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Memories Of An English Christmas

Our food writer recalls, with some amazement, the seasonal celebrations of childhood.

The English, not known for culinary excellence, once had the dubious reputation for twice-boiled vegetables, heavy suet concoctions and gelatinous sauces. As Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Ramsay said in To the Lighthouse, “What passes for cookery in England is an abomination… It is putting cabbages in water. It is roasting meat till it is like leather.” And indeed, having been born and raised there, I suspected that English cuisine was a major oxymoron. Memories of the school’s lumpy rice pudding and the dubious fare served in department-store cafeterias all served to bolster my impression.

Read the entire article in the December 2013 issue