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THE LAST CHRISTMAS AS WE KNOW IT

20/12/2012

… was last year. Technically. That is if rumors about the world ending tomorrow turn out to be true, of course. And they won`t. This year will be the first Christmas after the whole Mayan insanity. So it`s worth celebrating with a twist, yes? That`s why we decided to present  some traditional Christmas meals from around the world. Following the Wednesday blog post with Bulgarian recipes, below are the countries from where the rest of farmhopping`s pioneer farms are. We have also included the UK and Australia, which we dearly hope to very soon add to our list. So choose what you find most delicious and prepare something new for your family and friends, making the holiday truly unforgettable. US Although most Christmas customs in the states have been adopted from those in the UK, regional meals offer incredible diversity. In Virginia they have oysters, ham pie and gluffy biscuits. The upper Midwest enjoys dishes from Scandinavian backgrounds like lutefisk, mashed rutabaga and turnip; in some rural areas the table is graced by elk, opossum or quail. Common desserts include pumpkin pie, plum pudding , Christmas pudding, trifle, marzipan, pfeffernusse, sugar cookies, fruitcake, apple pie, Gooseberry Pie, carrot cake, bûche de Noël, mince pies, coconut cake, pecan pie, and sweet potato pie.

Oyster Stew

What you need 24 oysters 4 cups whole milk pinch cayenne pepper 50g butter salt and pepper

Open all the oysters and clear them from the water. Stack flat on a tray and wait that the second water is produced. Collect it. Put the milk to simmer into a sauce pan. Add the butter and the water collected from the oysters. Poach the oysters in this liquid for 6 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and the cayenne pepper. Place six oysters per person in a soup bowl and pour the soup over them.

UK The dinner eaten on the 25th of December usually includes roast turkey, ham, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, roast potatoes, boiled or steamed vegetables, Christmas pudding, mince pies or trifle with brandy butter and cream.

Mince pies Dough: 10 oz plain flour 6 oz butter 3 oz icing sugar 1 oz ground almonds 1 egg yolk 3 tablespoons milk zest of one lemon Mince meat: 1/2 lb. fresh beef suet (vegetable suet can also be used), chopped fine 4 cups seedless raisins 2 cups dried currants 1 cup coarsely chopped almonds 1/2 cup coarsely chopped candied citron 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried figs 1/2 cup coarsely chopped candied orange peel 1/4 cup coarsely chopped candied lemon peel 4 cups coarsely chopped, peeled, cored cooking apples 1 1/4 cups sugar 1 tsp. ground nutmeg 1 tsp. ground allspice 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp. ground cloves 2 1/2 cups brandy+ 2 1/2 cups per weeks for three weeks 1 cup pale dry sherry+ 1 cup per week for 3 weeks

Mix all the dry ingredients together, pour the brandy and the sherry over them and mix. Put the mixture into a sealable container and store in a cool place for three weeks. Top up with some extra sherry and brandy every week.
Sift the flour into a bowl, add the ground almonds, icing sugar and lemon zest. Mix well then crumb with the butter then add the milk. Gather the crumb into a ball and knead for 5 minutes. Place in the fridge to rest for an hour.
Roll down the dough and make 7,5 cm discs with a cutter, prick them with a fork and put them in the fridge to for 1h. Fill them up and cover with star shaped pieces of dough.
Bake in a preheated oven at 190 degrees Celsius (375F) for about 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with sugar when they are just out of the oven. Australia The summer heat does not prevent Aussies from enjoying a full turkey dinner. However, ham, turkey and chicken are commonly served cold with cranberry sauce and side salads. A popular way of avoiding the oven heat is also the barbecue; seafood delicacies are preferred by many. A favorite dessert is Pavlova, composed of fruit atop a baked meringue.

