["Christmas Dole"- A Painting by Joseph Clark]The meal was capped off with a traditional plum pudding -- full of expensive ingredients such as currants and candied fruits -- which had been prepared some weeks before and allowed to mellow. It was served with brandy butter, usually, and along with mince pies and other Yule pastries and treats. All, of course, washed down with clarets and port -- that most favourite Edwardian drink.
Christmas dinner consisted of fare that had become popular in the Victorian period, and that is largely unchanged today. Food critics who dislike the traditional Christmas meal are keen to point out that since it comes around only once a year, it has not had a chance to "evolve" as have other modern culinary standards. Yet it is unlikely that they will change to any great extent -- entwined as they are with nostalgia, memory, and our innate longing for things as they were. So the Edwardian Christmas feast is not at all unfamiliar to us: turkey or goose, stuffed. Gibblets and drippings were used to prepare vegetable dishes such as potatoes.
And so I raise a proverbial glass to all the lovely readers of this occasional blog about food, history, nostalgia, Britishness, and random things. Knowing that you are out there reading these musings make them worthwhile. A very merry Christmas and a happy new year to all.
Read more reflections on history, idleness, and the art of living from the Idle Historian in To The Idler The Spoils