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Tony Grist

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Puddings And Pies [Nov. 18th, 2007|10:23 am]
Tony Grist
You can laugh all you like at traditional English cooking, but no-one does desserts like we do. No-one else even really tries. The continental Europeans make finicky little pastry things- and very good they are too- and the Indians have all those brightly coloured sweets, but there's nothing in any other national cuisine to match our puddings and pies.

British deserts are heavy. They're comfort food-  stodge- a defence against the British weather. The miracle ingredient is suet. 

I was talking to Judy about Christmas puddings and mince pies. Judy is a New Yorker and she wasn't sure she'd ever had either. I was incredulous. I can't imagine Christmas without puddings and pies. Oh, and cake. These are the things that make the winter months bearable. I'm being entirely serious when I say that Christmas pudding- served with brandy butter for preference, but custard or cream will do- is the most delicious dish known to Man.

I've already started making mince pies. I make a batch, we eat them, I make some more. It's what's keeping us going. Ailz tells me I have a particularly light touch with pastry.
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Comments:
From: pop_o_pie
2007-11-18 03:31 pm (UTC)

Goose Grease Cookies & Mince Pie

My grandmother roasted goose for Christmas dinner and, on the day after, she made sugar cookies with the fat drippings that were just heavenly. She started making Mince Meat in November with pork that would ferment in a crock. The pies were amazing. These recipes were in her head and unfortunately passed with her over thirty years ago. I haven't had them since I was a small child in the 60s. But I can still taste these wonderful things in my imagination. My parents disliked the goose, the cookies, the pies, all of it.

Mince Meat is available in jars in the grocery store, but it contains no 'meat'. It tastes sort of like a chutney with raisins.

In recent years I usually have Christmas dinner with a friend at a beloved Chinese restaurant in my neighborhood where we eat a delightful roast duck. The prospect is already making me salivate.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-11-19 10:24 am (UTC)

Re: Goose Grease Cookies & Mince Pie

My brother and sister in law have goose every once in a while- and coat potatoes in the fat and roast them. Their roast potatoes are generally held to be the best roast potatoes going.
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From: pop_o_pie
2007-11-19 03:08 pm (UTC)

Re: Goose Grease Cookies & Mince Pie

I love goose, and particularly foie gras.

The Chinese restaurant I frequent will curry a goose on special order, which is served with roasted potatoes in the sauce. It hits all the right places in the mouth, from hot to sweet to salty. The sauce is very rich from the drippings.

I worked in a restaurant where they served monk fish crusted with herbs and sesame seeds with a sauce that was made with reduced fennel juice thickened with a foie gras paste that was unbelievable.

Used to treat myself to a foie gras sandwich every so often when I lived in Cambridge, MA about ten years ago. At the time, foie gras was running $18 per pound (₤ 8.76) so it really felt like a luxury.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-11-19 05:18 pm (UTC)

Re: Goose Grease Cookies & Mince Pie

I don't believe I've ever eaten foie gras.

That curried goose sounds remarkably good.

And the monk fish.....

Stop it, you're making me hungry......
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