Monday, 22 December 2014

Food at Christmas Time

As we have been going on "Victorian" this December (well, as much as humanly possible), I have been serving up Victorian dishes to my family - much to the dismay of my husband, who is not very adventurous when it comes to trying new food.

The dishes above are mostly taken from the receipes found here:
1.  Roast Goose with Apple and Herb Stuffing (I substituted goose with duck)
2.  Kedgeree
3.  Baronet's Curry

They were very well received by the boys.

However, I cannot claim the same for the other three dishes though:
4.  Roast Goose (duck) with Stuffed Baked Apples
5.  Chestnut Soup
6.  Winter Salad

The recipes come from the following book.  The boys tolerated dishes #4 and #5, but they could not bear the chestnut soup even though they both love chestnuts generally.

It's all going horribly wrong....!!

Oh well, at least I tried to give them an authentic Victorian experience... although, I must admit that my one-woman effort at creating a Victorian dining experience is a long way off what a team can create:

Where I fail at in the historic department, I hope to make up for it in the contemporary division.  Remember my quest for the tastiest commerically-made mince pie in my vincinity?

I did try all I could get my hands on.  Gasp!  Don't even start on the calories!  Here's a list of what I ate:
  1. Lidl's luxury brand
  2. Sainsbury's bakery
  3. Aldi's own brand
  4. Farm shop
  5. Tesco's own brand
  6. Sainsbury's Taste the Difference
  7. Tesco's Finest
  8. Marks and Spencer's luxury brand
Here is the verdict:

Each brand is scored out of a total of 5.  There are a few interesting things to note in the result:
  • For the sake of completeness, I would just mention that this year I have not bought Waitrose's mince pies (the 'Duchy' brand) which would have been endorsed by Prince Charles, no less.  However, I remember from last year that we were not wowed by it, as we had expected to for its price and its royal association.
  • The biggest surprise this year is that we find mince pies from Lidl (a German supermarket selling discounted items) should be on par with that of Sainsbury's 'Taste the Difference'.
  • Usually the food baked fresh from Sainsbury's bakery is superior to that sold on its shelves but this year we find the bakery made mince pies to be so terrible (too sweet, not enough mince meat, crust too hard) that we only managed to share half out of the pack of four and had to throw the rest in the bin.
  • Tesco 'Finest' was unanimously our favourite last year but this year it has not done as well.  There seems to be a subtle difference between last year's and this year's mince pies so we wonder whether any subtle alteration have been made to this year's receipe.

With only three days to go before Christmas, I have some last-minute shopping and Christmas baking to do so I am taking a blogging break from now until the new year.  I wish every reader

A Very Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!

This post is linked up to:
  1. History and Geography Meme: Original Illustrations, Example Using Beowulf
  2. My Week in Review #17
  3. Collage Friday: A Birthday, Buildings, Concerts & Christmas
  4. Weekly Wrap-Up: The last one of 2014


  1. Merry Christmas Hwee!

    I gave the girls the DVD series 'Victorian Farm' for Christmas. There's an episode called 'Victorian Farm Christmas'. After reading your post, I can't wait to watch the series and find out more about the Victorian era.

    1. Thanks for the tips about the DVD series. It sounds very interesting so I shall have a look at it! Have a merry Christmas too, Sue!

  2. Oh, yum! I love English Christmas food and traditions.

    1. Good food is part of the tradition at Christmas. :-) I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, Phyllis!

  3. I hope you're having a lovely break. I loved reading your Victorian Christmas posts. How interesting that Lidl mince pies came out so well. I shall have to remember that next December! (I just wish I liked them, but I've been trying to make up for it with generous slices of chocolate log.)

    Thank you for all the time you put into sharing here what you do. It's always such a pleasure to visit. Thank you too for all your support for my blogging efforts. I hope you and your family have a very happy and healthy 2015!

    1. I'm so savouring my much needed break, Lucinda. It's good to do nothing for a while. :-)

      You're very welcome, and thank you for your kind words too. Your posts are always generous with great ideas and wonderful resources so I always look forward to reading them.

      We were at the IWM London today and I thought of you as I queued up for food in the cafe. The cakes, as you said, are fantastic. I'll have to go there at least 5 more times to taste all of them. :-)

      Wishing you and your family have a wonderful 2015 too!


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