Dickens Dinner

Tis the season, right? Well, a while back when my kids were small I remember asking my Dad how he was able to keep in touch with friends with the time demands of raising a family. He said, “We had a lot of parties”. He also said that lots of his friends from high school and college moved from the city and settle in the same parish our family was in. The community inherent in a formal religious affiliation made it easy to stay connected as weekly services and all the functions of the church naturally brought folks together.
Today lots of people have drifted away from formal religious practice and in so doing have lost an important ‘community’ building force in their lives. People are not less spiritual, just less likely to be involved with a religious community. The best advice we have is to “Bring Back Sunday Dinner”, and “Have more parties”. On that note a great Holliday party theme is to host a ‘Dickens Dinner’. It is a simple dinner party with the menu consisting of traditional 19th century fare like Dickens himself would have had. A few helpful links are attached but it really is quite simple.
The 8 must have menu items are:

  1. A Goose with sage and onion stuffing
  2. Chestnuts, and an open fire for roasting
  3. Potatoes: At MangiaTV we request at least 2 types
  4. Apple Sauce: NOT STORE BOUGHT come on, someone can make homemade, so much better
  5. Plum Pudding: anyone?
  6. Fish/shellfish: our Shrimp Mojo would make Scrooge smile
  7. Red Meat: I prefer a standing rib roast, bone in of course
  8. Root Vegetables: Our new favorite is sautéed Fennel

Now all you have to do is get the people together, divvy up the cooking responsibilities and be ready to say the words, “God Bless us all, everyone”
The Mum has three keys to making most any get together a great time.

  1. Make it simple
  2. Invite an eclectic mix of people
  3. Lighten the mood…with food (candle wick salad) or game

I’ll translate. Make it simple really means don’t overcomplicate with precision recipes for a party. More important may be don’t be upset when part of the menu goes all wrong, or not at all. “Shit, we forgot to roast the chestnuts!”
We all have interesting people in our lives that would be great attendees to a party. Invite an eclectic mix of people. Celebrations are fun.
Keep the mood light with a fun game or recipe and you will have the best holiday party of the year.
Helpful links:

  1. http://pietistschoolman.com/2012/12/18/how-to-serve-a-dickensian-christmas-dinner/
  2. http://www.samcooks.com/a-dickens-christmas-dinner/
  3. http://www.mangia.tv/cooking-vamp-7/