Christmas…’Tis the season of love and laughter…and a glass of Egg Nog…

The magic which is Christmas...I try although it is hard when it is sunny and no one else celebrates it…But Chrismas is in my soul and I hope that I can share some of the magic I have always felt with you and of course make you remember and smile…

christmas tree and baubles-2939314_640

Image by 5598375 from Pixabay

A real tree was the start of Christmas as a child…the cards strung around the room all counted…haha…and every sender known and duly sent a card back…The paper chains we made and strung across the ceiling no fancy decorations then they were homemade with love and a little glitter…

NB...Please though if you are buying a real tree make sure it is from a sustainable source or buy one well-rooted, keep it watered and away from the central heating then plant for next year this is something my father always did.

The postman, the coalman, and the milkman were duly given their Christmas Boxes and well deserved as they were always on time with a cheery smile…You could set your watch by them…

The Carol Singers who came round at night and stood beneath the lampost and sung their hearts out…

That was a real Christmas…Midnight mass and Boxing day service…The Nativity proudly displayed…Hot mince pies, sausage rolls and tea provided by the lovely ladies of the Women’s Institute…A real community Christmas …where the neighbours had a mince pie over the garden fence or in the kitchen…a sneaky sherry…just the one…

Christmas was warm and special…Where a neighbour who was on their own was invited to Christmas lunch or a plate was taken to them…No one went without…xx

Father Christmas or Santa Claus is what I have always known the man in the red suit as…Not so in the rest of the world, Santa goes under a few different guises…


Image by Alain Audet from Pixabay

Today I am going to take you on a little trip around the world just to give you a flavour of the foods served and how some of the customs vary from what we know..all very interesting, some delicious foods and the different names our beloved Father Christmas is called…

Santa Claus is someone who will remain in the hearts of children forever. He is the make-believe person ( or was he?) who brings toys and other gifts to children at Christmas.

Santa Claus also has some other names: Saint Nicholas, St. Nick, Kris Kringle, Pelznickel.

Two of his names — Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas — both come from the Dutch who settled in New York long ago.

The Dutch believed Saint Nikolaas gave gifts to children. They honoured this kindly saint with a yearly festival on December 6th. The English-speaking people who lived nearby greatly enjoyed Dutch festivals. And they brought the saint and the custom of giving gifts into their own celebration at Christmas time.

England, of course, knows him as Father Christmas… Turkey, roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, stuffing, cranberry sauce, Brussel sprouts, mince pies, Christmas pudding and trifle being favourite foods at Christmas. My Christmas Menu…  with recipes…

In Brazil, he is called Papai Noel… or Bom Velhinho (Good Old Man).

The Christmas meal is also served on the evening of the 24th rather than the 25th and consists of a Chester( chicken)  Salted cod balls, no roast potatoes but cold potato salad and instead of gravy farofa, a mix of fried cassava flour and chopped bits of crispy bacon. Cabbage is replaced by kale heavily flavoured with salt and garlic.

A custom in Brazil which I am sure that many would love to have that same custom where they live is that it is common in Brazil to get a ’13th salary’ at the end of the year – i.e. in December you get twice the normal amount of pay for that month!

The idea is to help boost the economy around Christmas. This has been going on for decades and most people don’t even question that other countries might not do it!

Favourite Christmas foods in Brazil include pork, turkey, pork, ham, salads and fresh and dried fruits. Everything is served with rice cooked with raisins and a good spoon of “farofa” (seasoned manioc flour.) Popular Christmas desserts include tropical and ice cream.

