- Holidays and Celebrations
Christmastime Brings the Best of Foods and Recipes
Christmas is a wonderful time of year when there is a variety of foods, desserts, cookies, candies and drinks to enjoy together with family and friends. Your Christmas dinner is sure to include traditional favorites that you and your family enjoy each Christmas season.
For many of us Christmas dinner is probably one of the most anticipated meals of the year. A popular traditional meal at Christmas might include roast turkey with traditional stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables (possibly yams, glazed carrots or brussel sprouts), pumpkin pie and hot buns or biscuits. The extravagant Christmas dinner should be shared with family and friends and of course for anyone in your life who doesn't have people to share this special dinner with they should be included also. Christmas dinner should be the one day of the year that we can forget about diets and just indulge. In England a favorite tradition is to put Christmas crackers beside each plate and pull apart after dinner to reveal a prize or gift.
Of course Christmas dinner at some homes might be taking on new traditions with the wide variety of special diets out there. A vegetarian Christmas is a popular alternative and might include a mushroom puff pastry, scalloped potatoes, vegetable stuffing, caramelized carrots and parsnips, braised fennel and hot buns. It's always a good idea to check with your guests beforehand to see if there are any special diet needs, the wonderful thing about Christmas dinner is there is usually a wide variety of items to choose from allowing most of your guests to fill their plates with selected delights.
Now that the festive Christmas dinner is over and people have given themselves some time to allow for the food to digest it's time for dessert. Some popular Christmas desserts might include chocolate truffle cake, apple pie, marzipan's, stuffed puddings, peach cobbler, mince meat pies, trifle, cheese cake, plum pudding, yule logs, fruit cakes and pumpkin pie. Some places in Europe will serve thirteen different traditional desserts in honor of Christ and the twelve apostles. This is the one time of year where we can feel free to treat ourselves to all the delectable delights at hand.
Christmas has always been a favorite time of year for delighting in an array of wonderful cookies. Some traditional Christmas cookies might include beautifully decorated sugar and gingerbread cookies, thumbprint cookies, Christmas balls and bars, cookie press cookies, filled cookies, shortbread, waffle iron cookies, spice cookies, fruit cookies, drop cookies, butter cookies and brownies to name only a few.
A great idea for both you and your friends over the holidays is to hold a cookie exchange party. Get each guest to bring one dozen cookies for each person attending plus an additional dozen for eating, the party is a great way to get a variety of wonderful homemade cookies without having to spend all the time in the kitchen at this busy time of year.
There is a nice variety of different drinks to have and enjoy with friends and family over the holiday season. Traditional favorites can include eggnog, wassail and hot apple cider. A couple of easy recipes you can make on your own for family and guests might be a delicious raspberry cooler or hot mulled wine. The ingredients for raspberry cooler are raspberry tea, boiling water, sugar, cold water, orange juice concentrate, a touch of lemon juice, club soda and ice made with frozen raspberries. The hot mulled wines list of ingredients include red wine, cloves, cinnamon sticks, lemon rind and sugar all heated together and served in a mug.
Christmas wouldn't be complete without the addition of Christmas candies in our Christmas stockings and on our Christmas trees and tables. While many of us buy most of our Christmas candies there are still a few who prepare wonderful homemade treats such as almond toffee bark, peanut taffy and brittle, fudge, sponge candy, Turkish delight, truffles and homemade chocolates. There is no shortage of the wonderful treats you can purchase at this time of year from the popular candy canes, chocolate Santa's, ribbon candies, hard Christmas candies and boxed chocolates.
Christmas is when you'll see the traditional plum cakes and fruitcakes make an appearance. Fruit cakes and Christmas cakes are usually made of candied fruit and dried fruit and some fruit cakes are said to last for twenty five years. The Christmas cake originated around 1870 in Victorian England and were baked only for the Great Houses as most people did not have proper ovens.
The addition of beautifully decorated sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies in the shapes of stars, snowmen, Christmas trees, candy canes, wreaths and gingerbread people make a wonderful edible compliment to any table, Christmas tree or stocking. A wonderful project for you and the kids to participate in over the Christmas holidays is the construction of a decorated gingerbread house, the project will be something you can add to your list of favorite Christmas traditions. You can decorate your gingerbread house with windows, doors, chimneys and candied shrubs. You might start the project by constructing the house together with the children than allow them to decorate the house with their favorite candies, sprinkles and icings. You are certainly not limited to just a basic structure you might want to design a gingerbread farmhouse or gingerbread Victorian house. A gingerbread house is a great centerpiece for any table.
The Christmas dinners, desserts, candies, cookies and drinks you enjoy over the holidays will be as much a part of your Christmas traditions and memories as the Christmas tree and carols. The foods and delights you share in over Christmas will serve as an excellent foundation for all of your family and friends gatherings. You will want to plan and organize all your Christmas baking and cooking in advance to be sure you have your cupboards stocked with the needed essentials. The most important thing to remember at this magical time of year is to be thankful for all you have and to share your tidings with others.