I'm a big fan of my own slow cooker, though I didn't make Christmas dinner in it this year.
    I've never eaten huckleberries, but any kind of berry pie or berries with flan sounds yum to me.

    Reply
  11. I like Christmas pud, but these days it’s just too much after a Christmas main course. Don’t do that, either, but if I did…. When I was young it was full Christmas dinner including pud — with brandy butter, of course, though as children we got custard. Then for tea, or evening meal, salad and trifle. I do love a good trifle, but what a day it was. Oh, there was the Christmas cake (with marzipan and icing) in the afternoon, and any sweet stuff we got in our stockings.
    How did we survive?

    Reply
  12. I like Christmas pud, but these days it’s just too much after a Christmas main course. Don’t do that, either, but if I did…. When I was young it was full Christmas dinner including pud — with brandy butter, of course, though as children we got custard. Then for tea, or evening meal, salad and trifle. I do love a good trifle, but what a day it was. Oh, there was the Christmas cake (with marzipan and icing) in the afternoon, and any sweet stuff we got in our stockings.
    How did we survive?

    Reply
  13. I like Christmas pud, but these days it’s just too much after a Christmas main course. Don’t do that, either, but if I did…. When I was young it was full Christmas dinner including pud — with brandy butter, of course, though as children we got custard. Then for tea, or evening meal, salad and trifle. I do love a good trifle, but what a day it was. Oh, there was the Christmas cake (with marzipan and icing) in the afternoon, and any sweet stuff we got in our stockings.
    How did we survive?

    Reply
  14. I like Christmas pud, but these days it’s just too much after a Christmas main course. Don’t do that, either, but if I did…. When I was young it was full Christmas dinner including pud — with brandy butter, of course, though as children we got custard. Then for tea, or evening meal, salad and trifle. I do love a good trifle, but what a day it was. Oh, there was the Christmas cake (with marzipan and icing) in the afternoon, and any sweet stuff we got in our stockings.
    How did we survive?

    Reply
  15. I like Christmas pud, but these days it’s just too much after a Christmas main course. Don’t do that, either, but if I did…. When I was young it was full Christmas dinner including pud — with brandy butter, of course, though as children we got custard. Then for tea, or evening meal, salad and trifle. I do love a good trifle, but what a day it was. Oh, there was the Christmas cake (with marzipan and icing) in the afternoon, and any sweet stuff we got in our stockings.
    How did we survive?

    Reply
  16. When I was a teenager, we decided to make a plum pudding for Christmas dinner. We made it from scratch, flamed it up, served it with brandy butter, and decided it was one of those weird things liked baked beans on toast that only the Brits could like.
    We did like the brandy butter though.

    Reply
  17. When I was a teenager, we decided to make a plum pudding for Christmas dinner. We made it from scratch, flamed it up, served it with brandy butter, and decided it was one of those weird things liked baked beans on toast that only the Brits could like.
    We did like the brandy butter though.

    Reply
  18. When I was a teenager, we decided to make a plum pudding for Christmas dinner. We made it from scratch, flamed it up, served it with brandy butter, and decided it was one of those weird things liked baked beans on toast that only the Brits could like.
    We did like the brandy butter though.

    Reply
  19. When I was a teenager, we decided to make a plum pudding for Christmas dinner. We made it from scratch, flamed it up, served it with brandy butter, and decided it was one of those weird things liked baked beans on toast that only the Brits could like.
    We did like the brandy butter though.

    Reply
  20. When I was a teenager, we decided to make a plum pudding for Christmas dinner. We made it from scratch, flamed it up, served it with brandy butter, and decided it was one of those weird things liked baked beans on toast that only the Brits could like.
    We did like the brandy butter though.

    Reply
  21. I am a huge fan of a Christmas pudding and mince pies. In my family that means I am an outcast. Our family has a Christmas tradition of a picnic – we have ham and potato salad and which ever extras we decide we need. This year, the dessert was a lovely chocolate cream pie.

    Reply
  22. I am a huge fan of a Christmas pudding and mince pies. In my family that means I am an outcast. Our family has a Christmas tradition of a picnic – we have ham and potato salad and which ever extras we decide we need. This year, the dessert was a lovely chocolate cream pie.

    Reply
  23. I am a huge fan of a Christmas pudding and mince pies. In my family that means I am an outcast. Our family has a Christmas tradition of a picnic – we have ham and potato salad and which ever extras we decide we need. This year, the dessert was a lovely chocolate cream pie.

