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Inspired Contributor
foxycat
Posts: 1,626
Registered: ‎06-17-2007
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Re: Trivia: Mincemeat

The mincemeat sounds very much like chutney except for the suet. It's difficult for me to imagine Americans mixing meat fat into the other ingredients. I'll have to check the ingredients if I ever see any.

Christmas foods vary greatly here with each ethnic group, but for those of us who are or have become generic, it's usually ham, turkey or an oversized chicken called the "Oven Stuffer Roaster." I've stuffed my freezer with turkey thighs, which I love, because I can't get them after Christmas. For some reason the rest of the year you can buy packaged legs, wings and breasts but never thighs. I wonder what's done with them from Jan-Oct? Dog and cat food?:smileyvery-happy:

Christmas here is commercialized till many of us want to scream. You're urged by the stores, TV, internet, newspapers to buy gifts and cards for your entire family, down to the cousins and nephews, your dentist, your mailman, your office staff, even your pets. Every item in the house comes in Christmas versions: dishes, towels, glassware, rugs, doormats, soap, candles... And many people go along with it, enough to keep the American economy going, but it's become quite absurd.

Back to the delicious food...
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Trivia: Mincemeat

[ Edited ]
Mincemeat is very sweet FC so not a bit like chutney and the beef suet doesn't have a 'beefy' taste because it is shredded off the meat before cooking and then clarified. It taste more like lard. This is the suet most used in the UK:-

http://www.atora.co.uk/aboutus/body.htm

Christmas is very commercialised here too but I try to avoid it as much as I can.




foxycat wrote:
The mincemeat sounds very much like chutney except for the suet. It's difficult for me to imagine Americans mixing meat fat into the other ingredients. I'll have to check the ingredients if I ever see any.

Christmas foods vary greatly here with each ethnic group, but for those of us who are or have become generic, it's usually ham, turkey or an oversized chicken called the "Oven Stuffer Roaster." I've stuffed my freezer with turkey thighs, which I love, because I can't get them after Christmas. For some reason the rest of the year you can buy packaged legs, wings and breasts but never thighs. I wonder what's done with them from Jan-Oct? Dog and cat food?:smileyvery-happy:

Christmas here is commercialized till many of us want to scream. You're urged by the stores, TV, internet, newspapers to buy gifts and cards for your entire family, down to the cousins and nephews, your dentist, your mailman, your office staff, even your pets. Every item in the house comes in Christmas versions: dishes, towels, glassware, rugs, doormats, soap, candles... And many people go along with it, enough to keep the American economy going, but it's become quite absurd.

Back to the delicious food...



Message Edited by Choisya on 12-10-2007 12:26 PM

Message Edited by Choisya on 12-10-2007 12:28 PM
Contributor
Gypsy
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎06-01-2007
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Re: Trivia: Now for Xmas Lunch!

Growing up, opening Christmas presents changed year to year. My father worked in a factory that was open 24/7, so opening presents pretty much depended on his schedule. If he got off at 8:00 am, we opened presents when he got home. He would then get a few hours sleep before dinner, though how he slept in all that chaos, I'll never know. If he got off at midnight, we opened presents when he got home. I still remember waking up to his shouts about finding that weird man snooping under our Christmas tree. If he worked Christmas Day or was off, we opened presents Christmas Eve, so he could sleep in.

We never did a Christmas lunch. We would have a huge Christmas breakfast, which generally tided us over until a mid-afternoon Christmas dinner. My mother made either a turkey or a ham, depending on which was the most affordable that year. As a Christmas present to my father, she made mashed potatoes and turnips, which the rest of us hated. Sweet potato casserole, black olives and some sort of cooked vegetable was part of the meal. If there was a turkey, she also served jellied cranberry sauce. And dessert was always some sort of pie. Oh, and the beverage served with dinner was egg nog.
Frequent Contributor
songgirl7
Posts: 59
Registered: ‎03-22-2007
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Re: Trivia: Now for Xmas Lunch!

[ Edited ]

Choisya wrote:
I have often wondered what Americans have for lunch on Xmas Day given that it is only a short time since they had a big Thanksgiving dinner - is it the same sort of food?




Many Americans have turkey or ham, as others have said. My family always has prime rib.

