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Traditional English Christmas lunch in Germany ... help sourcing ingredients!

(38 Posts)
MilchandCookies Sun 15-Nov-15 19:55:07

We're hosting Christmas for the first time ever, and my English family are coming over. They want a traditional Christmas lunch, which I'm very happy to provide, and I'm wondering how you all do it.

Does Edeka sell turkeys? Can I just order one? And what size do I need for 6 adults and some small people

What on earth is sausage meat (to make stuffing with) in German? German sausages are so different to English ones. Would pork mince work? I like vegetarian stuffing, but would prefer to make a meat one too.

Can I buy mixed peel (for mincemeat)? Or should I candy the rinds of lemons and oranges myself? Fuck that What about suet? Or is butter a better bet?

And where can I find parsnips?! I haven't seen any all autumn!

I'm in Hamburg, if that makes any difference.

SunnySomer Sun 15-Nov-15 19:58:26

I lived in Berlin about 15 years ago and was able to buy parsnips in the market in winter. Candied peel you could get in the bakery section of the food hall in Kaufhof.

SunnySomer Sun 15-Nov-15 19:59:25

(Not suggesting you trek to Berlin - just try a normal farmers market and Kaufhof)

nemno Sun 15-Nov-15 20:07:30

This brought back memories! Way way back I made suet by buying the kidney fat from the butcher, rendering it, straining it then setting it cold and grating it. I was a student and severely underemployed.

I now buy german food online, there must be an equivalent. But pork mince can be used as sausagemeat, yes, get it a bit fatty and season/flavour well. Turkey should not be difficult to find, it was fairly common 30 years ago. Parsnips were a mystery, my german friends had no clue what one was. Candied peel is not a problem as is known bakery ingredient.

MediumBox Sun 15-Nov-15 20:10:33

the easiest bit is parsnips, bigger supermarkets or öko-läden should have them.
turkey-ask a butcher they should be able to order one for you.
sausage meat - would brät do it? or brät mixed with mett (minced pork fillet)

LillianGish Sun 15-Nov-15 20:21:05

I used to cook traditional Christmas lunch every year when we lived in Berlin. Used to order my turkey from the market (easy enough to get turkey as I recall) and make my own mincemeat using this recipe which requires no suet and is so excellent that I still use it every year. Always had sausagemeat though can't for the life of me remember if I used to buy it or just skin some sausages. Must have been able to get parsnips as I remember they were rather excellently named pertisillien wurtzels which is how I refer to them to this day! So very jealous of you having Christmas in Germany - there really is no more Christmassy place.

Idefix Sun 15-Nov-15 20:35:39

You can often get turkeys direct from farmers but think it may be a bit late to order, we ordered at the beginning of October. Very traditional British Victorians style would be to get a goose, very available here grin

You can get candied peel in the baking sections of supermarkets like real and marktkauf. Have seen lots of sprouts already in lidl.

The hardest things we find to. Sauce are crackers (the pulling kind) and also for sad achy reasons the multi selection boxes of Jacobs style crackers.

In UK for a quick trip to pick up new car and stopping in tesco for a Christmas style trolley dash tomorrow obviously a stealth boast, backs away from thread

Pippidoeswhatshewants Sun 15-Nov-15 20:43:57

Aren't parsnips Pastinaken?
Turkey should be easy to order (Puter), no idea about mincemeat and sausage meat, though.

We always celebrate Christmas as it is done in the country we are in. Would your family not enjoy the novelty of a German Christmas?

MilchandCookies Mon 16-Nov-15 05:17:06

Thanks for everyone's tips!

Our market is on Wednesday, so I'll wander down and see about ordering a turkey from them. And get some Pastinaken.

I bake all the time and have never seen mixed peel in the supermarket! Might have to start shopping with my eyes open. I'm defnitely making mincemeat this year - it costs a fortune to buy from the English shop. Love your recipe, Lillian - gluten- and dairy-free goes down well in this house!

I'll have a trial run with pork mince for the stuffing.

DSis is in charge of bringing crackers. And DPs are bringing a homemade Christmas pudding and cake. And possibly M&S stuffing.

Pippi, our Christmas will be an amalgamation of both German and English traditions, but as I'm in charge of the food, I want to cook a turkey lunch!

franke Mon 16-Nov-15 05:59:10

Our local supermarket sells mettwurst which is the equivalent of sausagemeat. I found mixed peel in Netto of all places, but I think even Lidl may do it at this time of year. Turkey comes from our local shop which sells poultry.

Parsnips are Pastinaken and they're everywhere at the moment. Petersilien wurzeln look similar but have a stronger flavour - I think they are actually the roots of the parsley plant.

I bring suet over from the uk, I even have a veggie one in the cupboard which I,ll try this year. I use Delia's mincemeat recipe just using whatever dried fruit I can get. I don't know what currants are herebut Injust swap them out for dried cranberries. Maybe someone could send you some.

Xmas crackers can be bought on ebay.

