I’m sitting by a cozy fire in snowy Seattle, sipping a margarita and eating chips and salsa. We’re having Christmas tamales tonight. Tamales I brought up from Los Angeles. — click here for my homemade tamales recipe
Last night, we had a traditional English Christmas dinner. Actually it was inspired by Southwestern France — so it was really more of a hybrid English/French dinner.
But I think the Christmas crackers and plum pudding with hard sauce put us firmly in L’Angleterre.
Christmas crackers have little toys inside (akin to our American Cracker Jacks), and colored paper crowns (see above photo — my sister and niece wearing the crowns) which you wear on your head whilst you sip your port and eat your pudding.
Christmas crackers or bon-bons are an integral part of Christmas celebrations in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, other Commonwealth countries and Ireland. A cracker consists of a cardboard tube wrapped in a brightly decorated twist of paper, making it resemble an oversized sweet-wrapper. The cracker is pulled by two people, and, much in the manner of a wishbone, the cracker splits unevenly. The split is accompanied by a small bang produced by the effect of friction on a chemically impregnated card strip (similar to that used in a cap gun). Source: Wikipedia
On to the menu:
Oysters on the Half Shell
Duck Rillettes with Watercress and Pomegranate Seeds
Here are the oysters and rillettes:
Rillettes is a preparation of meat similar to pâté. Originally made with pork, the meat is cubed or chopped, salted heavily and cooked slowly in fat until it is tender enough to be easily shredded, and then cooled with enough of the fat to form a paste. They are normally used as spread on bread or toast and served at room temperature. Source: Wikipedia
My sister carving the Christmas goose, with my niece plating:
Prune Apple Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips
Grand Cru Classe Bordeaux
Watercress, Red Cabbage & Carrot Salad with Roasted Chestnuts
Plum Pudding (in my sister’s words, “honest-to-god plum pudding, not the raisin substitute”) with Stem Ginger Hard Sauce
Here’s the pudding, pre-sauce:
The food was so good, the children felt inspired to do a Christmas jig.