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A holiday experiment

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A holiday experiment

Postby SirWithoutName » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:23 pm

Hi fellow gents,

In this holiday season most of us engage in traditions and customs which are of course different from region to region, let alone internationally.

The Gentlemen's Club has become quite a multicultural and international gathering place. I believe most of us don't know about foreign holiday traditions and some of our own customs might look alien to others.

So I want to suggest a neat holiday event: How about each of us share those odd little traditions that you go through this year, or better yet, some pictures. Share the traditions surrounding the dinner table, the exchange of gifts, seasonal foods, and so forth.

This might turn into an interesting social experiment.
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Re: A holiday experiment

Postby Mythinite » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:41 pm

Sounds like fun!

In the spirit of the season, don't forget that sharing is caring! Spread the word!

Code: Select all
Would you like to participate in our Holiday Experiment? http://tinyurl.com/HoEx14

[teemo]
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Re: A holiday experiment

Postby bibbibob2 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:46 pm

There is a danish tradition that we eat risalamande, its a dish with a tons of blended almonds in it and then a single whole one. The person who find the whole one gets a gift!

I fight through this horrific dish every year in order to find a whole almond and claim the gift.
Unfortunately despite having done this at least 15 times with about 1/8 odds I have never won...My RNG is bad :(

EDIT: I WON I BLOODYWON! RNGESUS LOVES ME!
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Re: A holiday experiment

Postby Mythinite » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:52 pm

Like Bibbi, I too am Danish and a winner! ;)

The Danish are an impatient people, celebrating Christmas with dinner and presents on December 24th - Christmas Eve.

First things first. The Christmas tree. A real tree of course, none of that plastic crap, and decorated with various objects, candles, and a star at the top. Presents are placed underneath the tree.

Christmas tree with decorations.
Presents! Also, edible gingerbread heart. Not made with ginger but other spices.
Candy is hidden in cones and baskets on the tree.

Let's leave the tree for now. We'll get back to it after dinner.

The table is set with an appropriate theme.

Traditional Danish Christmas dinners are usually centered around roast duck, goose, and/or pork. This year we'll have the roast pork with appropriate side dishes.

Flæskesteg, roast pork with crackling straight out of the oven.
Baked apples and prunes, usually used as stuffing for the duck or goose. Also, redcurrant jelly.
Regular boiled potatoes.
Rødkål, stewed red cabbage. You can buy it in a jar, but this is homemade.
The roast has been cut. Brunede kartofler, caramelized potatoes.
Bon appétit!

Let's take a few minutes to clear the table and get ready for dessert, the traditional risalamande. It is a cold rice pudding made with vanilla, chopped almonds, and whipped cream. It is served with a cherry sauce. As Bibbi mentioned above, the tradition calls for one whole almond to be added to the dish, and the person who gets it wins a prize.

It doesn't look like much, but it's delicious.
Enjoy!
Don't forget the dessert wine, I recommend a good port!

With dessert out of the way, we return to the Christmas tree. It's almost time for presents, but first we light the candles. Then we form a circle around the tree, holds hands and "dance" around it (walk slowly more like), while singing Christmas songs and psalms. It honestly sounds insane but traditions are rarely questioned.

Christmas tree with lit candles.

Presents are unwrapped, coffee and port is served, snacks are eaten. Merry Christmas!

On the 25th, Christmas Day, we have lunch. This is usually not a big deal, but it can be. Menu as follows:

Pickled herring with red onions.
Eggs, cucumber, tomatoes.
Smoked salmon.
Frikadeller, Danish meatballs made from pork. The red cabbage makes a reappearance.
So does the roast pork, this time served cold.
Leverpostej, liver paste. Served warm with bacon and mushrooms. Strangely delicious.
White bread for the salmon. Dark rye, schwarzbrot, for the rest.
Cheese platter with crackers for dessert.
Fruit salad.

Well I'm stuffed! See you next year!
All hail to the tail!
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Re: A holiday experiment

Postby Shaarae » Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:56 am

OMG! Lit candles on a real tree? Aren't you afraid of your house catching fire??? O.O
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Re: A holiday experiment

Postby Shaarae » Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:36 pm

Hi gents!

