The Christmas dinner is the main Christmas meal on Christmas Day in a British household.  It is traditionally eaten at about 1 pm and family and friends get together for this occasion.

Roast turkey is top of the list, although roast duck, goose, beef etc are popular nowadays.  To accompany the meal are the following:  “Pigs in blankets”, ie little sausages cooked inside thin slices of bacon.  The turkey will be stuffed with one of a variety of stuffings inside the neck:  ie chestnut stuffing, stuffings made with white breadcrumbs with herbs such as parsely and tyme, or sage and onion etc.  Roast potatoes accompany the meal, and perhaps also small baby new potatoes which are boiled.  The traditional vegetables are brussels sprouts and perhaps another vegetable such as carrots, parsnips etc.  There is always a gravy sauce served with the meal, made from the juices from the meat, thickened and browned.  The other accompaniment to roast turkey is cranberry sauce, which is made from cranberry berries. ( - or here you can buy a small jar of it.

Christmas pudding usually follows, and this is a very rich pudding containing brandy.  The Christmas pudding is usually made well in advance of Christmas because, like good wine, it improves with keeping.  It will be made with lots of fruit and it is traditional to steam the Christmas pudding in a saucepan of boiling water for about 6 hours or more, depending on the size.  The traditional British Christmas cake is also very rich, filled with dried fruit and some alcohol and this is best when made well in advance of Christmas and stored.  Every month a spoonful of brandy can be added through the bottom of the cake and left to soak in.  This rich fruit cake is also used for weddings, Christenings etc in Britain.

Recipe for Christmas Pudding, to go with my poem:


Ingredients (serves 4-6) plus mixing bowl and spoon.

50g butter or margarine

50g plain flour

125g soft dark brown sugar

75g white breadcrumbs

50g chopped dates

25g candied peel

125g currants

175g raisins

150 sultanas

50g halved glace cherries

2 eggs

2 tablespoons of black treacle

Half teaspoon of nutmeg

50 ml orange juice

Juice of half a lemon

50 ml apple juice

A small amount of brandy (optional)

Microwaving your pudding:  Lightly grease a half litre (1 pint) pudding basin and fill with mixture. Cover with loosely fitting cling wrap. Set in the centre of the microwave oven and cook on medium high (700 watts) for 10 minutes. Leave to stand for 10 minutes after cooking.