Christmas time brings to mind giving and receiving gifts. but also one tried and true tradition is cooking. We cook for our loved ones at home or our friends and co-workers for the holidays. But why?
Cooking brings a sense of comfort and fullfillment. Those who enjoy it, enjoy sharing it with others. It is a true feeling that when you cook with your hands and heart, a little bit of love goes into the food your are preparing. So, in other words, you aren’t just sharing food with someone to feed them, you are sharing your love for them.
You may be asking,”how do the Irish do it differently?” Well, I pondered that thought and looked a little bit into that last week. However, the more I have looked, the more I have found on how much thought goes into the foods that are prepared for Christmas in Ireland dating back for centuries. Everyone is hungry during Christmas. This is true. But what things do the Irish do to satisfy that hunger for themselves and others while still giving back to those around them?
Where do you even start? Well, start with your main course which would be some kind of beef or fowl. Unlike what you may have seen in modern Christmas’s where people are pulling out pretty books filled with luscious looking foods and recipes, think again for what the Irish have done as far as passing down their recipes.
Ever heard of a roasting spit? I’m talking about the old ancient type of spit where people would cook outdoors and skewer their meat onto a piece of wood and then rotate it over an open flame. This is something the Irish have done for centuries dating back to ancient times. They would commonly pass down their methods to their offspring and others and this is how the recipes or forms of cooking became part of Irish culture.
This video here shows Nigel Slater slow roasting a lamb. This was the way everyone learned to cook this way in Ireland which was by watching and then doing.
Like in the video, our oven is now used instead of an open fire pit like our ancestors used. In the older centuries, it might have taken weeks to prepare a meal like this due to finding the proper meat via hunting and having the right conditions to cook. Nowadays, cooking a quality meat is appropriate at any time.
It was even common for the Irish to divide the meat of certain catches amongst people based on their rank in society. Fortunately, we are now able to pick and chose whatever meat we can afford. This way we can share our love with all of those around us.
To add some flavor to your Christmas try a recipe like this rib roast with Irish whiskey and horseradish.