An English Christmas: Roast Goose & Plum Pudding

by Ann Marie Michaels on December 27, 2008

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Amy & Sophie - Christmas 2008

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

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

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On to the menu:

First Course:
Oysters on the Half Shell
Duck Rillettes with Watercress and Pomegranate Seeds
Moet Champagne

Here are the oysters and rillettes:

Oysters on the Half Shell and Duck 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 Originally made with pork, the meat is cubed or chopped, salted heavily and cooked slowly in fat until it is tender enough to be easily shredded, and then cooled with enough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:

Carving the Christmas Goose

Second Course:
Roast Goose
Prune Apple Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips — click here for my homemade mashed potatoes recipe
Goose Gravy
Grand Cru Classe Bordeaux

Roast Goose with Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing & Gravy

Third Course:
Watercress, Red Cabbage & Carrot Salad with Roasted Chestnuts

Watercress, Red Cabbage & Carrot Salad with Roasted Chestnuts

Fourth Course:
Roquefort Cheese
Tawny Port

Fifth Course:
Plum Pudding (in my sister’s words, “honest-to-god plum pudding, not the raisin substitute”) with Stem Ginger Hard Sauce
Armagnac

Here’s the pudding, pre-sauce:

Christmas Plum Pudding

The food was so good, the children felt inspired to do a Christmas jig.

Christmas Jig

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