    Reply
  24. I am a huge fan of a Christmas pudding and mince pies. In my family that means I am an outcast. Our family has a Christmas tradition of a picnic – we have ham and potato salad and which ever extras we decide we need. This year, the dessert was a lovely chocolate cream pie.

    Reply
  25. I am a huge fan of a Christmas pudding and mince pies. In my family that means I am an outcast. Our family has a Christmas tradition of a picnic – we have ham and potato salad and which ever extras we decide we need. This year, the dessert was a lovely chocolate cream pie.

    Reply
  26. Since I’ve lived in England, not to mention reading a zillion books by Brits, I’ve been exposed to the Christmas pudding, but I can’t say I’ve taken a fancy to it. Too rich. Give me a nice fruit pie any day! The main course is generally going to be ham.

    Reply
  27. Since I’ve lived in England, not to mention reading a zillion books by Brits, I’ve been exposed to the Christmas pudding, but I can’t say I’ve taken a fancy to it. Too rich. Give me a nice fruit pie any day! The main course is generally going to be ham.

    Reply
  28. Since I’ve lived in England, not to mention reading a zillion books by Brits, I’ve been exposed to the Christmas pudding, but I can’t say I’ve taken a fancy to it. Too rich. Give me a nice fruit pie any day! The main course is generally going to be ham.

    Reply
  29. Since I’ve lived in England, not to mention reading a zillion books by Brits, I’ve been exposed to the Christmas pudding, but I can’t say I’ve taken a fancy to it. Too rich. Give me a nice fruit pie any day! The main course is generally going to be ham.

    Reply
  30. Since I’ve lived in England, not to mention reading a zillion books by Brits, I’ve been exposed to the Christmas pudding, but I can’t say I’ve taken a fancy to it. Too rich. Give me a nice fruit pie any day! The main course is generally going to be ham.

    Reply
  31. It was only when I spent Christmas with friends rather than family that I realised that there is more than one way to do Christmas! I thought everybody put all their presents into a large stocking, which was raided as soon as it was light (or earlier if you could get away with it). Ditto many other aspects, including what was eaten (and when).
    I have come to the conclusion that each family has its traditions, which are modified on marriage so that neither person has to depart too far from the ones they grew up with.

    Reply
  32. It was only when I spent Christmas with friends rather than family that I realised that there is more than one way to do Christmas! I thought everybody put all their presents into a large stocking, which was raided as soon as it was light (or earlier if you could get away with it). Ditto many other aspects, including what was eaten (and when).
    I have come to the conclusion that each family has its traditions, which are modified on marriage so that neither person has to depart too far from the ones they grew up with.

    Reply
  33. It was only when I spent Christmas with friends rather than family that I realised that there is more than one way to do Christmas! I thought everybody put all their presents into a large stocking, which was raided as soon as it was light (or earlier if you could get away with it). Ditto many other aspects, including what was eaten (and when).
    I have come to the conclusion that each family has its traditions, which are modified on marriage so that neither person has to depart too far from the ones they grew up with.

    Reply
  34. It was only when I spent Christmas with friends rather than family that I realised that there is more than one way to do Christmas! I thought everybody put all their presents into a large stocking, which was raided as soon as it was light (or earlier if you could get away with it). Ditto many other aspects, including what was eaten (and when).
    I have come to the conclusion that each family has its traditions, which are modified on marriage so that neither person has to depart too far from the ones they grew up with.

    Reply
  35. It was only when I spent Christmas with friends rather than family that I realised that there is more than one way to do Christmas! I thought everybody put all their presents into a large stocking, which was raided as soon as it was light (or earlier if you could get away with it). Ditto many other aspects, including what was eaten (and when).
    I have come to the conclusion that each family has its traditions, which are modified on marriage so that neither person has to depart too far from the ones they grew up with.

    Reply
  36. Jo, I suspect they were smaller servings, or maybe we had more energy as a kid. We always used to delay the pud course until after presents, so there was time for the main meal to go down.
    I never much liked marzipan, though I do love Christmas cake. And you forgot mince pies — still love a good mince pie, though these days I don't often bake them, either — the bakeries and supermarkets do a pretty good job.

    Reply
  37. Jo, I suspect they were smaller servings, or maybe we had more energy as a kid. We always used to delay the pud course until after presents, so there was time for the main meal to go down.
    I never much liked marzipan, though I do love Christmas cake. And you forgot mince pies — still love a good mince pie, though these days I don't often bake them, either — the bakeries and supermarkets do a pretty good job.

