The Joy of Christmas Calories

christmas calories

“Between the hours of two and eight on Christmas Day, several million people will either forget, or check outside the dining room, their diet and weight-reducing rules and eat with utter abandon.  

And why not surrender on this occasion and eat your fill?  Just think of the wear and tear on your system as you try to resist the appeal of the roast turkey with its crackling brown skin; savory and thick giblet gravy; snowy-white mashed potatoes as smooth and luscious-looking as ice cream; golden Hubbard squash so compelling with its seasonings of butter, salt, and pepper; tender white onions submerged in a mellow cream sauce; icy-crisp celery; sprightly cranberry sauce; fragrant mince or spicy pumpkin pie, or that other famous dessert, plum pudding, which in spite of its individual richness demands a fragrant hot vanilla sauce and creamy topping of hard sauce.  What if you do pick up an extra pound by enjoying these good things?  You can quickly lose it by finding something to worry about, or immediately after Christmas dinner you can go back to your Spartan rules which keep you slim and hungry.

However you are the judge regarding what you yourself should eat.  And if you see fit to keep your appetite in check, you can at least have the satisfaction of serving old-fashioned calories dishes and watching your family revel in them.  Here are a few suggestions:

Sausage Stuffing

8 c. coarse, soft breadcrumbs                        2 tbsp parsley 

1 c. diced celery                                                1 lb fresh sausage meat

2 small onions                                                 Salt and Pepper

In a large bowl, put in your breadcrumbs, finely minced celery, onion, parsley, and the sausage meat.  Season lightly as sausage meat usually has enough salt and pepper.  This stuffing is sufficient for an 8-kb turkey.

Now if your gamily has a craving for roast beed of Christmas Day instead of turkey or chicken, here’s a way to roast it that is rather unusual and very tasty.  I call it Slow-Cooked Roast Beef.  They type of roast I’d recumbent is the standing rib variety, and here’s the recipe:

Slow-Cooked Roast Beef

1 standing rib roast- 5 1/2 lbs                   2 tsp. paprika

2 tsps dry mustard                                       2 tsp granulated sugar

1/2 c. boiling water

Start your oven at 325 degrees and while it is being heated, mix the mustard, paprika, sugar, and salt in a saucer.  Rub the entire surface of the roast – bones and all – with this mixtures until you use it all up. Then place the roast in an uncovered pan – bones down – so that both surfaces of the meat are exposed in a vatical position.  Place in the oven without adding water and roast in the oven for 1 hour and 11 minutes without basting.  The reason basting is unnecessary is that the layers of suet on top of the meat melts during the roasting process and trickles down over the meat.  At the end of 1 hour and 11 minutes at this low heat you will notice that the roast is browning beautifully.  This is due to the sugar which, when used as directed, caramelizes instead of sweetens the meat.  At this point you can add a little water, say 1/2 c., to the pan and continue roasting for 45 minutes.  If you are a devotees of a rare roast of geek, let the meat stay in the oven for 2 hours and 4 minutes.  Serves 8. “

So go ahead and enjoy those cherished recipes and the calories that come with them!  You can always start fresh on December 26th! 😉

I also hope that you take some time to hop over to the new blog created by Tanya Dawson of  Vintorian Publications to see a special article I wrote.   The article is titled A Lady’s Accomplishment: Outdated or Reimagined, and is a wonderfully informative piece about the 19th century “accomplished woman” in connection with the women of today. 


Source: Don’t Deny Yourself the Joy of Christmas Calories by Byron MacFadyen, Good Housekeeping: Volume 95, Number 6, December 1932

*** These recipes are taken from a historical source where the instructions in meat handling and cooking may not be the same as today.  Caution and personal judgement should be taken when preparing these recipes.