Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Day

Most of the year we spend a lot of time outside. But not on Christmas day. That is a day to reap the benefits of being outside all year long - by eating whatever we like and capping the day off with a traditional Christmas dinner.

Many of our favourite dishes are of British origin, which is our heritage. We have turkey with all the trimmings, including bread sauce (recipe below), lots of well prepared veggies, and for desert, mincemeat tarts, fruitcake and plum pudding set aflame with brandy and served with both hard and custard sauce.

Bread sauce is a delicious but very underused accompaniment to turkey. Try it the next time you cook one - here is my recipe. I am not sure where it came from, the one mom used was simpler but not nearly as delicious. That happens sometimes, I guess.

Bread Sauce for Turkey

4 1/2 cups homogenized milk
8 shallots, peeled and left whole
1 garlic clove peeled
2 bay leaves
8 whole cloves
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
12 oz white breadcrumbs (I use 1 loaf Wonder Bread with crusts removed)
1/2 cup whipping cream

1. Tie the bay leaves and cloves in a small bit of cheesecloth and put in a saucepan along with the milk, shallots, garlic clove and nutmeg . Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
2. Remove the bay leaves and cloves an pour the milk mixture into a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and cream. Mix well.
3. Process in batches in a food processor until smooth. Return each batch to the pot when smooth and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until it thick but still pourable. Serve hot.

This sauce is best made a day ahead. The flavour improves if kept in the fridge and reheated just before serving. You may need to add a tiny bit more milk as you reheat it.

December Views


  1. Your Christmas Day sounds wonderful - so full of wonderful memories and traditions; and being with family and friends. A time to reflect on the important things in life - All the best in 2010 - Nancy and Bob Savary

  2. Thanks Nancy. Wishing you, Bob and family a happy and healthy 2010.

  3. the bread sauce ...for those of you (myself included until I tried it) who think it looks like white gravy and won't give it a try, you are missing out on something wonderful. What a surprise to all of us (French Canadians) when my British brother in law insisted on this being on the his 1st Canadian Christmas Dinner table! It is a tradition on our table now too Anne. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  4. The younger members of our family still won't try it - they don't know what they are missing.