    Reply
  38. Jo, I suspect they were smaller servings, or maybe we had more energy as a kid. We always used to delay the pud course until after presents, so there was time for the main meal to go down.
    I never much liked marzipan, though I do love Christmas cake. And you forgot mince pies — still love a good mince pie, though these days I don't often bake them, either — the bakeries and supermarkets do a pretty good job.

    Reply
  39. Jo, I suspect they were smaller servings, or maybe we had more energy as a kid. We always used to delay the pud course until after presents, so there was time for the main meal to go down.
    I never much liked marzipan, though I do love Christmas cake. And you forgot mince pies — still love a good mince pie, though these days I don't often bake them, either — the bakeries and supermarkets do a pretty good job.

    Reply
  40. Jo, I suspect they were smaller servings, or maybe we had more energy as a kid. We always used to delay the pud course until after presents, so there was time for the main meal to go down.
    I never much liked marzipan, though I do love Christmas cake. And you forgot mince pies — still love a good mince pie, though these days I don't often bake them, either — the bakeries and supermarkets do a pretty good job.

    Reply
  41. Annette, the chocolate cream pie was delicious, I'm sure, but it's just not Christmas, is it? You can have chocolate cream pie any time, but plum pud is only at Christmas. I've had picnics for Christmas before, too and I really enjoy it, but still, there must be pud. Or at least mince pies and the pud kept for the evening meal. 😉

    Reply
  42. Annette, the chocolate cream pie was delicious, I'm sure, but it's just not Christmas, is it? You can have chocolate cream pie any time, but plum pud is only at Christmas. I've had picnics for Christmas before, too and I really enjoy it, but still, there must be pud. Or at least mince pies and the pud kept for the evening meal. 😉

    Reply
  43. Annette, the chocolate cream pie was delicious, I'm sure, but it's just not Christmas, is it? You can have chocolate cream pie any time, but plum pud is only at Christmas. I've had picnics for Christmas before, too and I really enjoy it, but still, there must be pud. Or at least mince pies and the pud kept for the evening meal. 😉

    Reply
  44. Annette, the chocolate cream pie was delicious, I'm sure, but it's just not Christmas, is it? You can have chocolate cream pie any time, but plum pud is only at Christmas. I've had picnics for Christmas before, too and I really enjoy it, but still, there must be pud. Or at least mince pies and the pud kept for the evening meal. 😉

    Reply
  45. Annette, the chocolate cream pie was delicious, I'm sure, but it's just not Christmas, is it? You can have chocolate cream pie any time, but plum pud is only at Christmas. I've had picnics for Christmas before, too and I really enjoy it, but still, there must be pud. Or at least mince pies and the pud kept for the evening meal. 😉

    Reply
  46. I think that's right, Helena. When I was a kid Christmas was usually at my grandma's house, and even then, each family had already approached the presents differently — in mine we our own little Christmas stocking, but the main presents had to wait until after church and then be opened after the first part of the meal, but some of my cousins got to rip into ALL of theirs at dawn. I always so envious, but I suppose waiting did add to the anticipation.

    Reply
  47. I think that's right, Helena. When I was a kid Christmas was usually at my grandma's house, and even then, each family had already approached the presents differently — in mine we our own little Christmas stocking, but the main presents had to wait until after church and then be opened after the first part of the meal, but some of my cousins got to rip into ALL of theirs at dawn. I always so envious, but I suppose waiting did add to the anticipation.

    Reply
  48. I think that's right, Helena. When I was a kid Christmas was usually at my grandma's house, and even then, each family had already approached the presents differently — in mine we our own little Christmas stocking, but the main presents had to wait until after church and then be opened after the first part of the meal, but some of my cousins got to rip into ALL of theirs at dawn. I always so envious, but I suppose waiting did add to the anticipation.

    Reply
  49. I think that's right, Helena. When I was a kid Christmas was usually at my grandma's house, and even then, each family had already approached the presents differently — in mine we our own little Christmas stocking, but the main presents had to wait until after church and then be opened after the first part of the meal, but some of my cousins got to rip into ALL of theirs at dawn. I always so envious, but I suppose waiting did add to the anticipation.

    Reply
  50. I think that's right, Helena. When I was a kid Christmas was usually at my grandma's house, and even then, each family had already approached the presents differently — in mine we our own little Christmas stocking, but the main presents had to wait until after church and then be opened after the first part of the meal, but some of my cousins got to rip into ALL of theirs at dawn. I always so envious, but I suppose waiting did add to the anticipation.

