Sunday, December 19, 2010

An English Christmas Menu

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This year I am taking a radical turn from my usual Christmas Eve menu.  I will skip my beloved leg of lamb and we will be having a roast with Yorkshire pudding.  Very, very British.  My former bosses would be very proud of me.  There simply won't be as big of a crowd as in past years so making a leg of lamb just doesn't make any sense.  I will not skip the smoked salmon.  This will be served in the living room with a bottle of champagne for those who like it and drinks for those who don't.  I always try to buy extra so I can have leftovers and serve them with scrambled eggs the next morning.

I have given you a choice for a first course depending where you live and when you will be serving the meal.  The oysters can also be served in small plates with cocktails in the living room instead of the smoked salmon.  With this menu, you can really play around with it and simplify it if you want less of a fuss. 

The cheese course is optional, of course, but it goes so well with this menu it is a shame not to include it.  I understand it's already on order at Darlington Hall.

Now, don't get after me about the spiced pecans.  I know they are not British but Georgia was once a colony and let's just leave it at that.  They do go well with champagne! You can also sneak in some cheese wafers and I'm sure no one will complain.

Christmas Eve Menu 2010

Scottish Smoked Salmon on Buttered Thin Toasts
 capers, lemon,  red onions, sour cream 

 Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Cocktails 


Chestnut Soup With Creme Fraiche
Scalloped Oysters

A Muscadet or Sancerre with the Oysters, a hearty Burgundy with the soup


French Cut Green Beans With Slivered Almonds

Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1990


Stilton with English Cream Crackers
 and Port


Photos: Architectural Digest (top) Carolyne Roehm (bottom)


  1. Dearest One:
    We look forward to serving your roast beef and yorkshire pudding at Darlington on Boxing Day (taking this English thing to the extreme), and yes, the stilton is on order. Here's a useful tip Reggie learned recently: stilton, which comes in impossibly large rounds, takes well to freezing. Problem of too much cheese for a two person household solved! But then, you probably knew that, oh Oracle of the kitchen. Thank you, m'dear. Reggie

  2. The perfect Christmas Eve dinner. Stilton, the traditional cheese at Christmas, is at its peak in midwinter thus a perfect choice. This is not a criticism, but I might substitute walnuts for the crackers - I just don't like crackers.

    This is purely a Lancashire-derived tradition in this house but for a Christmas afternoon treat stilton is served with thin slices of homemade fruitcake and a glass of port.

    I've recently discovered you through Reggie and I understand we live in the same city. With that menu, if we were not out of town at Christmas, you might find us knocking on your door!

    Happy Christmas to you.

  3. Columnist,

    Will be happy to pick you up at the virtual airport for cocktails at there!


    You read my mind AGAIN. was going to check up on that and you saved me the trouble. That or stilton croquettes?


    What a wonderful idea. I have a neighbor who makes the best fruitcake and now I look forward to a new tradition here at the lake.

    I will be meeting you when Reggie D graces us with his visit in the Spring. Really looking forward to it! I am not British but worked for Barclays for many years, so kind of adopted. Do appreciate all your suggestions and walnuts are wonderful with it too. Thanks for bringing it up.

  4. Oh Reggie D

    Thanks for the compliment though I'd rather be The Oracle of Omaha!

  5. If I hadn't just come back from Paris stuffed I'd be drooling! As elegant a menu as the best the city of light has to offer!

  6. Oh, I don't know, Paul...stuffed from Paris doesn't sound all that bad!

  7. I so do my Mother's Proper Sunday Roast. I think the only option to live without it, is to make it myself...using your recipe!! (So much easier then trying to write down my mom's 'directions' over the phone)


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