As an aside, I have a wonderful recipe for Brussels sprouts. I used to hate them and then I found out that I'd only ever had them when they'd been overcooked, and they were very bitter. Then one day I had them at a five star restaurant and have loved them ever since (when cooked properly, of course!). Anyway, my recipe involves pancetta and garlic and the leaves of the sprouts are loose.

Message Edited by songgirl7 on 12-10-2007 05:49 PM
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Inspired Contributor
foxycat
Posts: 1,626
Registered: ‎06-17-2007
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Re: Trivia: Mincemeat

[ Edited ]
I was referring to cholesterol, not beef taste. Comparing it to lard (pork fat?) makes it even more unappealing. America has a tremendous obesity problem. Many of us remove as much fat as possible from our meats, and have learned to grill, broil, poach and saute with a minimum of fat, and using nonstick pans. We use healthy oils like canola, safflower and olive oil. The NYC Health Dept has actually passed a law banning trans fats from restaurants.

I was surprised last year to see ready-made frozen pie crusts have lard in them. I showed the label to a friend who bakes, and she switched to graham-cracker crusts.

The only way I've ever seen suet sold here is as a cake in packaged wild bird food combined with seeds. Some supermarkets also have suet with birdseed in the meat dept. Otherwise it's the stuff we cut off our meat and toss out. Differences in our food cultures.:smileyvery-happy:

But I was also pulling your chain a little, as this is holiday time, and people expect to put on weight. :smileyvery-happy: :smileyvery-happy:


Choisya wrote:
Mincemeat is very sweet FC so not a bit like chutney and the beef suet doesn't have a 'beefy' taste because it is shredded off the meat before cooking and then clarified. It taste more like lard. This is the suet most used in the UK:-

http://www.atora.co.uk/aboutus/body.htm



Message Edited by foxycat on 12-10-2007 10:03 PM

Message Edited by foxycat on 12-10-2007 10:04 PM
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Trivia: Mincemeat

LOL. We have the same problem to a lesser extent over here and folks avoid fat and sugar but not at Xmas and not mincemeat, xmas puds and the like!:smileysurprised:




foxycat wrote:
I was referring to cholesterol, not beef taste. Comparing it to lard (pork fat?) makes it even more unappealing. America has a tremendous obesity problem. Many of us remove as much fat as possible from our meats, and have learned to grill, broil, poach and saute with a minimum of fat, and using nonstick pans. We use healthy oils like canola, safflower and olive oil. The NYC Health Dept has actually passed a law banning trans fats from restaurants.

I was surprised last year to see ready-made frozen pie crusts have lard in them. I showed the label to a friend who bakes, and she switched to graham-cracker crusts.

The only way I've ever seen suet sold here is as a cake in packaged wild bird food combined with seeds. Some supermarkets also have suet with birdseed in the meat dept. Otherwise it's the stuff we cut off our meat and toss out. Differences in our food cultures.:smileyvery-happy:

But I was also pulling your chain a little, as this is holiday time, and people expect to put on weight. :smileyvery-happy: :smileyvery-happy:


Choisya wrote:
Mincemeat is very sweet FC so not a bit like chutney and the beef suet doesn't have a 'beefy' taste because it is shredded off the meat before cooking and then clarified. It taste more like lard. This is the suet most used in the UK:-

http://www.atora.co.uk/aboutus/body.htm



Message Edited by foxycat on 12-10-2007 10:03 PM

Message Edited by foxycat on 12-10-2007 10:04 PM


Inspired Contributor
foxycat
Posts: 1,626
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Re: Trivia: Plum pudding

Now that I know plum pudding has no plums, the next thing you'll tell me is that sugar plums have no plums! What a scam!:smileyvery-happy:
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

Inspired Contributor
Choisya
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Re: Trivia: Plum pudding

LOL. Don't worry, a Sugar Plum is a candied plum covered in chocolate although even worse for you (and your teeth) than suet:smileyvery-happy:. Candied fruits from the Mediterrean are very popular over here at Xmas - do you get them in the US?

http://www.anneausoleil.com/PBSCCatalog.asp?ItmID=884658





foxycat wrote:
Now that I know plum pudding has no plums, the next thing you'll tell me is that sugar plums have no plums! What a scam!:smileyvery-happy:


Inspired Contributor
foxycat
Posts: 1,626
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Re: Trivia: Plum pudding

Don't know. Anyone?