    Reply
  51. I had two Christmas dinners this year, one with family a few days before Christmas and one with friends on Christmas Day. Both featured prawns and oysters for the entree (appetiser for the Americans). I love peeling and devouring prawns at Christmas. Quintessentially Australian for me. My mother used to cook the best Christmas pud in the world. It actually came from my father’s side of the family but my mother perfected it. It had Parisian essence in it. Remember that? Since she died, my brother in law has taken over pud duties very well. We have it every year, after seafood, mangos and this year fillet of beef with béarnaise sauce. We eat well in my family. 🙂

    Reply
  52. I had two Christmas dinners this year, one with family a few days before Christmas and one with friends on Christmas Day. Both featured prawns and oysters for the entree (appetiser for the Americans). I love peeling and devouring prawns at Christmas. Quintessentially Australian for me. My mother used to cook the best Christmas pud in the world. It actually came from my father’s side of the family but my mother perfected it. It had Parisian essence in it. Remember that? Since she died, my brother in law has taken over pud duties very well. We have it every year, after seafood, mangos and this year fillet of beef with béarnaise sauce. We eat well in my family. 🙂

    Reply
  53. I had two Christmas dinners this year, one with family a few days before Christmas and one with friends on Christmas Day. Both featured prawns and oysters for the entree (appetiser for the Americans). I love peeling and devouring prawns at Christmas. Quintessentially Australian for me. My mother used to cook the best Christmas pud in the world. It actually came from my father’s side of the family but my mother perfected it. It had Parisian essence in it. Remember that? Since she died, my brother in law has taken over pud duties very well. We have it every year, after seafood, mangos and this year fillet of beef with béarnaise sauce. We eat well in my family. 🙂

    Reply
  54. I had two Christmas dinners this year, one with family a few days before Christmas and one with friends on Christmas Day. Both featured prawns and oysters for the entree (appetiser for the Americans). I love peeling and devouring prawns at Christmas. Quintessentially Australian for me. My mother used to cook the best Christmas pud in the world. It actually came from my father’s side of the family but my mother perfected it. It had Parisian essence in it. Remember that? Since she died, my brother in law has taken over pud duties very well. We have it every year, after seafood, mangos and this year fillet of beef with béarnaise sauce. We eat well in my family. 🙂

    Reply
  55. I had two Christmas dinners this year, one with family a few days before Christmas and one with friends on Christmas Day. Both featured prawns and oysters for the entree (appetiser for the Americans). I love peeling and devouring prawns at Christmas. Quintessentially Australian for me. My mother used to cook the best Christmas pud in the world. It actually came from my father’s side of the family but my mother perfected it. It had Parisian essence in it. Remember that? Since she died, my brother in law has taken over pud duties very well. We have it every year, after seafood, mangos and this year fillet of beef with béarnaise sauce. We eat well in my family. 🙂

    Reply
  56. Sounds utterly gorgeous, Keziah — you do eat well. For my family, Christmas also starts with seafood. My grandad was a keen fisherman in his retirement and used to catch crayfish (lobsters) and the arrival an Nan and Pop's house was always enlivened by the big tub of live crays that sat out the back in the garage, and the occasional one that escaped, possibly assisted by a male cousin who then used it to frighten the female cousins. These days it's bought prawns and lobster, and I'm a dab hand at peeling prawns, too. My bother-in-law is the pud maker — a recipe handed down from his family — and Dad always had loads of Rotary (fundraising) Xmas puds that he used to give to everyone, so I've never actually made a pud from scratch. Might have to rectify that.

    Reply
  57. Sounds utterly gorgeous, Keziah — you do eat well. For my family, Christmas also starts with seafood. My grandad was a keen fisherman in his retirement and used to catch crayfish (lobsters) and the arrival an Nan and Pop's house was always enlivened by the big tub of live crays that sat out the back in the garage, and the occasional one that escaped, possibly assisted by a male cousin who then used it to frighten the female cousins. These days it's bought prawns and lobster, and I'm a dab hand at peeling prawns, too. My bother-in-law is the pud maker — a recipe handed down from his family — and Dad always had loads of Rotary (fundraising) Xmas puds that he used to give to everyone, so I've never actually made a pud from scratch. Might have to rectify that.

    Reply
  58. Sounds utterly gorgeous, Keziah — you do eat well. For my family, Christmas also starts with seafood. My grandad was a keen fisherman in his retirement and used to catch crayfish (lobsters) and the arrival an Nan and Pop's house was always enlivened by the big tub of live crays that sat out the back in the garage, and the occasional one that escaped, possibly assisted by a male cousin who then used it to frighten the female cousins. These days it's bought prawns and lobster, and I'm a dab hand at peeling prawns, too. My bother-in-law is the pud maker — a recipe handed down from his family — and Dad always had loads of Rotary (fundraising) Xmas puds that he used to give to everyone, so I've never actually made a pud from scratch. Might have to rectify that.

