Saturday 26 November 2016

A History of Christmas Food - new ebook out now

- With over 20 historic recipes

Buy the ebook HERE

Christmas today is a time of feasting, drinking and all round merrymaking. We serve vast meals that cause our dining tables to groan with the weight and our families to gasp at the luxury.
But it is not just a matter of serving huge meals. Christmas - more than any other time of year - is associated with its own special foods, drinks and eating customs.
Most Christmas foods are widely recognised. Roast turkey graces most tables, which also feature sprouts, roast potatoes, parsnips, bacon rolls, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce and bread sauce. All that is in due course cleared away to be replaced by Christmas pud and mince pies.
Others are very personal. I grew up in a household where supper on Christmas Eve was always sausages and mash, and where the adults began Christmas Day by trooping down to the kitchen for "Grandma's Special Christmas Tea", which was consumed with much lip smacking and joking. As a tot I found this early morning ritual a bit odd, but when I grew older I learned that "Grandma's Special Christmas Tea" involved my grandmother tipping a healthy dose of whisky into each mug before pouring out the tea.
We take so much of this for granted as part and parcel of our Christmas traditions that we indulge ourselves without thinking. And if we do spare a thought we probably imagine that Christmas has always been like this.
But it hasn't. Christmases of years gone by were very different. Oh, there has always been plenty of eating and drinking going on, but what has been eaten or drunk has varied enormously.
So what did our ancestors eat and drink on the greatest feast of the year?
Read on.

Please note that in producing the recipes included in this book I have adapted original recipes found in books and manuscripts dating back to the times in question. Earlier recipes often did not include either precise measurements or detailed instructions, so I have experimented to find what seems to work best for me. I have generally sought to avoid recipes using ingredients that might be difficult to find these days or have suggested easily obtained alternatives when I have - how could I possibly miss out Mrs Beeton's original Christmas cake of 1861? Enjoy trying out these recipes and your taste of the past.