Choisya wrote:
LOL. Don't worry, a Sugar Plum is a candied plum covered in chocolate although even worse for you (and your teeth) than suet:smileyvery-happy:. Candied fruits from the Mediterrean are very popular over here at Xmas - do you get them in the US?

http://www.anneausoleil.com/PBSCCatalog.asp?ItmID=884658





foxycat wrote:
Now that I know plum pudding has no plums, the next thing you'll tell me is that sugar plums have no plums! What a scam!:smileyvery-happy:





Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

Contributor
johns
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎12-06-2007
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Re: Trivia: Plum pudding

Candied fruit is not a "staple" in the American tradition, that I know of. At least, not like the dreaded fruitcake.
Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Trivia: Plum pudding



johns wrote:
Candied fruit is not a "staple" in the American tradition, that I know of. At least, not like the dreaded fruitcake.




Of course, a fruitcake is full of candied fruits!

I do notice around the Christmas season, that festive trays of dried fruits make an appearance in the grocery store. And my parents used to get mixed nuts in the shell at that time of year, served in a wooden bowl with the nutcracker.
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foxycat
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Re: Trivia: Candied fruit

Choisya--

I read the description of the French delicacy, and it sounds like whole fruits dipped in a sugar glaze. The alternative, which is doubtful, would be nondescript chopped fruit sort of cooked in sugar syrup and dried, which we call candied fruit, and, yes, appears, yucch, in fruitcake.:smileysad: If it's the first, I've never seen it, although we do have chocolate-covered strawberries at some fine chocolate shops. Fine candy shops, which I can't afford and so don't visit, might have the French item.

dulcinea3--

Yes there are more dried fruits (not to be confused with candied fruits)in Nov-Dec, but supermarkets carry them all year near the prunes or in the produce dept. I especially love the apricots. Apricot flavor condensed and intensified!! I don't know how dried fruits became associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas. Maybe because they're easy to nosh on.

If anyone's into old-fashioned candy, American, English and from a few other places, try the catalog or website of the Vermont Country Store. Some can't be found anymore and are made exclusively for them.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

Frequent Contributor
BarbaraN
Posts: 519
Registered: ‎11-08-2006
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Re: Trivia: Candied fruit


foxycat wrote:
Choisya--

I read the description of the French delicacy, and it sounds like whole fruits dipped in a sugar glaze. The alternative, which is doubtful, would be nondescript chopped fruit sort of cooked in sugar syrup and dried, which we call candied fruit, and, yes, appears, yucch, in fruitcake.:smileysad: If it's the first, I've never seen it, although we do have chocolate-covered strawberries at some fine chocolate shops. Fine candy shops, which I can't afford and so don't visit, might have the French item.

dulcinea3--

Yes there are more dried fruits (not to be confused with candied fruits)in Nov-Dec, but supermarkets carry them all year near the prunes or in the produce dept. I especially love the apricots. Apricot flavor condensed and intensified!! I don't know how dried fruits became associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas. Maybe because they're easy to nosh on.

If anyone's into old-fashioned candy, American, English and from a few other places, try the catalog or website of the Vermont Country Store. Some can't be found anymore and are made exclusively for them.




I suspect a lot of these customs developed in a time before refrigeration and world markets. Fresh fruit would have been a rarity (and maybe why it became a traditional special Christmas gift that it certainly isn't now) but dry fruit, and especially sugared stuff, would have been preserved from summer crops. High energy food would have been important in winter as well. Brussel sprouts are a winter crop.
Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Trivia: Candied fruit


foxycat wrote:
dulcinea3--

Yes there are more dried fruits (not to be confused with candied fruits)in Nov-Dec, but supermarkets carry them all year near the prunes or in the produce dept. I especially love the apricots. Apricot flavor condensed and intensified!! I don't know how dried fruits became associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas. Maybe because they're easy to nosh on.

If anyone's into old-fashioned candy, American, English and from a few other places, try the catalog or website of the Vermont Country Store. Some can't be found anymore and are made exclusively for them.




Yes, I know you can get dried fruits year-round. But I don't usually see them arranged on those trays (do you know what I mean?) like I see around the holidays, so I associate that presentation with the festive season, although I suppose you can even get those any time of year if you want to make an effort. I like figs, myself!

