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“Christmas dinner....was a feast indeed. Oyster soup had been consumed, two enormous turkeys had come and gone, mere carcasses of their former selves. Now, the supreme moment, the Christmas pudding was brought in, in state!'”
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding', by Agatha Christie
“I am a neat hand at cookery, and I'll tell you what I knocked up for my Christmas-eve dinner in the Library Cart. I knocked up a beefsteak-pudding for one, with two kidneys, a dozen oysters, and a couple of mushrooms thrown in. It's a pudding to put a man in good humour with everything, except the two bottom buttons of his waistcoat.”
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) ‘Doctor Marigold’ (1865)
“Christmas? Christmas means dinner, dinner means death! Death means carnage; Christmas means carnage!”
Ferdinand the Duck
- in the Australian film 'Babe' (1995)
CHRISTMAS DINNER IN FRANCE
" . . . réveillon, this word says it all; it is just as well that it comes only once a year, on 25 December, between two and three o'clock in the morning. This meal. . . is designed to restore the faithful, who are exhausted after a session of four hours in church, and to refresh throats hoarse from singing praises to the Lord. . . . A poularde or a capon with rice is the obligatory dish for this nocturnal meal, taking the place of soup, which is never served. Four hors d'oeuvres, consisting of piping hot sausages, fat well-stuffed andouilles, boudins blancs au crème, and properly defatted black puddings, are its attendants. This is followed by ox (beef) tongue, either pickled or (more likely) dressed as it would be at this time of the year, accompanied by a symmetrical arrangement of a dozen pigs' trotters (feet) stuffed with truffles and pistachio nuts, and a dish of fresh pork cutlets. At each corner of the table are two plates of petits fours, including tarts or tartlets, and two sweet desserts, which may be a cream and an English apple pie. Nine more desserts round off the meal, and the faithful - thus fortified - retire to their devotions at the early morning Mass, preceded by Prime and followed by Tierce."
Grimod de La Reyniere, ‘Almanach des gourmands’ (1758-1838)
CHRISTMAS IN ENGLAND
"For many of the islanders, this anniversary is memorable (apart from all religious significance) because it evokes a great slaughter of turkeys, geese and all kinds of game, a wholesale massacre of fat oxen, pigs and sheep; they envisage garlands of black puddings, sausages and saveloys . . . mountains of plum-puddings and oven-fulls of mince-pies.... On that day no one in England may go hungry .... This is a family gathering, and on every table the same menu is prepared. A joint of beef, a turkey or goose, which is usually the pièce de résistance, accompanied by a ham, sausages and game; then follow the inevitable plum-pudding and the famous mince pies."
Alfred Suzanne, ‘La Cuisine anglaise et americaine’ (English and American Cookery)
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