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【寧姨加廚】我們家的加拿大聖誕

寧姨

圣誕晚餐的主角是一隻祖母親手烤至金黃色、味美可口的巨大火雞,被孩子們的笑臉、燭光、精緻的瓷器和銀器、聖誕節餅乾圍襯著。 (寧姨提供)

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【大紀元2014年12月04日訊】聖誕節是加拿大人,無論老少也最愛的節日。這是個與家人朋友、舊識新交、同學同事們共同慶祝的時光,亦是給予和分享美好願望的日子。 聖誕食品是必然的。我們的家族隨著家庭成員的成長和嫁娶日慚擴大之下,帶來了來自本市的、省內外與國內國外其他地方的新成員,同時也帶來了新的風俗和文化。 我家曾在不同的城市省份渡聖誕,喜歡結交新朋友,自然樂意學習他們的聖誕習俗。
  
最早有關聖誕節的記憶,是和住在卑詩維多利亞市但生於英格蘭的祖父母享用的一頓聖誕大餐。晚餐的主角是一隻祖母親手烤至金黃色、味美可口的巨大火雞,被孩子們的笑臉、燭光、精緻的瓷器和銀器、聖誕節餅乾圍襯著。我家聖誕大餐的傳統,幾十年不曾改變。 也許配菜有少許更新變化,但歡樂氣氛與充滿節日特色的美饌,年年聖誕節必然奉上。這是紀念我們雙親和祖父母,也延續著我們家族的傳統。
  
金黃色的烤火雞放在聖誕大餐桌上的中央。盡管我們一整天都不停在吃節日糕點、堅果、煙熏三文魚及其他美味的小吃,但那股滿室飄香的烤火雞香氣不住挑逗著我們的食慾,正好為聖誕大餐作好準備!
  
我們那張大桌子這時候總會伸張至極限,因為會有城中親戚、朋友和聖誕「孤兒」(未能回到在遠方的家者)加入。除了最重要的火雞外,餐桌上還有土豆泥、小椰菜、祖母的的地道英式蕪菁胡蘿蔔泥、釀火雞的麵包餡、蔓越梅醬和大量的火雞醬汁。甜品是傳統英式火焰李子乾布丁、乾果蛋糕、提子乾餡餅、牛油鬆餅、雜色聖誕曲奇和堅果。大人喝的是香檳、紅酒和白酒;給小孩子們的是豔紅色的蔓越梅果汁。
  
雖然我家吃的聖誕大餐總是傳統的烤火雞,但其他家庭會吃烤鵝、三文魚和汁潤的焗牛排骨。近年來,我們餐桌上也會因不吃肉或吃全素的朋友而出現一些美味又應節的南瓜大麥菠菜派、蜜汁胡蘿蔔、蘑菇和榛子撻等來款待他們。
  
享用大餐之前,我們先做感恩禱告,然後打開「聖誕拉炮」,裡面有紙帽子、各人要輪流讀出的笑話、小玩具或者謎語。每個人戴上紙帽子,讀笑話,然後就開始享用大餐。
  
聖誕前夕也是特別的。我們有時去拜訪的一些在聖誕前夕而非聖誕節當天慶祝的朋友。法裔加拿大朋友會分享用碎豬肉和小牛肉做餡的又香又厚的焗五香肉派。丹麥的朋友會烹調烤鴨和紅卷心菜及特色大米布丁。
  
聖誕前夕,不少朋友會去教堂做聖誕禮拜。到了晚上,一家人聚在一塊唱聖誕歌曲,享用1或2杯草果奶蛋酒(Eggnog)。孩子們就寢前,先把襪子懸掛起來,並給聖誕老人準備牛奶和餅乾。
  
你知道嗎,我們吃的許多聖誕食品都源自其他國家。牛油鬆餅(Shortbread cookies)來自蘇格蘭,薑餅(Gingerbread)來自美國,佛羅倫天乾果酥(Florentines)來自意大利,白蘭地脆餅(Brandy snaps)和乾果蛋糕源自英格蘭。奶蛋酒(Eggnog)始於中世紀的英格蘭,士多倫(Stollen)(一種杏仁糖粉鋪面的乾果糕)源自德國。烹那通(Panettone)(佈滿果乾的甜糕)源自意大利,甌柑(Tangerines)則來自中國。
  