Here is the French tradition, even though France being a bit big, traditions tend to change according to the region.
But for a good Christmas Eve/Christmas lunch, you have to find 3 things on your table :
=> Foie gras
=> Oysters
=> Salmon / trout

Here is the version of foie gras with mango chutney
Next to smoked trout with herbs and lemon
With cheese "Tête de moine"
And other things to decorate such as green peppers (1st time having green peppers for christmas)
That represented a lot for 6 persons :P

Then after the usual apetizers, time for oysters!

For main dish, you must serve something poultry related. This year, we went for pigeon with squash and potatoes (the potatoes are missing cause the chef was lazy ^.^ )

And as dessert, cream! Tiramisu ramekin and meringue with double cream (so light :/).

And of course, nothing better than having snow for Christmas holidays (yeah, that's part of the tradition :D )

We don't have a dancing tradition like in denmark, neither we have to find an almond (this is later, in the month of january ; you have to find a bean in the galette). All revolves around food ^.^
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Re: A holiday experiment

Postby SirWithoutName » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:26 am

So here in Portugal tradition is not very homogeneous. There might be some variations in specific regions.

Most people here are trying to save up extra money due to the situation so Christmas has gone back to being more of a family reunion with a highlight for the children. Used to be presents were opened on 25th in the morning but new trends of consumerism and globalization have incrusted with the 24th late-night opening.

As for the reunion, usually all the family gathers for the whole day, helping prepare the meal and table. People who haven't seen each other for a year are usually brought together in the homes of the ancestors. So there is always a lot of catching up to do.

We also have a Christmas tree, but traditionally the most important artifact is the Nativity scene, built some weeks in advance, of which only the "clay" characters are kept from year to year.

As my parents live in a small town, people know each other rather well, and there is also someone from another family who brings in a cake they made, as we bake an extra pudding for trading with other families as well.

The recurring tradition is a full table.

To begin we have pataniscas de bacalhau (a fried paste of wheat, onion, salsa and codfish).

The main course usually is either the bacalhau com todos (codfish boiled with vegetables) or the octopus. This year we went for a Polvo à Lagareiro - pressure cooked into grill octupus with roasted potatoes and green "sauce" (onion, salsa and a lot of olive oil) with a good wine from the local crops.

For dessert we chose to bake arroz doce (which is a sort of rice pudding plus lemon and cinnamon added to taste), bolo-rei (a wheel-shaped cake with tons of nut fruits, raisins, and crystallized fruits), puddings, and other cakes.

To top it off there was shrimp with sparkling rosé wine.

That's pretty much it. The following day couples sometimes visit the other parents houses and everyone lives off the remainders of the feast for one day.
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Re: A holiday experiment

Postby SirWithoutName » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:43 am

There is also a tradition related to the bolo-rei similar to the almonds Bibbi referred.

Usually a fava bean is put in the dough and whoever gets it has to pay for something (not appliable for christmas ofc).
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Re: A holiday experiment

Postby SirWithoutName » Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:51 am

So the first person to contribute to this experiment was Noveris, in chat. I managed to save the log and with his permission here is a compilation of what he wrote.

I can't really share much about how it's done here in Italy, since we brought over the things we did there here (South America), and things got mixed up, so now whatever we do is just a hybrid...
Back when i lived in South America, Christmas and New Year's were BIG family gatherings, as in, grandparents, cousins uncles, everyone, they would all gather for basically one full day at one previously specified house. For christmas we used to go to our granparents' from my dad's side, so we would meet with that side of the family, people would meet up and my mom together with my aunt and my older cousins would help our grandma prepare the huge food.
Meanwhile the lottle kids would all mingle, the other adults would spend time sitting at a table, drinking, talking. This would start at around 10 am on christmas' eve. Cooking preparations would start 2-3 days prior though. And then, once midday hit, usually everyone would sit at one huge table, and if everyone didn't fit, at most it'd be the kids sitting at one table, adults at another. Then basically everyone would sit there, eating, talking, and bascally sit there for the whole day until midnight when kids would all want to rush and open their presents.
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