Hawaii the jolly, white-bearded man is called  Kanakaloka he, however, does not wear the traditional red suit we all know and love but flowery Hawaiian clothing…

And on the Christmas menu here it is a traditional lu’au, complete with a pig roasted in an underground pit, chicken long rice, lomilomi salmon accompanied by the traditional Hawaiian music and Santa arrives in a red canoe…

That looks absolutely delicious…

In Hungary, the  Winter grandfather( Mikulas) comes on the 25th and only to good children and there is no jolly Mrs Christmas but a scary assistant called “Krampusz”…

Christmas fare in Hungary is Fish soup, stuffed cabbage, fried fish and rice, other meats(Pork, Chicken) an elaborate fruit topped Christmas cake, gingerbread cookies, Bejgli with walnut or poppy seeds( which is the traditional Hungarian Christmas cake)

India Baba delivers presents from a horse and cart and of course, the menus are spicy with spicy dumplings and curries, Biryani, poda, mathri and lots of other yummy sweet dishes.

Turkeys…As you know we grow our own which is very nice although Thai turkeys like Thai chickens do not have the plump breasts …well they might if they were fed supplements for a better word but we don’t…They forage and roam the farm…

In the Uk approx 76% of homes serve up a turkey in the US it is a staggering 46 million turkeys eaten on Thanksgiving and 22 million at Christmas but at least you can just put the turkey in the oven and enjoy your celebrations…Not so easy for some  The Puerto Rican national dish is the roast suckling pig known as lechón, and this almighty beast needs the more-or-less constant attention of at least two people as it slowly turns on an outdoor spit from as early as two in the morning.

To while away the long hours cranking the handle with a coconut shell full of coquito, a festive Puerto Rican spin on eggnog made with coconut milk, condensed milk and a hearty dash of rum is somewhat of a consolation…Who still drinks Egg Nog?

I remember my nan and my mum drinking it we were allowed a little sip and that was it although sometimes my dad or my nan would sneak us a very small glass…This one is made from scratch…

Super easy to make and brings back memories which to me is what Christmas is about…

Called posset in 13th-century medieval England it was originally made with milk curdled with wine or ale to which spices were added. A drink favoured by medieval monks who drank the warm posset with fresh figs. Later around the 17th century the name probably changed due to the wooden mug or bowl it was served in called a “Noggin”

Sometimes confused with the Dutch rich boozy egg custard liqueur called Advocaat which when topped up with sweet lemonade is called a snowball…

That’s all for today…See you tomorrow at my house for some more Christmas recipes and tit bits…x

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a creative week ahead xx


55 thoughts on “Christmas…’Tis the season of love and laughter…and a glass of Egg Nog…

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup the 3rd- 8th December 2019… | Retired? No one told me!

  2. Pingback: Christmas…’Tis the season of love and laughter…and a glass of Egg Nog… | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Some countries have such wonderful traditions and others are just so very commercialised if they did have any they have been lost which is such a shame I love reading about traditions 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Liz Gauffreau

        So do I. In the US, we seem to have developed a strange tradition of complaining about the commercialization of Christmas, which almost makes the commercialization a tradition in itself.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. joylennick

    What a great, warm ‘hug’ of a rich Christmas post to keep out the chill. Bravo, Carol. Jingle Bells…Being in my 80’s, those early Christmases were really memorable as we all visited each other a lot more. i always helped my mother decorate the Christmas cake with silver balls, little fir trees and the like and, of course, we made our own paper-chain decorations. Happy, memorable times. I do hope you have a splendid Christmas with your family. (One of my nephews is in Thailand at present preparing to marry his Thai bride, who sounds the sweetest young woman…) Hugs. Peace and love. Joy xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      So did I …The same christmas decs for the cake came out every year…I am sure we will less many of the trimmings but that is ok…it is about family…How lovely a Thai wedding…Thank you for such a lovely comment I hope you also have a joyous and peaceful Christmas Season, Joy. Hugs xxx


  4. Becky Ross Michael

    When I was a child, we had a kids’ Betty Crocker cook book with a recipe for egg nog. There was no cooking involved, so the eggs were totally raw! We made it fairly often, and I loved it! Nowadays, we know the health risks of raw eggs, but this never seemed to make us sick. Maybe we were just lucky?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Maybe the chickens were just healthier and chemical free and sometimes we just know too much..I survived much which would be frowned on now… Haha.. How lovely do you still have the cookbook?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. acflory

