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What Did Victorians Eat At Christmas?

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Victorian Christmas was a family affair The Christmas food was very lavish and extravagant. It included fowl or a roasted goose, pudding, standing rib of beef with Yorkshire pudding, boars head, ham, turkey, oysters, potatoes, pies like cranberry and mince, plum pudding and many other items.

Prepare a traditional Victorian Christmas dinner from oysters to pate, from turkey to quail, with punch, fancy cakes and coffee. Sweetbread Pates.Peas

On the other hand, the Christmas Day menu for Queen Victoria and family in 1840 included both beef and of course a royal roast swan or two. By the end of the century most people feasted on turkey for their Christmas dinner.

Working class Victorians had to rely upon local, seasonal, fresh food which was plentiful and cheap, but perhaps a little boring. The cheapest vegetable was the onion. It was half a penny for 12 onions and so was eaten with everything. Onions were roasted, fried, cooked in soups and stews and made into onion gravy.

Why was Christmas important in the Victorian era?

Christmas was an important celebration in the lives of the Victorian people, same as it is today. It was an occasion to bestow others with gifts.

Mix mashed potatoes with the yolk of an egg; roll them into balls; flour them, or egg and bread-crumb them; and fry them in clean drippings, or brown them in a Dutch oven.

To a pound of potatoes put about half an ounce of butter, and a tablespoonful of milk: do not make them too moist, mix them well together. After Lady-day [note: March 25, one of the traditional “quarter days” of the English calendar], when the potatoes are getting old and specky, and in frosty weather, this is the best way of dressing them. You may put them into shapes or small tea-cups; egg them with yolk of egg, and brown them very slightly before a slow fire.

One quart of oysters, one pint of milk, two tablespoonfuls of butter, one teacupful of hot water; pepper, salt. Strain the liquor from the oysters, add the water, and place over a hot fire in a granite kettle. When near the boil, add salt, then the oysters. Cook about five minutes from the time they begin to simmer, until they’ ‘ruffle.” Stir in the butter, let come to a boil and pour into the tureen. Stir in the boiling milk, and send to the table. All water can be used in place of milk if preferred.

What is a Victorian Christmas?

A Victorian Christmas. by Ben Johnson. For thousands of years people around the world have enjoyed midwinter festivals. With the arrival of Christianity, pagan festivals became mixed with Christmas celebrations. One of the leftovers from these pagan days is the custom of bedecking houses and churches with evergreen plants like mistletoe, …

In northern England roast beef was the traditional fayre for Christmas dinner while in London and the south, goose was favourite. Many poor people made do with rabbit. On the other hand, the Christmas Day menu for Queen Victoria and family in 1840 included both beef and of course a royal roast swan or two.

Father Christmas / Santa Claus – Normally associated with the bringer of the above gifts, is Father Christmas or Santa Claus. The two are in fact two entirely separate stories. Father Christmas was originally part of an old English midwinter festival, normally dressed in green, a sign of the returning spring.

The idea was simple, a penny stamp paid for the postage of a letter or card to anywhere in Britain. This simple idea paved the way for the sending of the first Christmas cards. Sir Henry Cole tested the water in 1843 by printing a thousand cards for sale in his art shop in London at one shilling each.

Christmas Day itself did not become a holiday in Scotland until many years after Victoria’s reign and it has only been within the last 20-30 years that this has been extended to include Boxing Day.

From ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens. The holidays – The wealth generated by the new factories and industries of the Victorian age allowed middle class families in England and Wales to take time off work and celebrate over two days, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The Crackers – Invented by Tom Smith, a London sweet maker in 1846. The original idea was to wrap his sweets in a twist of fancy coloured paper, but this developed and sold much better when he added love notes (motto’s), paper hats, small toys and made them go off BANG!

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