Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas in North East Suffolk

"Grandmother always excelled herself at the Christmas dinner. First, there was a hot mutton pie, with oyster patties, then a huge goose, one which had gobbled up many a tit-bit to hasten its own demise, with attendant vegetables. Ending up with a lemon pudding, plum porridge, junket, apple fritters.

"And should there be any room, a mince pie, baked in the old-fashioned coffin-shaped crust (learnt of her mother) to represent the cratch or manger in which the Holy Child was laid. What more would you, save a glass or two of harvet ale laced with gin, drunk from tall glasses (like old champagne) kept by grandmother in the top part of her corner cupboard. Or, as an especial treat, one of the new sherry wine, the oil of which lingered lovingly on the old cut glasses. Or syllabubs made of whipped cream (whipped until the arm ached) and also served in tall glasses."

Allan Jobson An Hour-Glass on the Run
"And then came tea, which was another feast to wait on digestion. Home sweet-pickled ham, wanmill cheese, home-made bread and butter, cakes and rusks, washed down with strong tea (Soochong flavoured with Pekoe, costing six shillings a pound) and cream in old Worcester noggins looking like molten gold. But before tea, as was her daily custom, grandmother would drink a glass of cowslip wine."