    Reply
  59. Sounds utterly gorgeous, Keziah — you do eat well. For my family, Christmas also starts with seafood. My grandad was a keen fisherman in his retirement and used to catch crayfish (lobsters) and the arrival an Nan and Pop's house was always enlivened by the big tub of live crays that sat out the back in the garage, and the occasional one that escaped, possibly assisted by a male cousin who then used it to frighten the female cousins. These days it's bought prawns and lobster, and I'm a dab hand at peeling prawns, too. My bother-in-law is the pud maker — a recipe handed down from his family — and Dad always had loads of Rotary (fundraising) Xmas puds that he used to give to everyone, so I've never actually made a pud from scratch. Might have to rectify that.

    Reply
  60. Sounds utterly gorgeous, Keziah — you do eat well. For my family, Christmas also starts with seafood. My grandad was a keen fisherman in his retirement and used to catch crayfish (lobsters) and the arrival an Nan and Pop's house was always enlivened by the big tub of live crays that sat out the back in the garage, and the occasional one that escaped, possibly assisted by a male cousin who then used it to frighten the female cousins. These days it's bought prawns and lobster, and I'm a dab hand at peeling prawns, too. My bother-in-law is the pud maker — a recipe handed down from his family — and Dad always had loads of Rotary (fundraising) Xmas puds that he used to give to everyone, so I've never actually made a pud from scratch. Might have to rectify that.

    Reply
  61. We brought back 4 plum puddings from our recent trip to England–3 from a stall at the Bath Xmas Market and one from the Heathrow Harrods where we were lured by a jar of free brandy butter. So far we’ve managed to eat two of them with the friends who came for 5 days around New Year’s. Not sure what’s happening with the others. Maybe next Christmas? 😉

    Reply
  62. We brought back 4 plum puddings from our recent trip to England–3 from a stall at the Bath Xmas Market and one from the Heathrow Harrods where we were lured by a jar of free brandy butter. So far we’ve managed to eat two of them with the friends who came for 5 days around New Year’s. Not sure what’s happening with the others. Maybe next Christmas? 😉

    Reply
  63. We brought back 4 plum puddings from our recent trip to England–3 from a stall at the Bath Xmas Market and one from the Heathrow Harrods where we were lured by a jar of free brandy butter. So far we’ve managed to eat two of them with the friends who came for 5 days around New Year’s. Not sure what’s happening with the others. Maybe next Christmas? 😉

    Reply
  64. We brought back 4 plum puddings from our recent trip to England–3 from a stall at the Bath Xmas Market and one from the Heathrow Harrods where we were lured by a jar of free brandy butter. So far we’ve managed to eat two of them with the friends who came for 5 days around New Year’s. Not sure what’s happening with the others. Maybe next Christmas? 😉

    Reply
  65. We brought back 4 plum puddings from our recent trip to England–3 from a stall at the Bath Xmas Market and one from the Heathrow Harrods where we were lured by a jar of free brandy butter. So far we’ve managed to eat two of them with the friends who came for 5 days around New Year’s. Not sure what’s happening with the others. Maybe next Christmas? 😉

    Reply
  66. Being a “Yank”, I have never been exposed to pium pudding; however, from the picture and description, it strongly resembles the American fruitcake. These are dense, rich cakes loaded with raisins, currents (and other dried fruits), candied fruits and citron (candied citrus peel) . They are baked in round or rectangular loaf pans about 1 or 2 months before Christmas then allowed to “cure” (usually being basted with spirits during the process). I happen to like a fruitcake. but over the years they have become a bit of a joke among many non-traditionalists. I also am a fan of mincemeat pie and used to make my own mincemeat. This year I had venison mincemeat (from a friend) which was fabulous. Dinner always varies, but the fun and laughter NEVER changes.

    Reply
  67. Being a “Yank”, I have never been exposed to pium pudding; however, from the picture and description, it strongly resembles the American fruitcake. These are dense, rich cakes loaded with raisins, currents (and other dried fruits), candied fruits and citron (candied citrus peel) . They are baked in round or rectangular loaf pans about 1 or 2 months before Christmas then allowed to “cure” (usually being basted with spirits during the process). I happen to like a fruitcake. but over the years they have become a bit of a joke among many non-traditionalists. I also am a fan of mincemeat pie and used to make my own mincemeat. This year I had venison mincemeat (from a friend) which was fabulous. Dinner always varies, but the fun and laughter NEVER changes.