    Aaaah. Thanks for this gastronomic trip around the world. Thanks also for reminding me of the beigli my Mum used to make – both walnut and poppy seed. I bitterly regret not learning her recipes when she was around to show me. No one since has been able to make beigli the way she did. Merry Christmas, Carol. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Merry Christmas to you Meeks…Beigli is that like a roulade or swiss roll? I wonder if Dolly would have a recipe ? She may well do…I can ask her she has many authentic recipes…:) xx


      1. acflory

        Yes, like a roulade with a layer of filling rolled up with it. I’ve tried a couple of commercial beigli but either the filling or the pastry was always different to Mum’s.

        Speaking of filling, Mum used to have a special, manual grinder that turned the poppyseeds into a glorious paste. She’d add sugar and that would be the filling. Ditto the walnuts. Dad was the one tasked with the actual grinding as it was hard work.
        The thing I can’t remember is how her pastry became so rich and buttery. I’d love to know if any of your friends have a recipe.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. CarolCooks2 Post author

        I have my nans manual grinder here… I take it with me wherever I live… I also use daily her silver tablespoons I have two all my odds of family history for cooking I keep close and my kitchenware always travels with me… 😀


      3. acflory

        I don’t know what happened to Mum’s grinder. I fear it ended up in the skip when the house was sold and Dad came to live with us. I should have made more of an effort to save it. :/

        Liked by 1 person

      4. CarolCooks2 Post author

        Hindsight is wonderful there are many things I wish I had held onto but those I did have brought pleasure and kept memories alive 🙂 x


      5. acflory

        Ain’t that the truth! These days I find that it’s Mum’s recipes that make me feel close to her. She taught me about the value of fresh food long before it became a ‘thing’. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. CarolCooks2 Post author

        Likewise and that is what is being lost…I do hope we can pull that back and people start to do the same…Dolly sent me a link to her recipe it is different in that it isn’t rolled but pastry can be any shape she also said that she soaks the poppy seeds until they absorb the water and then grinds them with honey does that sound like your mums? Here is the link Dolly sent me Sure, with poppy seeds. I use this dough: We soak poppy seeds in warm water until all water is absorbed, then grind them with honey. I haven’t made it in ages, Carol! I think if rolled the poppy seed mix and made a swiss roll shape it may do the trick…I may have a go as I have lots of poppy seeds 🙂


      7. acflory

        lol – that was really interesting but I’m pretty sure Mum didn’t use a yeast dough. It was more biscuity, if that makes sense? I might give that trick with the poppy seeds a go though. Thanks so much for asking Dolly!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. koolkosherkitchen

        My pleasure, dear Carol. Historically, it was peter the Great who brought this holiday into Russia, the tree and all. However, in Russian tradition, Nicholas is the patron saint of thieves and smugglers, so Peter arbitrarily called him Grandfather Frost. The Snow Girl was added a bit later, to keep him company. Also, instead of deer, his sled is driven by a “troika” of snow white horses.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. koolkosherkitchen

        I told you part of the story in an earlier comment. Peter literally “drugged Russia into Europe by the beard,” i.e. he would ride around with a pair of scissors, swoop into houses of high aristocrats, grab their beards and cut them off, then stuff them into their own pockets. They had no choice but to become clean shaven, as the European fashion demanded. Grandfather Frost was the only one allowed to have a beard.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Red is certainly the colour of the season, Marian or white with all the snow and frost. Egg Nog is easy and good to drink especially when it is cold and frosty…and also great over ice a winner wherever you are the world 🙂 xx


  6. cathyscrazykitchen

    You have a very nice way of bringing back memories. I loved caroling and even asked my friends this year if they would consider doing it for fun. Of course they said no but at least I tried.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thank you, Cathy..That was a shame we used to love the Carol Singers… a dying trend now and people don’t have time…A friend of mine joined a ladies singing group and that seems to be the best way as groups tend to do things like that they sing for community homes at Christmas 🙂



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