Share Your Holiday Recipes

What’s that one recipe you cannot live without at Christmastime? Share it with the Woodinville community.


So at Thanksgiving we asked you ; now let’s talk about your favorite Christmas or Hanukah recipe.

When I was kid in Southern California, one of the local independent television stations (remember those?) would play the 1938 version of A Christmas Carol on every Christmas Eve (the version with Reginald Owen as Scrooge). I just loved when the Crachits all had dinner together. Now, thanks first to VHS and now DVDs, I own that film. Every Christmas Eve my family and I watch it together and pause at the point where Mrs. Cratchit brings in the figgy pudding.

Then I bring out our own figgy pudding and special punch and we feast just like the Crachits.

OK, I buy the pudding premade from the , but I make the punch using the same recipe Charles Dickens used at his parties. According to a cookbook by Brenda Marshall, The Charles Dickens Cookbook, the recipe was from a letter Dickens wrote in 1847 to a friend. It is very strong, so only adults get to drink it in our house; the children have sparkling apple cider instead. Still, if I ever tried to skip that tradition, there would be no end of complaint.

The holidays are all about tradition and the foods served at those special meals are a large part of the celebrations. So Woodinville, what are the recipes that your family wants every holiday? Share them in comments and maybe a new tradition will be started for another family.

Charles Dickens’ Very Own Christmas Punch (just like Bob Crachit makes)

Editor’s Note: I have never tried to make it flame as I have no desire to burn my house down.

Makes around 10 – 15 glasses full.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1000 ml (1 L) bottled mineral water
  • 700 ml of dark rum (one bottle)
  • 350 ml of brandy (half bottle)
  • 500g natural brown sugar (Demerrara)
  • 3 large lemons – grated zest and juice
  • optional – 6 lemons sliced into several thick wedges
  • optional – grating of nutmeg
  • optional – a cinnamon stick in each glass to stir

Recipe Method:

Put the rum, mineral water, and sugar into a large saucepan. Heat the mixture in the pan on a low temperature for 10 minutes, do not allow the punch to boil, but stir continuously to dissolve the sugar.

After 10 minutes add in the brandy and the zested lemon peel from 3 large lemons, then cut them in half and add all the lemon juice from them (strain through a sieve to catch the pips). Gently warm for another 10 minutes, again do not allow the punch to boil.

Whilst still hot add the heated Punch mix from the saucepan into a heat proof punch bowl and take it to the table. Dim the lights.

Into a large metal ladle pour in some brandy (do not overfill the ladle). Ignite the surface fumes of brandy in the ladle with a long lit wick (keeping both away from you) and slowly pour the lit brandy, just above the Punch, igniting the surface of the punch. When ready stir well with the ladle and extinguish the flames.

Serve in glasses that are heat proof to warm liquids: Either serve the Christmas Punch plain, as Dickens’s Recipe states, or with a lemon wedge, cinnamon stick and a grating of nutmeg.

For an easier version of the recipe, Lynne Rossetto Kasper of National Public Radio’s The Splendid Table has a recipe: Click here to view it.

Jacqueline Bercot December 12, 2011 at 05:16 PM
http://www.gumbopages.com/food/veg/sweetpot-pears.html I had this dish for the first time many years ago at a friend's houses for Thanksgiving. It was the first time I actually liked a sweet potato dish. Every since then, I have been making this for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Each time the dish is devoured and I am asked for the recipe!
Annie Archer December 12, 2011 at 05:55 PM
Thanks Jaqueline!
Kat Stremlau December 13, 2011 at 11:14 PM
It may not sound like much, but this appetizer gets snatched up pretty quick around here: Orange Kielbasa 1 link Polish Kielbasa, sliced 1 Sweet Onion, coarsely chopped 1 TBSP mustard, yellow if fine, dijon is you wanna be all fancy! 1/2 Quart no-pulp orange juice Throw in a sautee pan and simmer 1 hour or until orange juice has reduced into a thick sauce. Serve with butter crackers and a sharp cheddar cheese slice on top. Yum!
Donna richards December 14, 2011 at 12:02 AM
Over Christmas, I don't want to put on weight but I have a sweet tooth so this year we have come up with sugar free raw chocolate balls... delicious http://www.christmashealthyrecipes.com
Karin Hsiao December 14, 2011 at 04:28 PM
It wouldn't be Christmas at our house without Christmas tarts, which my Mom has been making for as long as I can remember. They are ridiculously easy: Mix together: 1 box pie crust mix (for 2 crusts) 3 oz. cream cheese 1 Tablespoon milk Form the dough into small balls, then use your thumb to make the ball into a little cup. Fill the cup with your favorite jam. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until set and a very light brown on the bottom. Let the tarts cool for a few minutes, then roll them in powdered sugar. They taste best the first day, but will last a few days if you cover them with plastic wrap once they are cool.


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