And I love the Vermont Country Store! One of my favorite sources for Christmas gifts. Not only candy, but cosmetics, clothing items, etc. - they search out and offer lots of items that have either disappeared or are difficult to find. It's like a nostalgia trip just looking through their catalog! I love remembering the old ads for all those different colognes they have. I've sampled a few of their candies myself, and also bought things like their chowders, chutneys, and preserves as gifts.
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Trivia: Mincemeat



foxycat wrote:
The mincemeat sounds very much like chutney except for the suet. It's difficult for me to imagine Americans mixing meat fat into the other ingredients. I'll have to check the ingredients if I ever see any.

Christmas foods vary greatly here with each ethnic group, but for those of us who are or have become generic, it's usually ham, turkey or an oversized chicken called the "Oven Stuffer Roaster." I've stuffed my freezer with turkey thighs, which I love, because I can't get them after Christmas. For some reason the rest of the year you can buy packaged legs, wings and breasts but never thighs. I wonder what's done with them from Jan-Oct? Dog and cat food?:smileyvery-happy:

Christmas here is commercialized till many of us want to scream. You're urged by the stores, TV, internet, newspapers to buy gifts and cards for your entire family, down to the cousins and nephews, your dentist, your mailman, your office staff, even your pets. Every item in the house comes in Christmas versions: dishes, towels, glassware, rugs, doormats, soap, candles... And many people go along with it, enough to keep the American economy going, but it's become quite absurd.

Back to the delicious food...





Yes, I think Christmas is most about buying gifts in America today. THat is all you do hear about. Even Cooking shows do not have that much about having Christmas Dinner. But our family has always done a turkey again, usually a smaller one for each event and then at Christmas a ham or beef or Pork Roast. Has anyone had Cornish Hens for Christmas? I was thinking about that since alot of people are doing them now.
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Trivia: Now for Xmas Lunch!



Gypsy wrote:
Growing up, opening Christmas presents changed year to year. My father worked in a factory that was open 24/7, so opening presents pretty much depended on his schedule. If he got off at 8:00 am, we opened presents when he got home. He would then get a few hours sleep before dinner, though how he slept in all that chaos, I'll never know. If he got off at midnight, we opened presents when he got home. I still remember waking up to his shouts about finding that weird man snooping under our Christmas tree. If he worked Christmas Day or was off, we opened presents Christmas Eve, so he could sleep in.

We never did a Christmas lunch. We would have a huge Christmas breakfast, which generally tided us over until a mid-afternoon Christmas dinner. My mother made either a turkey or a ham, depending on which was the most affordable that year. As a Christmas present to my father, she made mashed potatoes and turnips, which the rest of us hated. Sweet potato casserole, black olives and some sort of cooked vegetable was part of the meal. If there was a turkey, she also served jellied cranberry sauce. And dessert was always some sort of pie. Oh, and the beverage served with dinner was egg nog.




Yes, my mother and later myself, worked in nursing care so we had to go by our work schedule as when to have Christmas dinner and open presents. Most of the time it was Christmas Eve because no one could wait until Christmas night.
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BarbaraN
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Re: Trivia: Mincemeat

Has anyone had Cornish Hens for Christmas? I was thinking about that since alot of people are doing them now.
-------------------------

I have. They are a good choice if you are only dealing with a few people and don't want to eat left-overs well into the new year! They are a little different and out of the ordinary enough to be festive than plain ordinary chicken. I think they are a great idea.
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Trivia: Mincemeat



BarbaraN wrote:
Has anyone had Cornish Hens for Christmas? I was thinking about that since alot of people are doing them now.
-------------------------

I have. They are a good choice if you are only dealing with a few people and don't want to eat left-overs well into the new year! They are a little different and out of the ordinary enough to be festive than plain ordinary chicken. I think they are a great idea.




Sounds good. I might just do them. Its only dinner for four. Thanks for your expedise.
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johns
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Re: Trivia: Mincemeat

Cornish Game Hens are kinda like Buffalo Wings and crawfish. A lot of work for a little meat.
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Trivia: Mincemeat



johns wrote:
Cornish Game Hens are kinda like Buffalo Wings and crawfish. A lot of work for a little meat.




Ohh! Really! I still might try them.
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