Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas in Jamaica

Christmas/Fruit Cake, Sorrel, Red Wine
 and Fruit juice for the little ones

In Jamaica, the holidays are a special time, as with most other countries. It's a time to meet with the extended family and friends. Food is a big part of the holidays.The Jamaican Christmas dinner is not complete without sorrel, green gungo peas and rice, roast chicken or turkey, roast beef, honey glazed ham and, of course, Christmas cake!  I have to say there is not much more I can add to the following articles. 

The Jamaican Christmas Table
Leg Ham
The smoked and cured leg ham is almost synonymous with an authentic Jamaican Christmas dinner. Leg ham is typically prepared by boiling in a large pot with preferred spices. The skin of the ham is then removed to expose the fat, which is scored into a grid pressing in cloves where the score lines intersect. The ham is then baked, often with a glaze or sugar, until tender on the inside and golden brown on the outside. Finally, it is garnished with pineapple slices and maraschino cherries. 
Curried goat
No Jamaican celebration is complete without curried goat. Though sometimes a bit tough, the meat is typically chopped into bite sized pieces then braised in a dutch pot/dutch oven with a little water, and curry spice . Often chopped vegetables such as carrots and potatoes are added. Grace Hot Pepper Sauce and perhaps some fresh ginger will give it extra zing.
Rice and peas 
This dish is rice and red beans typically cooked with plenty of, thyme, scallion, pimento and coconut milk. Traditionally, beans are soaked overnight before cooking, and the coconut milk is made from grating and pressing coconut pulp. 
This drink is actually an infusion of sorrel flowers. The succulent flowers are often bought by the pound and steeped in boiling water. You may want to spice your sorrel! Add fresh ginger, cloves rum, or wine, for deep tropical flavour.
Rum Cake
Jamaican rum cake is also known as Jamaican Fruit cake or Christmas Cake. It is made from soaking dried fruits such as raisins, prunes, and mixed peel, in rum and wine. The fruits are added to creamed butter, sugar, flour, eggs, and, of course, Browning, for the traditional dark colour. The cake may be baked, or steamed as a pudding. 

Check out for a more complete list of the Jamaican Christmas meal.
Here are the recipes for some of the items on the menu for the most important meal of the year. Christmas dinner is not complete without sorrel, green gungo peas and rice, roast chicken or turkey, roast beef, honey glazed ham and, of course, Christmas cake!
Recipes for the Season
2lbs sorrel
2-4oz ginger, 2 cinnamon sticks
2 quarts water
sugar to taste
White rum (optional)
A three-inch strip dried orange peel
Itsp pimento grains or cloves
1. Wash sorrel thoroughly, using the fingers to lift it from the water.
2. Put into stainless steel container.
3. Scrape and wash ginger. Grate and add to the sorrel. Add pimento grains.
4. Boil water and pour over sorrel.
5. Allow to stand 4-6 hours, then strain.
6. Sweeten to taste and add rum to taste.
7. Add optional wine.
8. Serve with ice cubes.

You can check out for more recipes for the festive season.

Tell me about Christmas in your country, or send me a link. 
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