Goose, a Christmas pudding and tons of liquor were just a few of the festive fancy’s which made up a 1920s Christmas dinner. We take a look at the stomach-rumbling food and drink which friends and families gathered around the table to eat and drink over Christmas.
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Waking up on Christmas morning just wouldn’t be the same without a big fry up whilst tearing open the Ferrero Rocher to wash it all down, however for most families in the twenties the morning consisted of a small fry up and then hurriedly heading off to a church service.
Christmas day in the 20’s, just like today, was a high end affair, with preparations starting as early as October for the pudding and cake. Women in the kitchen wanted a feast that even Mrs Patmore would be proud of.
Christmas pudding was made at the end of October, both upper and lower classes enjoyed the rich dessert. Containing the same fruit and maybe a dash or two extra of brandy this would be enjoyed at the end of dinner with a sweet wine – sugar over kill? We think so! However during this period sugary treats were very popular.
With the cake and pudding already prepared, the main event was the big day and roasted goose was on the menu! Yes turkey and ham were also popular however, most families could only afford goose. Once the big day had arrived, just like today this is when the “fun” began.
Everyone in the family would help prepare the food and drink, with children washing the home grown vegetables, mum mixing up the stuffing whilst dad helped himself to a little tipple. When it came to preparing a starter this would show just how lavish those in the twenties like to do things, with every meal made to look like it’s very own master piece.
A starter may have consisted of Salmon Mousse with Cucumber, Chestnut and Apple Soup or the usual culprit a fancy prawn cocktail, all washed down with some of the most well known (paint-stripper) cocktails. For the main course Goose was what most families had, this was due to budget and most preferred this to turkey. Usually adorned with potatoes, parsnips, apple sauce and stuffing this was a traditional dinner.
Pudding was the main event, even if you had eaten all of the main course there is always room for that “little” extra treat. Christmas pudding, christmas cake, pavlova or a plum pudding was essential at the dining table. The UK tradition of the hidden coin in the Xmas pud (like Mrs Patmore did on the latest festive special of Downton Abbey) is still carried on today, if you find the gold coin then you have luck for the rest of the year.
To have a true party in the twenties, you would need alcohol and lots of it. Cocktails such as Mint Julep would be served after dinner and would make everyone a little giddy.
Having a roaring twenties Christmas day is really not much different than what we have right now – carols, lots of food and sometimes a little too much moonshine.
Have you ever had a themed Christmas day or would you consider having one?