Welcome to week 2 of Christmas traditions, Treats and of course some Trivia.
You can also expect tried and tested recipes which were passed down from my mum, recipes I have been given by friends and family from all over the world and which are now our family favourites. Traditions there are many Christmas traditions practised around the world and I will be bringing you some of those and anyone who wishes to contribute with a guest post of their own on a special Thanksgiving dish or tradition then you would be very welcome to showcase them here as I know my friends across the pond and my relatives celebrate Thanksgiving on the 25th November and have turkey and lots of other goodies … So please share and I will link back to your post…
Early images of Santa pictured him as a stern, commanding disciplinarian holding a birch rod. The jolly old Santa we know and love today was created by artist Haddon Sundblom for a Coca-Cola ad.
From 1920s to 1964, Coca-Cola advertising showed Santa delivering toys (and playing with them!), pausing to read a letter and enjoy a Coke, visiting with the children who stayed up to greet him, and raiding the refrigerators at a number of homes. The original oil paintings Sundblom created were adapted for Coca-Cola advertising in magazines and on store displays, billboards, posters, calendars and plush dolls. Many of those items today are popular collectables… I would love to have one as I have a small collection of Christmas memorabilia mostly crockery and tableware…
Pastry cook Tom Smith invented Christmas Crackers around 1846. He was inspired by the French habit of wrapping sugared almonds in twists of paper as gifts. Love messages called ” kiss mottos were in the original crackers which didn’t crack until a while later…Tom used to distribute his crackers to customers and friends through his successful wedding cake ornament and confectionery business he did, however, realise that he had to come up with a unique idea to make them more saleable. It is said that he got the idea of a pop from listening to logs crackling on the fire.
He had the idea of incorporating a friction activated chemical explosion into his product to produce the necessary ‘popping’ sound.
Silver fulminate, a compound discovered by the English chemist Edward Charles Howard (1774 – 1816) in 1800 and further developed in 1802 by the Italian chemistry professor, Luigi Valentino Brugnatelli (1761 – 1818).
This eventually became the cracker snap of today and Tom Smith’s Christmas Crackers were born.
I find it fascinating how many ideas evolve and develop…Don’t you?
HOWEVER, as Climate Change is now high on most people’s agendas last week I showed you how easy it is to make your own crackers and they are so much more personal… The bonus less packaging coming into your home…and that’s just from the crackers and the box …Here’s the link to how to make your own crackers in case you missed it last week.
Besides food waste, huge amounts of food packaging will also be discarded. This includes 300 million plastic cups and straws.
Consumer group Which has also found that packaging makes up approximately half of the total weight of chocolate sold at Christmas (Ferrero Rocher for example is 42% packaging, 58% product!).
In total, around 125,000 tonnes of plastic wrapping used for food will also be discarded over the festive period.
Did you know?
Fruitcake originated in ancient Egypt, where it was considered essential for the afterlife.
Christmas Pudding …Have you made yours yet?? If not I have added the link for two Christmas pudding recipes one Gluten Free…
Originally way back in ancient times, there was a sweet haggis called hackin made from oatmeal, dried fruit, suet and grated apple and then cooked like its savoury Scots relative the haggis by boiling it in a sheep’s stomach.
Often a Christmas pudding is wrongly thought to be an adaption of a spicy soup called potage…However, according to early records, potage and hackin were served side by side on Christmas menus.
Throughout the years this sweet hackin has evolved and it became more than just a tasty treat Small items such as coins (wealth) and buttons (bachelorhood) were put inside, and supposedly foretold what the New Year would bring. I remember my nan putting a silver sixpence in her pudding mix …Just the one and we all hoped we would get it but I am also sure there must have been many which were swallowed or caused a cracked tooth maybe that was why the tradition stopped.
Now they are just a beautiful rich steamed pudding with the fruit steeped in alcohol…rich and lovely…Christmas Pudding Recipes…
Who still puts out a plate with a mince pie and a carrot on Christmas Eve for Santa and his reindeer???
How’s this for weird Christmas food?
I am used to seeing deep-fried bugs here so they don’t freak me out…South Africa is home to some of the world’s most unusual holiday food fare. Every December locals feast on a seasonal delicacy– the deep-fried caterpillars of Emperor Moths! They really are very pretty caterpillars… Deep-fried…Would you eat them ????
The hunt is on for the best Christmas Jumper…
To be in with a chance of winning…Please send in your photos…
Christmas Cheer this week is in the guise of my homemade Irish Cream Recipe
Ingredients: Makes about 1 litre.
- 1 2/3 cup(400 ml) Irish Whiskey
- 1 cup double(heavy) cream
- 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk…
- 3 tbsp Chocolate syrup or chocolate topping..
- 1 tsp instant coffee granules
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract.
Cooks Tips: Irish Cream or Baileys is now sold in many flavours which means you can be inventive…Below are a few ideas…You can also make a dairy-free version which is equally as good…
- Replace the coffee and chocolate syrup with Kahlua.
- Add orange extract and extra chocolate.
- For a dairy-free version use coconut milk to make sweetened condensed milk and then use coconut milk instead of cream.
- Use Drambuie instead of coffee and add some Cointreau and a spot more chocolate sauce.
- if you don’t have chocolate syrup, use 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa powder instead. I suggest whisking the cocoa powder with a tbsp of cream until smooth.
- Your alcohol…your choice how about Southern Comfort and Amaretto. Brandy… it was awesome! or Bourbon.
Blend all ingredients(except) for the alcohol) together lightly as you don’t want to curdle your cream add your alcohol and then refrigerate.
Serve cold and or over Ice…or buy some pretty glass bottles add a bow and a message…Now, who wouldn’t love to receive that as a Christmas Gift?
How easy is that? plus …you can get about 4 batches from one bottle of Irish Whiskey so by my reckoning that’s a real saving and lots of Irish Cream which we tested alongside Bailey’s and it was very close…yay……
Thank you for reading this week’s Christmas Traditions and Treats I do hope you have enjoyed it if so please let me know in comments I love to hear from you…xxx
Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx