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Christmas food


taxi4ballet
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It is traditional for Hispanic familes in this part of the world to make homemade tamalés. I am not Hispanic, but I am told they are very time consuming and labor intensive. They are also given as a food gift. They can be made with beef, chicken or turkey (and perhaps other items I'm not aware of). The meat mix is wrapped in a cornmeal maize and then wrapped in dried corn stalk leaves and (I believe) steamed. Degree of spice depends upon one's heritage - for me its about zero.

 

They are served either with a salsa roja (red sauce), salsa fresca (green sauce) or molé - a non-sweet chocolate based sauce. South of the border is where chocolate originally comes from so they use it in many ways.

 

For dessert - bunuelo - a big freshly made flour tortilla, lightly fried/crisped - sprinkled with honey, cinnamon, nutmeg with ice cream on the side. This is delicious.

 

I no longer cook/bake - but i used to adore it. Very picky about the turkey stuffing - I like it with puffed (steamed) golden raisins, diced apples and tiny pearl onions. I like sweet potatoes baked in half with orange marmelade spread on each half and broiled. As for turkey - skinless white meat only with large gobs of cranberry sauce (used to make my own - it's not hard to do).

 

Mashed potatoes with gobs of unsalted butter (a once a year treat). Lots of baby spinach with ginger dressing and plum tomatoes.

 

Big fluffy biscuits (American meaning of the word) - I have a great recipe for it.

 

Favorite for dessert is my own apple pie - but since I don't bake anymore - I seldom find one I like -usually too sweet and/or mushy apples.

 

There's always got to be ice cream somewhere on the dessert tray. And fruit - love pears.

 

These days we usually go out to eat with our family and friends. People who work full time just don't want to spend their day in the kitchen cooking and then cleaning up. There are lots of good restaurant choices. Leftovers are boxed up to take home. Also lots of restaurants and food stores will send home a fully cooked ready to eat turkey/ham/beef dinner with all the trimmings (you are given a choice) for however many people are to be served. The cost ends up about the same.

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I make my own bread sauce - easy. Put skinned and halved onion in milk, warm and leave to stand an hour or more. Add breadcrumbs (and any other spice to taste if you want), rewarm.

(Note to self, buy some white bread)

And the turkey remains stay hidden on the 26th. When I reached the age of 40 I declared I would never again have left over turkey on my birthday!

So put all Christmas cards away for that day, hide the turkey, and get out the lobster and champagne.

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I usually make the mince pies, but I'm going to have to buy some this year. Knowing what a lot of shop-bought pies are like, the prospect doesn't fill me with delight (I don't actually eat them myself, you understand!). Can anyone recommend any which aren't too expensive but are good?

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These days we usually go out to eat with our family and friends. People who work full time just don't want to spend their day in the kitchen cooking and then cleaning up. There are lots of good restaurant choices.

 

 

I'd feel too sorry for the people having to work on Christmas day....

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The potatoes are baked in an oven (no microwave) so the throughly scrubbed skin is crispy. Slice each baked potato in half and scoop out the insides into a bowl. Mash with some warm milk, gobs of sweet butter (or butter substitute), salt, pepper to taste ( some garlic if you like). Scoop back into the potato skin halves (not smooth but mounded) and sprinkle on some paprika and some grated cheesee (if you l ike). Place potato halves on a baking tray and either put back into the oven or under a broiler till tops are browned.

 

They freeze well.

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My sister used to do them like that but we just have ordinary baked potatoes with the topping piled on. We went to a cafe at lunchtime and I had one piled with prawns in marie rose sauce - scrumptuous!

 

Some years ago in Thessaloniki I had a baked potato where some of the potato had been scooped out and the space filled with feta cheese - yummy!

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