Rosa Jackson's Edible Adventures

Tuesday, 23 December, 2008

Christmas traditions


I had never thought that traditions were very important to me. When I started celebrating Christmas with Philippe and then Sam, I looked for recipes in cookbooks and on the Internet rather than in my mother's scrapbook. Gradually, though, I developed a list of recipes without which it simply wouldn't be Christmas. There is Nigel Slater's Christmas pudding, which I had the satisfaction of making yesterday: one for us and two for French friends, if only to see the look on their faces when I tell them to steam it for three hours, douse it in alcohol and set it on fire. There is Nigella's mulled wine with Earl Grey tea and rum; I think that decent wine does make a difference. There are World Peace cookies for Sam's teacher and sugar cookies for us to decorate together. When time allows (it won't this year), there is also Christmas cake to nibble on throughout the holidays.

The Christmas meal comes together more spontaneously depending on what I find at the market, but for the past few years I've chosen capon or poularde over turkey; this year I'll be trying a two-sausage stuffing from Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine. At the Libération market today I picked up celeriac, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes, broccoli, potimarron and potatoes, then couldn't resist bunches of tiny carrots and pencil-thin leeks. Some or all of these will go into soup, purées and roasted vegetable dishes.

As for desserts, there will be a veritable farandole thanks to my sweet-loving friends, who are bringing lemon tart, apple pie and cinnamon rolls. Knowing this I hesitated in front of the cheese stall this morning, before giving into the sight of truffled brie and 36-month-old comté, a cheese so rare that it is sold only at Christmas.

It's a tradition, after all.

Bonnes fêtes à tous!

Illustration courtesy of Sam, age 6.

Tags: Nice


4 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.

Tuesday, 30 December, 2008 4:47am [ 1 ]

Merry Christmas again, Rosa!

If only I had a capon source here in Wpg - I have wonderful memories of them from St Lawrence Market in Toronto. But I am enjoying the delicious squashes and potatoes that keep showing up in our markets these days.

Monday, 5 January, 2009 4:01pm [ 2 ]

I hope you frame that artwork!

elaine kowalska
Tuesday, 6 January, 2009 11:50pm [ 3 ]

hello rosa its elaine from edinburgh (susys friend} have just found your web site lovely to see the picture of you looking so well will look forward to reading your blog. elaine x x

Thursday, 8 January, 2009 3:37pm [ 4 ]

Roisin, capon is nice but I can hardly imagine a Canadian Christmas without turkey! I never tire of squash and potatoes, somewhat to Sam's despair.

That's a good idea, Eileen!

Hi Elaine, so lovely to hear from you! Please do keep visiting... one of these days I will have to update that picture!

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