Pavlova with fresh fruit 4 large egg whites at room temperature 1 cup of Castor sugar, also known as "Berry sugar" 1 tsp of white vinegar 1/2 Tbsp of cornstarch 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract 1/2 cups of whipping cream Fresh fruit (strawberries, raspberries, kiwi fruit, passionfruit, bananas, blueberries) 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 275F (140C) and place the rack in the middle. Line a baking tray with foil and draw a 7 inch circle on the foil with the blunt edge of a knife Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Sprinkle the sugar into them; gradually add the cornstarch and vinegar and fold in, add the vanilla and fold again. Spread the meringue in the circle on the foil to make a circular base. Make sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher then the center. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool completely. Remove it from the foil.Whip the cream with the vanilla extract, spread on the meringue and arrange the sliced fruit on top.

The Philippines The Christmas dinner is called Noche Buena and the centrepiece of the Noche Buena is often the hamón, usually a cured leg of pork ham, served with Queso de Bola, literally a ball of edam cheese, covered in a red wax. Other dishes are pasta and fruit salad for dessert. Tsokolate (hot cocoa) is the favorite drink to accompany dinner, it is made with pure, locally grown cacao beans or prepared from tablea or tablets of pressed cocoa powder. Affluent families` dinner includes lechón (spit-roasted pig), lumpia; escabeche, adobo, rellenong manok (stuffed chicken), roast turkey, mechado (beef stew), kaldereta (spicy beef stew), paella.

Hot Tablea Tsokolate

1pc. chocolate tablea (blocks of cacao) ½ cup low fat milk ½ cup water Brown sugar to taste

Place the tablea in a saucepan, pour the milk and water and allow to boil over medium heat. Stir and add sugar to taste.

India Among the variety of foods is Biryani with chicken or lamb (mutton), chicken and mutton curry, followed by cake or sweets like Kheer. Since turkey is very expensive in Inida, the turkey Biryani is not so common in the villages.

Mutton Biryani

500 g basmati rice 1 tsp black cumin 2 boiled eggs 50 g cashew nuts 1 bunch coriander leaves 2 cups of curd 2 tbsp of garam masala 2 tbsp of garam masala powder 2 tbsp of garlic and ginger paste 2 cups of golden fried sliced onions 3 chilies Juice of 2 limes 1 tsp of meat tenderizer 1 bunch of mint 1 kilo mutton 5 tbsp oil 1 tbsp red chili powder 1 tbsp rose water 1 pinch of saffron salt tpo taste 1 pinch of turmeric powder

Boil the water, add the oil and salt and cook the rice until it is half cooked. Marinate the mutton in a pan with all the spices, curd and onion. Layer about half the marinated mutton in the bottom of a deep pot with a lid. Cover it with half the rice. Sprinkle the mint and coriander leaves and the fried onions. Cook for about 30 minutes in a preheated oven. Egypt Although Egypt is predominantly a Muslim country, there is a small, around 10%, Christian population, that celebrates Christmas. Following the Coptic calendar, it takes place on the 6th day of January. The special holiday meal is called fata, a dish consisting of bread, rice, meat and garlic. On Christmas morning people in Egypt visit friends and neighbors. They take with them kaik which is a type of shortbread, which they take with them to give to the people they visit and eaten with a drink known as shortbat.

Kaik Bread

2 cups samn balady 1 cup milk 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour 2 tablespoons baking powder 1 tea spoon instant yeas 1 tea spoon ground cinnamon 1 tea spoon  ground cloves 1 tea spoon ground ginger
sesame seeds Add the baking powder and the spices to the flour. Heat the samn balady until almost boiling, carefully add the flour to and stir with a wooden spoon. Add the instant yeast to the milk with a teaspoon of sugar, then stir into the mixture. Knead for a short while and let it rest for an hour. After that you can add nuts, agwa (date spread) , or other and shape the dough in little balls, then flatten them. Put the in a tray and in the preheated to 345 f oven. Bake for 15 minutes; sprinkle with sugar while they are still hot. Share what your favorite Christmas meal is? Images credits: http://www.shutterstock.com/