Who Was Here For The Victorian Christmas 2012? (Page Two)
The Dancers Are Sitting Therefore Dinner Is Being Served
The "Christmas Pizza" for fifty is being served .... Pizza???
Did You Know? - Turkeys had been brought to Britain from America hundreds of years before Victorian times. When Victoria first came to the throne however, both chicken and turkey were too expensive for most people to enjoy. In northern England roast beef was the traditional fare for Christmas dinner while in London and the south, goose was favorite. Many poor people made do with rabbit.
On the other hand, the Christmas Day menu for Queen Victoria and family in 1840 included both beef and of course a royal roast swan or two. By the end of the century most people feasted on turkey for their Christmas dinner.
The great journey to London started for the turkey sometime in October. Feet clad in fashionable but hardwearing leather the unsuspecting birds would have set out on the 80-mile hike from the Norfolk farms. Arriving obviously a little tired and on the scrawny side they must have thought London hospitality unbeatable as they feasted and fattened on the last few weeks before Christmas.
The serving of the pudding was one of the great rituals of the Victorian Christmas dinner; indeed it was almost as much a ceremony as the creation of the pudding. The plum pudding, made up of suet, bread crumbs, raisins, and spices, was a family effort. On Stir-Up Sunday at the beginning of Advent, each family member took a turn a beating the pudding, making a wish, and stirring clockwise for good luck. Then a ring, coin, or thimble was tossed into the batter.
Until Christmas Day the pudding hung from a sack, then it was boiled in beef broth for eight hours. After dinner it was turned out on a platter, topped with a sprig of holly, set alight, and carried into the dining room.
The head of the household sliced and served it, asking a blessing on all who prepared it. Biting into the portion with the ring meant marriage, the coin, wealth, and the thimble, a happy but single life.
Who Was Here????
Presenting Table #1
Quotation To Remember: He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. ~Roy L. Smith
Presenting Table #2
Who was that masked bandit??
Quotation To Remember:The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis
Presenting Table #3
"Why yes dear... This is indeed mistletoe!! Edible mistletoe "
Quotation To Remember: Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home! ~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836
Presenting Table #4
Quotation To Remember: Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves. ~Eric Sevareid
Presenting Table #5
Guests: Christoph and Claudia Kirchner
Quotation To Remember: Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. ~Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas
Presenting Table #6
Quotation To Remember: At Christmas, all roads lead home. ~Marjorie Holmes
Presenting Table #7 - The Rhythm Kings
Quotation To Remember: It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air. ~W.T. Ellis
Did You Know? - The Christmas feast has its roots from before the Middle Ages, but it's during the Victorian period that the dinner we now associate with Christmas began to take shape. Examination of early Victorian recipes shows that mince pies were initially made from meat, a tradition dating back to Tudor times. However, during the 19th century there was a revolution in the composition of this festive dish. Mixes without meat began to gain popularity within some of the higher echelons of society and became the mince pies we know today.
The roast turkey also has its beginnings in Victorian Britain. Previously other forms of roasted meat such as beef and goose were the centerpiece of the Christmas dinner. The turkey was added to this by the more wealthy sections of the community in the 19th century, but its perfect size for a middle class family gathering meant it became the dominant dish by the beginning of the 20th century.