    Reply
  68. Being a “Yank”, I have never been exposed to pium pudding; however, from the picture and description, it strongly resembles the American fruitcake. These are dense, rich cakes loaded with raisins, currents (and other dried fruits), candied fruits and citron (candied citrus peel) . They are baked in round or rectangular loaf pans about 1 or 2 months before Christmas then allowed to “cure” (usually being basted with spirits during the process). I happen to like a fruitcake. but over the years they have become a bit of a joke among many non-traditionalists. I also am a fan of mincemeat pie and used to make my own mincemeat. This year I had venison mincemeat (from a friend) which was fabulous. Dinner always varies, but the fun and laughter NEVER changes.

    Reply
  69. Being a “Yank”, I have never been exposed to pium pudding; however, from the picture and description, it strongly resembles the American fruitcake. These are dense, rich cakes loaded with raisins, currents (and other dried fruits), candied fruits and citron (candied citrus peel) . They are baked in round or rectangular loaf pans about 1 or 2 months before Christmas then allowed to “cure” (usually being basted with spirits during the process). I happen to like a fruitcake. but over the years they have become a bit of a joke among many non-traditionalists. I also am a fan of mincemeat pie and used to make my own mincemeat. This year I had venison mincemeat (from a friend) which was fabulous. Dinner always varies, but the fun and laughter NEVER changes.

    Reply
  70. Being a “Yank”, I have never been exposed to pium pudding; however, from the picture and description, it strongly resembles the American fruitcake. These are dense, rich cakes loaded with raisins, currents (and other dried fruits), candied fruits and citron (candied citrus peel) . They are baked in round or rectangular loaf pans about 1 or 2 months before Christmas then allowed to “cure” (usually being basted with spirits during the process). I happen to like a fruitcake. but over the years they have become a bit of a joke among many non-traditionalists. I also am a fan of mincemeat pie and used to make my own mincemeat. This year I had venison mincemeat (from a friend) which was fabulous. Dinner always varies, but the fun and laughter NEVER changes.

    Reply
  71. Thanks, Claire, this is what we call a Christmas cake — denser and richer than normal fruitcake and left to ripen a bit before eating. Plum pudding and Christmas Cake — and for that matter mince pies — have similar ingredients — all dried fruit but the textures and tastes are all a bit different. Fruitcake is very popular here — I've never understood whey so many Americans seem to think it a joke. I love it. *g* And while in the olden days mince pies used to contain meat as well as fruit, these days they're all entirely filled with fruit, esp dried fruit and are quite a different kind of pie from the savory kind that contains minced meat. Mostly they're small tartlets or pies. Here's a recipe http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2174/unbelievably-easy-mince-pies and here's another. http://allrecipes.com.au/recipe/9230/fruit-mince-pies.aspx

    Reply
  72. Thanks, Claire, this is what we call a Christmas cake — denser and richer than normal fruitcake and left to ripen a bit before eating. Plum pudding and Christmas Cake — and for that matter mince pies — have similar ingredients — all dried fruit but the textures and tastes are all a bit different. Fruitcake is very popular here — I've never understood whey so many Americans seem to think it a joke. I love it. *g* And while in the olden days mince pies used to contain meat as well as fruit, these days they're all entirely filled with fruit, esp dried fruit and are quite a different kind of pie from the savory kind that contains minced meat. Mostly they're small tartlets or pies. Here's a recipe http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2174/unbelievably-easy-mince-pies and here's another. http://allrecipes.com.au/recipe/9230/fruit-mince-pies.aspx

    Reply
  73. Thanks, Claire, this is what we call a Christmas cake — denser and richer than normal fruitcake and left to ripen a bit before eating. Plum pudding and Christmas Cake — and for that matter mince pies — have similar ingredients — all dried fruit but the textures and tastes are all a bit different. Fruitcake is very popular here — I've never understood whey so many Americans seem to think it a joke. I love it. *g* And while in the olden days mince pies used to contain meat as well as fruit, these days they're all entirely filled with fruit, esp dried fruit and are quite a different kind of pie from the savory kind that contains minced meat. Mostly they're small tartlets or pies. Here's a recipe http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2174/unbelievably-easy-mince-pies and here's another. http://allrecipes.com.au/recipe/9230/fruit-mince-pies.aspx

