Nerissa’s Christmas Traditions & Recipes


FO-10866632-paris-window-christmas-originalI love Christmas cooking!  We are not, as a family, greatly into presents but we love our Christmas dinner and I dream about it all year.

A few weeks before Christmas on 5 December we celebrate Sinterklaas, which is the Dutch celebration of St Nicholas.   I cook Pepernoten and Taai Taai, traditional Dutch treats that our little ones love.  On the night of 5 December the children leave a shoe under the bed with a carrot for Sinterklaas’ horse.  At night when Sinterklass comes, he leaves a chocolate initial, sweets and a mandarin for children who have been good all year and a stick to those who have been naughty.

We also spend time decorating the house and everyone pitches in to make a wreath for the door and a gingerbread house for the table (we cheat and buy a Gingerbread kit from a store!).

My sister carefully assembling the gingerbread house kit

Our very welcoming Christmas wreath!

Our Christmas dinner has evolved over the years and is a fusion although based mostly on the British Tradition but with a lot of Dutch spices thrown in.  We always have a glazed ham, served with perfect roast potatoes (use goose fat and semolina for extra crunch), bacon wrapped sausages, stuffing, braised red cabbage, bread sauce, brussel sprouts, maple roasted carrots, roast parsnips and (I blush) shop bought cranberry sauce.

Christmas lunch is definitely worth the effort!

The meal can easily be cooked in just about any of our Paris apartments as, for many years, I cooked it in a tiny 4 hob single oven kitchen quite successfully.  It’s all to do with the pre-prep the night before and tight timing.

The Cook has to make Gluhwein the day before and drink it while cooking (both on Christmas eve and Christmas day) – it is an essential part of the process.  The whole adult family helps with peeling potatoes, preparing veg etc – those that help get a glass of Gluhwein.

Gluhwein – warm spiced red wine

I hope you get a chance to add a little bit of Dutch tradition to your Christmas this year and look forward to hearing what your family and friends thought of my recipes.  Please also send through any pics so we can add them to the blog!

On behalf of the Paris Perfect Reservations team, I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

Nerissa, Reservations Manager

3 Responses to “Nerissa’s Christmas Traditions & Recipes”

  1. joan says:

    what does the bread sauce accompany? is it for the vegetables?

  2. di brown says:

    I loved reading about the Paris Perfect team’s Christmas preparations. I live in Sydney, Australia, and we will be having oven roasted tomato and goat’s cheese tartlets to begin, along with plenty of Moet champagne. This will be followed by turkey, glazed ham, chestnut balls and both roasted and steamed vegetables. of course gravy and cranberry sauce as well. And to finish: traditional Christmas pudding with Orange Brandy Custard and double cream. Or, an alternative being the Pavlova (of course) which I cover with double cream and masses of berries. We overlook Sydney Harbour, and we are hoping for a sunny day and blue blue skies, just like it is right now on Christmas Eve. Masses of sail boats out on the water and cool harbour breezes make the day very special. Happy Christmas everyone – we’ll be celebrating before you !! Di

  3. madelyn says:

    Wow Di, your Christmas feast sounds absolutely divine and I’m so jealous of your Sydney Harbour views! I hope you had a perfect day with your family and friends; I heard the weather was perfect!

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