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Traditional Christmas lunch

(21 Posts)
EnglishWeddingGuest Sun 01-Nov-15 05:03:34

My wonderful husband has kindly invited a family I don't know to share A "full English Christmas lunch" with us on Christmas Eve

I don't mind - we need to make friends and expand our circle - question is, what do I need to include in this traditional English meal ?

EnglishWeddingGuest Sun 01-Nov-15 05:45:30


TurnOffTheTv Sun 01-Nov-15 05:53:08

It's very early for bumping :-)
Pigs in blankets
Sausage meat stuffing
Mashed potato
Roast potato
Cauliflower cheese
Roast parsnip
Green cabbage
Brussel sprouts

You will get a lot of conflicting advice though I'm sure

Strawclutching Sun 01-Nov-15 05:54:57

Starter (I never both but think I'm in the minority) smoked salmon with lemon and crime fraiche

Roast turkey, cranberry sauce, bread sauce, roast potatoes and parsnips, mashed carrot & swede, spiced red cabbage and peas, gravy

Christmas pudding and clotted cream

tribpot Sun 01-Nov-15 06:00:57

You're missing an opportunity for your DH to discover how to make a Christmas lunch on his own here. That is the gift that keeps on giving.

Blueberry234 Sun 01-Nov-15 06:03:14

We have a rule if you invite, you cook or pay for takeaway

Hopelass Sun 01-Nov-15 06:48:26

As above. If your husband did the inviting he can do the cooking! Esp if he didn't ask you first!

FannyFanakapan Sun 01-Nov-15 07:03:38

No-one wants Christmas lunch on CHristmas eve! Same food 2 (or 3) days in a row!

Id be handing DH an M&S Christmas food order form and telling him to select everything he needs from that. Then he can order, pay and collect it all.

Cookingongas Sun 01-Nov-15 09:16:58

I'm making the presumption that your expat and not having a traditional English lunch on the 25th. As others have said- dh can cook if he invited, but I'd make him make-

Meat- I would go for turkey or goose. If turkey I'd brine it to ensure a juicy bird.

Bread sauce is definitely a British condiment so that would be a must, I'd like cranberry sauce too.

Sprouts baked with chestnuts and bacon

Red cabbage with apple and red vinegar

Honeyed roast parsnips

Roast potaotes


Pigs in blankets

Proper gravy

We like swede mash ( well it's butter mash really with a chunk of swede) but on historic threads I'm alone in this perversion.

I'd go for a traditional sherry trifle for desert, as I don't like Christmas pudding, and, to me , sherry trifle is so very English.

Coletterbox Sun 01-Nov-15 11:52:23

I've just posted a 12 Part Guide for a Stress Free Christmas which includes info on planning Christmas dinner - as well as other stuff around budget, planning a party, Christmas shopping etc. Hope it comes in handy smile

EnglishWeddingGuest Sun 01-Nov-15 12:33:18

Thanks all

cookingongas - correct - we are in California so Xmay day will either be at beach or snow skiing depending on weather - so xmas eve lunch is our big meal - and our guests will be Americans excited by dh's promise of traditional English meal complete with pudding

tribpot blueberry and hopelass - I hear you but you really don't want him anywhere near the food - he can screw up microwave popcorn - our agreement is that I never have to 1) grocery shop ( I give him a list - he goes to the store each week ) and 2) wash dishes ( he is master washer-uperer)

fanny - we won't be eating a traditional meal in Xmay day - probable picnic (beach) or sandwiches (snow ) - suspect snow as already started falling in the mountains this year

turnoffthetv and straw - great lists - exactly what I was after .... But is cabbage essention for traditional English lunch ? Sorry for early bump too - was off to bed and hoping for traffic before sleeping blush

coletterbox -very interesting - will go take a read thx

EnglishWeddingGuest Sun 01-Nov-15 12:36:26

As -cookingongas also included cabbage am I correct assuming it's a must on a traditional menu ?

tribpot Sun 01-Nov-15 12:44:58

I would extend your list of things he doesn't do to include 'inviting people for dinner without checking'. I take it you're not from the UK? If he "can't" cook he must surely be able to remember what he has eaten in this country! If he can't and your guests won't know, don't cook anything you can't easily find or can be bothered with.

SenecaFalls Sun 01-Nov-15 12:47:27

If all your guests are American, then I would stay away from turkey and go farther back in British tradition and do goose. Turkey is a North American fowl originally and the centerpiece for Thanksgiving. Some of the sides you that have been mentioned here are also often traditional for Thanksgiving in the US (mashed potatoes, red cabbage, cranberry sauce, sprouts with bacon) so I would try to use ones that aren't so familiar as Thanksgiving food (Yorkshires, roast potatoes).

howtorebuild Sun 01-Nov-15 12:48:29

You can still get the free wine on m&s orders, you drink it when he heats up the food.

TurnOffTheTv Sun 01-Nov-15 12:51:42

It was 5am here we were all in bed grin
We always have dark green cabbage here with lots of butter. I think it's personal preference rather traditional.
Red pickled cabbage is more traditional.
We have Yorkshire puddings as well but I know people think we are heathens for doing them :-)

TurnOffTheTv Sun 01-Nov-15 12:52:50

She might have trouble getting the M&S offer in California!

EnglishWeddingGuest Sun 01-Nov-15 12:57:57

tribpot excellent advice re not cooking anything that can't be easily done - and after 15 years I truly think I've got the better end of the stick - I enjoy cooking and hate shopping grin

seneca - good point re turkey as xmas is on the heels of thanksgiving - not sure I can do goose tho - isn't it very fatty - what another acceptable meat for xmas?

SenecaFalls Sun 01-Nov-15 13:08:02

English I am not sure what the acceptable British alternatives for the main course are. In my family, we usually have ham for Christmas, but that's more a deep South tradition.

The similarity with Thanksgiving in the US to traditional British holiday food is not accidental. Thanksgiving began in New England, and New England food traditions are more closely linked to British food traditions than in other parts of the US.

Cookingongas Sun 01-Nov-15 13:19:34

Goose is fatty, but delicious. My favourite Christmas meat.

Roast rib of beef is a good option too. With horseradish.

MrsMolesworth Sun 01-Nov-15 13:26:06

We do

Turkey with cranberry sauce (bought) and bread sauce (homemade)
Separate stuffing balls of minced pork with onion, apricot, walnut and sage.
pigs in blankets (chipolata sausages wrapped in streaky bacon and roasted around the turkey)
Roast potatoes
Roast parsnips
Carrots in a honey glaze
sprouts with chestnuts

We don't bother with red cabbage but do add some steamed broccoli for DC who won't eat sprouts.

For pudding - a proper Christmas pudding with flaming brandy served with fresh cream or custard. Have a chocolate log on standby in case they hate the pud (people usually do if they've never had it before)

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