    Reply
  74. Thanks, Claire, this is what we call a Christmas cake — denser and richer than normal fruitcake and left to ripen a bit before eating. Plum pudding and Christmas Cake — and for that matter mince pies — have similar ingredients — all dried fruit but the textures and tastes are all a bit different. Fruitcake is very popular here — I've never understood whey so many Americans seem to think it a joke. I love it. *g* And while in the olden days mince pies used to contain meat as well as fruit, these days they're all entirely filled with fruit, esp dried fruit and are quite a different kind of pie from the savory kind that contains minced meat. Mostly they're small tartlets or pies. Here's a recipe http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2174/unbelievably-easy-mince-pies and here's another. http://allrecipes.com.au/recipe/9230/fruit-mince-pies.aspx

    Reply
  75. Thanks, Claire, this is what we call a Christmas cake — denser and richer than normal fruitcake and left to ripen a bit before eating. Plum pudding and Christmas Cake — and for that matter mince pies — have similar ingredients — all dried fruit but the textures and tastes are all a bit different. Fruitcake is very popular here — I've never understood whey so many Americans seem to think it a joke. I love it. *g* And while in the olden days mince pies used to contain meat as well as fruit, these days they're all entirely filled with fruit, esp dried fruit and are quite a different kind of pie from the savory kind that contains minced meat. Mostly they're small tartlets or pies. Here's a recipe http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2174/unbelievably-easy-mince-pies and here's another. http://allrecipes.com.au/recipe/9230/fruit-mince-pies.aspx

    Reply
  76. Hope you're enjoying them, Maggie. And they're delicious any time, not just for Christmas. Try serving them with hot custard and cream or icecream. And somewhere I have a lovely recipe for brandy cream — similar to your brandy butter, easy and delicious. If I find it, I'll send it to you.

    Reply
  77. Hope you're enjoying them, Maggie. And they're delicious any time, not just for Christmas. Try serving them with hot custard and cream or icecream. And somewhere I have a lovely recipe for brandy cream — similar to your brandy butter, easy and delicious. If I find it, I'll send it to you.

    Reply
  78. Hope you're enjoying them, Maggie. And they're delicious any time, not just for Christmas. Try serving them with hot custard and cream or icecream. And somewhere I have a lovely recipe for brandy cream — similar to your brandy butter, easy and delicious. If I find it, I'll send it to you.

    Reply
  79. Hope you're enjoying them, Maggie. And they're delicious any time, not just for Christmas. Try serving them with hot custard and cream or icecream. And somewhere I have a lovely recipe for brandy cream — similar to your brandy butter, easy and delicious. If I find it, I'll send it to you.

    Reply
  80. Hope you're enjoying them, Maggie. And they're delicious any time, not just for Christmas. Try serving them with hot custard and cream or icecream. And somewhere I have a lovely recipe for brandy cream — similar to your brandy butter, easy and delicious. If I find it, I'll send it to you.

    Reply
  81. Here in the US, Christmas food traditions seem more individualized: family traditions rather than national ones. My family always had French onion soup and Dungeness crab on Christmas Eve because that’s what my mother’s family had. I’ve continued the tradition with my husband.
    As for dessert, I’m a crazy baker so I usually take the opportunity of having guests and a lot of time to make something spectacular. This year was a Vanilla Fleur de Sel, Caramel and Chocolate Dobos Torte. It was my first time making sugar decorations and I can’t wait to try it again. Sadly, plum pudding has never appealed. It must be one of those things you have to have grown up with, like Oreo cookies.

    Reply
  82. Here in the US, Christmas food traditions seem more individualized: family traditions rather than national ones. My family always had French onion soup and Dungeness crab on Christmas Eve because that’s what my mother’s family had. I’ve continued the tradition with my husband.
    As for dessert, I’m a crazy baker so I usually take the opportunity of having guests and a lot of time to make something spectacular. This year was a Vanilla Fleur de Sel, Caramel and Chocolate Dobos Torte. It was my first time making sugar decorations and I can’t wait to try it again. Sadly, plum pudding has never appealed. It must be one of those things you have to have grown up with, like Oreo cookies.

    Reply
  83. Here in the US, Christmas food traditions seem more individualized: family traditions rather than national ones. My family always had French onion soup and Dungeness crab on Christmas Eve because that’s what my mother’s family had. I’ve continued the tradition with my husband.
    As for dessert, I’m a crazy baker so I usually take the opportunity of having guests and a lot of time to make something spectacular. This year was a Vanilla Fleur de Sel, Caramel and Chocolate Dobos Torte. It was my first time making sugar decorations and I can’t wait to try it again. Sadly, plum pudding has never appealed. It must be one of those things you have to have grown up with, like Oreo cookies.

