During Christmas 2013, I hosted the dinner at my friend’s apartment, a wonderful couple that runs a private dining in Malaysia. I’m writing to acknowledged Tracy and Alberto for accommodate me for the feast of Christmas. Is a bit late to showing the feast at this time. Here are some explanation of the table setting, I don’t really set a format table for occasional like this because I want to feel comfortable and simple, so tangerine and gold coin should be on the table, as there are some story behind of tangerine and gold coin, but I won’t go deeply about the history. My Chinese guest though it is like a Chinese New Year setting. Indeed it is a bit cliché when over done. Somehow they were similar. Red and golden colour is the rich decoration element, so do the food as well.
My typical feast started with snacks as spice nuts, parmesan biscuit and mulled wine. Most of the dishes you can prepare in advance so you won’t have a panic on your party day. I can’t help myself to thinking about mulled wine all the time during Christmas, the thing that makes Christmassy is mulled wine; the wine and spice that been warmed in saucepan that making this happening. It reminds me the Christmas market in Lincolnshire, the glittery Christmas ornament, street light; it is a feast for my eye, music, church bell and carol singing was everywhere this calming voices are really good for the soul and ears; the smell of mulled wine was a good treat for my nose. Indeed it is a feast for my senses and make my heart lift for Christmas.
Spice nuts is a good idea for starter with mixed of cinnamon and other spice, it is seems like the medieval feasting that using spices to preserved their food during winter. Apart from spices, I do need savory nibble for starter- parmesan biscuit is handy and easy to serve and eat. You even can make it in advance and keep in the air tight jar up to two days.
First large dish I put on the table is this red salad that simple to make, toss the kidney bean, tomatoes, onion together with dressing then pop on the table. Another classic dish during Christmas – Brussels sprout, you can’t have Christmas without Brussels sprout, this classic dish had the most delicious ingredient – chestnut! The bacon gives a bit of crunchy bites and extra push of savory
Here comes the beauty – gammon, the feature of the feast that sat on the bed of roasted potatoes. I called this Christmas ham, the glory redcurrant jelly that gives the beautiful colour on the surface, the gammon had been cooked in simmering for more than two hours for the succulent, tender texture on the meat. This looks absolutely appealing on the buffet table too. This should be the dish you should show-off.
In every Christmas story mentioned about lights in the dark, it has a very comforting agenda and it delights me. Christmas pudding with flame is representing that part of Christmas. This has become the ritual of my Christmas dinner, and it is my love affair moment to flame the pudding at this time of the year, simply because they are beautiful. The secret of keeping the flame duration is to using vodka, I know it sounds not very appealing but it doesn’t really matter because the alcohol will evaporate.
By the time had the pudding, everyone will need some rest for their stomach. Honestly, this dessert is extremely light and the citrus of the strawberries and lemon will helping the digestion the dense of the pudding, the pistachio that finishing touch of dessert otherwise it will be too light to consume.
I hope my way of British Christmas is not too embarrassing to the classic version. The message I would like say, try cooking at home, it will definitely bringing to another level of life about home making. There is no one can’t cook; just being lazy. Hope you enjoying cooking. Let’s food celebrate your life! Bon appétit!