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Celebrate Christmas in the Irish tradition!

12/12/2018
Christmas is a big event for the Irish, and lasts nearly two weeks, bringing together celebrations, happy meetings and festive meals.

The Irish really break with the monotony of winter and take full advantage of these collective festivities. Several ancient and new customs punctuate this festive period that we invite you to discover, in five stages, to spend a true Christmas in the purest Irish tradition!

1. Before Christmas

At the beginning of December, the Irish decorate their house with holly wreaths, adorn the Christmas bauble tree and decorations in barley sugar. Each hangs on the outside of his house a maximum of light garlands to win the contest launched between neighbors.

During this period, the Irish prepare the Christmas Pudding, traditional dessert tasted on Christmas day, the preparation can take up to 6 weeks! This dessert is then covered with brandy butter for the pleasure of gourmands. This is the opportunity, before Christmas, to send his wishes by original postcards, covered with wool fleece of Irish sheep!

Prepared according to a traditional Irish recipe handed down from generation to generation, the Pudding goes very well with custard or brandy butter. This dessert brings sweet and spicy notes to the Christmas meal!

To make yourself a Christmas Pudding for 12 people, you need:

- 150g of flour

- 200g of butter

- 150g of brown sugar

- 150ml of milk

- 4 eggs

- 1 packet of dry yeast

- 150g of bread crumbs

- 500g dried and drained grapes (Smyrna, Malaya and Corinth grapes)

- 300g of candied fruit (cherries and zest of lemon, grapefruit and orange)
- 12 chopped prunes

- 60g minced almonds

- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

- 1/2 grated nutmeg

- 1/2 teaspoon of ginger

- 1 pinch of salt

- cognac or brandy

Preparation:

Mix the flour, yeast, bread crumbs, butter, salt and brown sugar in a bowl and add the 4 eggs, the milk, the nutmeg, the cinnamon and the ginger. Add the grapes, candied fruits and prunes to the preparation. Work the dough well and let it rest for 12 hours.

The next day, wet with cognac and pour the dough into a terrine with a high edge. Cover with a cloth. Then place the terrine in a bain-marie over low heat for a good 6 hours. Set aside for days or even weeks.

On Christmas Eve, warm it up (for 1 hour) in its bain-marie mold.

Turn out, put it on a plate and flambé with cognac.

If you go at the last moment, do not worry, you can find the Pudding Mileeven prepared according to a traditional Irish recipe.

2. The Christmas swim and the Irish Punch

On Christmas Day, thousands of Irish people throw themselves into the icy waters of the coast, to the delight of the spectators, but also to support many charities.

This is the opportunity to warm up next to the fire, to the sound of a Pogues song while enjoying an Irish Punch. The Punch is the must-have winter go-to for Christmas, which can be prepared with one of the whiskeys from our selection, lemon, cloves and a pinch of brown sugar.

3. Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is a moment of relaxation for the Irish. We go to the pub with family or friends, to share a Christmas beer, embellished with spicy flavours, listening to the famous song "Fairytale of New York", played at the slightest opportunity. Then comes the moment to go to the midnight mass, a ceremony shared by all in the churches of each district or villages.

4. Christmas Day

In Ireland, the Christmas dinner day is December 25th. In the morning, when we wake up, we open the family gifts, for the pleasure of young and old.

The meal, very rich and hearty, is taken late in the day. The table is covered with Christmas crackers, papillotes containing a firecracker, a surprise and a motto to read at the meeting. Each pulls the end of the wrapper of his neighbor by crossing his arms, thus forming a kind of round.

Then comes the traditional spicy beef: a favorite among Corkers, it is cooked with sugar, spices and berries, a preparation used at the time to preserve the meat. It is accompanied by the famous Christmas turkey or "Christmas Turkey", often accompanied by a cranberry sauce, or chutneys following the Anglo-Saxon culinary tradition that mixes sweet and salty.

For dessert, it's time to share "mince pies" or sweet tartlets, made with "mincemeat", a mix of dried fruits and spices, as well as Christmas Pudding. These sweets can be accompanied by a whiskey sweetened by age or a whiskey liquor digestive.

5. " Little Christmas "

For Irish Catholics, Christmas extends from December 25 to Epiphany, January 6. This is what the Irish call "Little Christmas", the "Little Christmas". This very day is Ireland's "Christmas of Women", where women are invited to enjoy their day, while men take care of household chores at home ... One more reason for the Irish (es) fully appreciate the Christmas season!

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