MediumBox Mon 16-Nov-15 08:12:12

currants = korinthen with the baking/dried fruit stuff
just don't get wacholderbeeren (gin berries) by mistake. hard a vile tasting

Tram10 Mon 16-Nov-15 08:52:13

When I lived in Switzerland, we got parsnips from the local farmer who grew them to feed to his animals ! Maybe someone at the Farmers market will source them for you.

ExplodingCarrots Mon 16-Nov-15 08:56:30

Sorry to slightly derail but can I ask what a traditional German xmas dinner consists off?

I'm just being nosey blush

anzu66 Mon 16-Nov-15 09:01:10

They don't sell mixed peel, but the baking section has little rectangular plastic containers with candied orange and lemon peel (separate containers). So you would need to buy sultanas, currants, different types of peel, etc. separately and mix it up yourself.

Is the shop Britishfoods Englishbooks still in Hamburg? The owner had a second branch in Berlin for a while, which closed, but I was under the impression that the one in Hamburg was still going.

Sgtmajormummy Mon 16-Nov-15 09:07:16

britishcornershop.co.uk
Great for all the festive tat like crackers, selection boxes, christmas puddings. I usually buy tins of Cadbury's chocolate biscuits for teachers' presents.
Things come very well packed.

I make my own mince pie filling with apples and butter (no suet) from a Nigella recipe, called something like "Betty Crocker's Mincemeat". It's good to give in fancy jars, too.

ErnesttheBavarian Mon 16-Nov-15 09:12:58

All of our local supermarkets sell mixed peel. Or ask visitors to bring over mincemeat with them.

Turkeys you can either order from a butcher or buy in any supermarket.

I have used Zwiebelwurst to replace sausage meat (it's sold in 'sausages' in the cold meats section, so near ham and pate ) it's available in most supermarkets. I got mine at Lidl or Tengelman.

You can get Christmas crackers on amazon.de or again get your visitors to bring them.

MediumBox Mon 16-Nov-15 09:17:28

your visitors cannot bring crackers.
they contain a tiny amount of explosives and are prohibited on ferries planes and eurostar.

EBearhug Mon 16-Nov-15 09:19:52

You can get Christmas crackers onamazon.deor again get your visitors to bring them.

Unless they're flying. They're not allowed on flights because of the bangy strips in the middle. I once watched someone argue hard at the check-in desk, but they were not going to be allowed on the flight unless they left their crackers behind.

Sgtmajormummy Mon 16-Nov-15 09:20:06

"Hettie Potter" sorry for the Spoonerism grin.
Recipe attached.

Sgtmajormummy Mon 16-Nov-15 09:21:27

Try again...

Mundelfall Mon 16-Nov-15 09:26:55

Random question, is your dsis driving over? You can't take xmas crackers over on a flight even in hold luggage (last time I looked).

Mundelfall Mon 16-Nov-15 09:27:11

x post EBearhug

Mundelfall Mon 16-Nov-15 09:27:52

And Mediumbox blush Must learn to type faster.

Artandco Mon 16-Nov-15 09:28:37

Rewe supermarkets seem to be the best for stocking most of these. I'm not sure if they have them in Hamburg though? Although I believe they are owned by Edeka so maybe they stock similar. Rewe also do online delivery now.

FinallyHere Mon 16-Nov-15 09:39:10

Ohh, Christmas in HH envy here, hope you have a lovely time.

Our family was there from the early 60s, though to the early 90's. The only things we still imported was birds custard ( for nostalgia, for the oldies) and crackers. Food hall in Karstadt Mönckebergstraße, 20095 Hamburg, Germany, not exactly cheap but great quality will provide most luxury items. Our treat was a side of smoked salmon to start, happy days picking out the small bones with tweezers. Oh, and stollen. And going out for a walk on christmas eve and coming back to the tree lit and decorated. To this day, i have no idea how they did that [getting distracted here]

The only helpful suggestion i have, is to talk through what counts as 'the real deal' for everyone. Its surprising what small details can matter for people and Its a lovely conversation to have about 'what shall we do'. Ive come across visting people desolate that the orange squash was the wrong colour ( different food colouring allowed in Germany so orange squash was not orange coloured as it is in the Uk. Talking it through about what do we want to do is helpful to think of it as an adventure rather than a manufactureed 'never quite right’ ersatz experience.

For us, it was a santa jug (1957 ideal home exhibition) filled with birds custard whereever we were to celebrate christmas.

Hope it goes well for you. We now look out to stock up in Lidl in October to have zimt sterne, and the lovely gingerbread hearts willed with apricots. Oh, and thermal underwear can make outdoor walks more comfortable with just the usual clothes.

Another tradition, for us was to drive up to the welcome point, where ships are welcomed into the free and hanseatic city of Hamburg. They run up the national flag of the ship and a some infirmation about the ship is broadcast from the loudspeakers, the local flag is dipped and the ship will reply in kind. In the summer, the sand by the river is attractive, in winter is more dress warmly and walk briskly.

de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schiffsbegrüßungsanlage_Willkomm-Höft

There is also a cafe restaurent, if you are up for a treat, afternoon coffee and cakes marvellous.
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