    Reply
  84. Here in the US, Christmas food traditions seem more individualized: family traditions rather than national ones. My family always had French onion soup and Dungeness crab on Christmas Eve because that’s what my mother’s family had. I’ve continued the tradition with my husband.
    As for dessert, I’m a crazy baker so I usually take the opportunity of having guests and a lot of time to make something spectacular. This year was a Vanilla Fleur de Sel, Caramel and Chocolate Dobos Torte. It was my first time making sugar decorations and I can’t wait to try it again. Sadly, plum pudding has never appealed. It must be one of those things you have to have grown up with, like Oreo cookies.

    Reply
  85. Here in the US, Christmas food traditions seem more individualized: family traditions rather than national ones. My family always had French onion soup and Dungeness crab on Christmas Eve because that’s what my mother’s family had. I’ve continued the tradition with my husband.
    As for dessert, I’m a crazy baker so I usually take the opportunity of having guests and a lot of time to make something spectacular. This year was a Vanilla Fleur de Sel, Caramel and Chocolate Dobos Torte. It was my first time making sugar decorations and I can’t wait to try it again. Sadly, plum pudding has never appealed. It must be one of those things you have to have grown up with, like Oreo cookies.

    Reply
  86. Elisabeth, that's a good analogy — comparing the need to grow up with Plum Pudding or Oreos. I'd read about Oreos for ages before I'd ever tasted one and had a very different expectation. When I finally ate one, I couldn't understand the fuss at all. But if it's a taste you've grown up with.. .  Like Australians and Vegemite. It seems to me that Americans do their very traditional dinner at Thanksgiving, and the menu is dictated by the "thanksgiving story", whereas Christmas is wholly individual.  I LOVE the sound of your Vanilla Fleur de Sel, Caramel and Chocolate Dobos Torte — I'm sure it tasted amazing, as well as looking spectacular.

    Reply
  87. Elisabeth, that's a good analogy — comparing the need to grow up with Plum Pudding or Oreos. I'd read about Oreos for ages before I'd ever tasted one and had a very different expectation. When I finally ate one, I couldn't understand the fuss at all. But if it's a taste you've grown up with.. .  Like Australians and Vegemite. It seems to me that Americans do their very traditional dinner at Thanksgiving, and the menu is dictated by the "thanksgiving story", whereas Christmas is wholly individual.  I LOVE the sound of your Vanilla Fleur de Sel, Caramel and Chocolate Dobos Torte — I'm sure it tasted amazing, as well as looking spectacular.

    Reply
  88. Elisabeth, that's a good analogy — comparing the need to grow up with Plum Pudding or Oreos. I'd read about Oreos for ages before I'd ever tasted one and had a very different expectation. When I finally ate one, I couldn't understand the fuss at all. But if it's a taste you've grown up with.. .  Like Australians and Vegemite. It seems to me that Americans do their very traditional dinner at Thanksgiving, and the menu is dictated by the "thanksgiving story", whereas Christmas is wholly individual.  I LOVE the sound of your Vanilla Fleur de Sel, Caramel and Chocolate Dobos Torte — I'm sure it tasted amazing, as well as looking spectacular.

    Reply
  89. Elisabeth, that's a good analogy — comparing the need to grow up with Plum Pudding or Oreos. I'd read about Oreos for ages before I'd ever tasted one and had a very different expectation. When I finally ate one, I couldn't understand the fuss at all. But if it's a taste you've grown up with.. .  Like Australians and Vegemite. It seems to me that Americans do their very traditional dinner at Thanksgiving, and the menu is dictated by the "thanksgiving story", whereas Christmas is wholly individual.  I LOVE the sound of your Vanilla Fleur de Sel, Caramel and Chocolate Dobos Torte — I'm sure it tasted amazing, as well as looking spectacular.

    Reply
  90. Elisabeth, that's a good analogy — comparing the need to grow up with Plum Pudding or Oreos. I'd read about Oreos for ages before I'd ever tasted one and had a very different expectation. When I finally ate one, I couldn't understand the fuss at all. But if it's a taste you've grown up with.. .  Like Australians and Vegemite. It seems to me that Americans do their very traditional dinner at Thanksgiving, and the menu is dictated by the "thanksgiving story", whereas Christmas is wholly individual.  I LOVE the sound of your Vanilla Fleur de Sel, Caramel and Chocolate Dobos Torte — I'm sure it tasted amazing, as well as looking spectacular.

    Reply

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