聖誕節是分享和慶祝,尤其是美食和美酒的節日! @
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寧姨「加」廚

寧姨簡介
生長在一個軍人家庭的寧姨(Judith Lane) 乃卑詩省知名的美食及酒文作家,現定居溫哥華。曾先後居住在四個省份和育空地區,也遊訪過加拿大多個大小城鎮。她除了是溫哥華太陽報Grapevine及Gayot.com論酒專欄博客,亦經常為The Georgia Straight、Taste等報章媒體撰寫文章,更是美酒佳餚賽事的常任評委。

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Epoch Times: Canadian Food Lane November 2014

A Canadian Christmas
By Judith Lane

Christmas is the most beloved holiday of Canadians, young and old. It’s a time of celebrating with family and friends, old and new, and school and work mates too. It’s a time of giving, sharing and good will that starts early in December.

Food features prominently. As our families grow and expand, new family members come to us through marriage from other parts of the city, country or beyond our borders, bringing new customs that we add to the mix.

Our family celebrated Christmas in many cities in different provinces. Sometimes we were close to family but more often we were far away. We were used to making new friends and liked learning how they celebrated the holidays.

My earliest Christmas memory was a Christmas dinner with our British-born grandparents–Gram and Pop–in Victoria, B.C. The star of dinner was an enormous turkey that my grandmother had roasted to delicious, golden perfection. That dinner was special. Happy faces, laughing kids, candlelight, the best china and silverware, Christmas crackers and our traditional family Christmas dinner that has varied little over the decades.

Serving the same special meal (there are slight variations and new additions of course) each Christmas is a way of honouring our parents and grandparents, and continuing family traditions.

The centerpiece of our Christmas dinner is the golden turkey. Although we nibble on Christmas baking, nuts, smoked salmon, and other decadent appetisers throughout the day, the smell of roasting turkey wafting through the house sharpens our appetites for the main event.

We set a large table because there are often relatives in town that join us, and an assortment of friends and Christmas ‘orphans’–those who are far from family and can’t make it home. Some will bring a favourite Christmas dish to share, which will grace the table and our plates. Aside from the all-important turkey, our Christmas dinner includes mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, Gram’s amazing (and very English) mashed turnips and carrots, bread stuffing, cranberry sauce and plenty of gravy. Dessert is a traditional flaming English plum pudding and there is fruitcake, mincemeat tarts, shortbread and beautifully decorated cookies, and nuts too. Champagne is drunk throughout the meal as well as red and white wines with ruby-red cranberry juice for the little ones.

While we always cook a traditional turkey for Christmas dinner, other families enjoy roast goose, salmon, or a juicy prime rib roast beef. These days, there are often vegans and vegetarians at our table. There will be no tasteless ‘tofurkey’ for them but instead a delicious and festive layered squash, barley and spinach pie or a glazed carrot, mushroom and hazelnut tart.

Before we eat, grace is said and there are Christmas crackers to open. Inside are festive paper hats that everyone wears, jokes that we take turns reading aloud, and a little toy or puzzle. Then we feast.

Christmas Eve is special too. Sometimes we visit friends who celebrate Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day. Our French Canadian friends will share tourtière, a traditional spiced meat pie made with ground pork and veal. Our Danish friends serve a roast duck with red cabbage and a special rice pudding.

Some of us attend church on Christmas Eve for a special Christmas service. Later in the evening, the family gathers to sing Christmas carols and enjoy a glass or two of eggnog. Just before bed, children hang up their stockings and leave milk and cookies for Santa Claus.

Did you know that many of the things we eat at Christmas originate in other lands? Shortbread cookies come from Scotland, gingerbread from Armenia, florentines from Italy, and brandy snaps and fruitcake from England. Eggnog dates back to Medieval England, stolen–a fruit bread with marzipan (almond paste)–is German, panettone, a fruit-studded sweet bread is Italian, and tangerines are from China.

Christmas is a season of sharing and celebrating, especially with food and drink.

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2014-12-04 4:17 AM
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