For the past couple of years I've cooked a big dinner on December 21st to celebrate the winter solstice. Partly it's a traditional way to observe the changing seasons of the year, and another special thing to enjoy over the holidays. The biggest reason though is so I can cook a fancy holiday dinner the way I want without making any additional fuss and mess on Christmas eve or Christmas day.
The menu hasn't settled down yet, but this year I decided it should be a counterpoint to Thanksgiving. I've selected mostly medieval English dishes and the focus is on old-world foods. Here's what I've got so far:
Roast Goose with Sauce Madame - The goose is stuffed with fruit and herbs. After roasting, the stuffing is removed and used to make a fruit sauce. This is my first time making this recipe (and for that matter, my first time cooking goose), so we'll see how it goes.
Wastels y-Farced - Since the goose isn't going to have a bread-based stuffing, I thought I'd make this old favorite. It's essentially a steamed, savory bread pudding.
Plum Pudding - While plum puddings aren't at all medieval, I've become quite addicted to this particular English tradition. The holidays just wouldn't be complete without it.
The only thing I still can't decide on is a vegetable. I've thought about Brussels sprouts, but somehow they just don't click. I'll have to make up my mind soon.
If I have time, I'm going to make some gyngerbrede too. Not for dinner or dessert, but as a treat for during the day and with mulled cider later that evening.