Deck the Dishes
…with main courses and treats mentioned in Christmas stories and songs.
Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat,
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.
—“Christmas is Coming,’’ Traditional
While roasted goose is an uncommon menu item in area restaurants, you can order a whole bird from Fresh Market for your own Christmas table. 995 N. State Road 434, Altamonte Springs, 407-786-1801; 5000 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Orlando, 407-294-1516. thefreshmarket.com
… And there was cake, and there was negus, and there was a great piece of Cold Roast, and there was a great piece of Cold Boiled, and there were mince pies, and plenty of beer.
—“A Christmas Carol,’’ Charles Dickens
Ebenezer Scrooge’s favorite dessert (also one of Mark Twain’s faves) was the highly traditional mincemeat pie, full of religious symbolism. These days, unlike in Dickens’ time, they’re lacking any meat or suet at all, but bursting with fruit and available from Charlie’s Gourmet Pastries for $12.95. 3213 Curry Ford Road, Orlando, 407-898-9561; charliesgourmetpastries.com
Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright
—“The Christmas Song,’’ Mel Torme
Sure, lots of places serve turkey, but only chef Kevin Dundon at Raglan Road offers an old-fashioned Irish bird glazed in Bunratty mead straight from County Clare, served with apple, sage and sweet onion stuffing and plum chutney. $26.95. 1640 E. Buena Vista Drive, 407-938-0300; raglanroad.com
It doesn’t show signs of stopping,
And I’ve bought some corn for popping,
—“Let It Snow,’’ Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne
It probably won’t snow, but The Popcorn Place has corn already popped for you, in peppermint patty, eggnog and other Christmas flavors, available in stocking stuffer bags up to giant $60 tins. 13938 S. John Young Parkway, 407-251-4343; popcornplaceorlando.com
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer!
—“We Wish You a Merry Christmas,’’ Traditional
Even rarer than goose is the oft-quoted but virtually extinct figgy pudding. Scarce even in Britain, there won’t be much cheer unless you make your own—there’s a recipe at the BBC Food Channel (go to bbc.co.uk/food and search for figgy pudding). The ingredients include dried figs, brandy, nutmeg raisins and ginger; be advised that the texture of this pudding is like a cake, not the creamy stuff Americans are used to.