Some more Christmas food facts for you. And just remember, you can certainly freeze some leftovers for another day, but don't leave it too long or you'll end up as one of my facts! ; )
Frumenty was a spiced porridge, enjoyed by both the rich and poor. It is thought to be the forerunner of modern Christmas puddings with origins in a Celtic legend of the harvest god Dagda, who stirred a porridge made up of all the good things of the Earth.
The traditional flaming Christmas pudding dates back to 1670 in England.
It is a British Christmas tradition that a wish made while mixing the Christmas pudding will come true only if the ingredients are stirred in a clockwise direction.
Eating mince pies at Christmas dates back to 16th century Britain, where iIt is still believed that to eat a mince pie on each of the Twelve Days of Christmas will bring 12 happy months in the year to follow.
At lavish Christmas feasts in the Middle Ages, swans and peacocks were sometimes served for dinner.
A traditional Christmas dinner in early England was the head of a pig prepared with mustard.
The Christmas turkey first appeared on English tables in the 16th century, but didn't immediately replace the traditional fare of goose, beef or boar's head in the rich households.
In Victorian England, turkeys were popular for Christmas dinners. Some of the birds were raised in Norfolk, and taken to market in London. To get them to London, the turkeys were supplied with boots made of sacking or leather.
The turkeys were then walked to market. The boots protected their feet from the frozen mud of the road.
Boots were not used for geese: instead, their feet were protected with a covering of tar.
One notable medieval English Christmas celebration featured a giant 165-pound pie.
The giant pie was nine feet in diameter. Its ingredients included:
* 2 bushels of flour
* 20 pounds of butter
* 4 geese
* 2 rabbits
* 4 wild ducks
* 2 woodcocks
* 6 snipes
* 4 partridges
* 2 neats' tongues
* 2 curlews
* 6 pigeons
* and 7 blackbirds.
During the Christmas season, over 1.76 billion candy canes will be produced.
Candy canes started out as straight white sticks of sugar candy used to decorate Christmas trees.
A choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral decided have the ends bent to depict a shepherd's crook and he would pass them out to the children to keep them quiet during the services.
It wasn't until about the 20th century that candy canes acquired their red stripes and if you turn it upside down, it becomes the letter J symbolizing the first letter in Jesus' name.
In Armenia, the traditional Christmas Eve meal consists of fried fish, lettuce, and spinach. The meal is traditionally eaten after the Christmas Eve service, in commemoration of the supper eaten by Mary on the evening before Christ's birth.
In the Ukraine, they bake a traditional Christmas bread called "kolach". This bread is braided into a ring, and three such rings are placed one on top of the other, with a candle in the center of the top one. The three rings symbolize the Holy Trinity.
They also set the table for Christmas Eve dinner with two tablecloths: one for the ancestors of the family, the other for the living members as in pagan times, ancestors were believed to be benevolent spirits who, when shown respect, brought good fortune.
The Ukrainians also prepare a traditional twelve-course meal at Christmas time. A family's youngest child watches through the window for the evening star to appear, a signal that the feast can begin.
In Australia, due to it being extremely hot, the most common forms of food eaten at Christmas are ham, turkey and chicken all served cold, as well as prawns or even a barbeque.
Due to an abundance of fresh seasonal fruit such as mangoes, cherries and other stonefruit, a variety of these are also usually eaten.
The inventor of the Christmas cracker or bon-bon was Tom Smith who owned a sweet shop in London.
Visiting France in the 1840's, while Tom was in France, he came across sweets wrapped in a twist of paper. As they were quite popular, he began to copy the idea.
When Tom noticed that young men were buying them to give to their sweethearts, he began to place "love mottoes" on small slips of paper inside the sweet wrapping.
Later in 1846, and thinking about Christmas, Tom's thoughts turned towards placing toys and novelties inside the twisted wrapping. He experimented with this and invented the idea of producing a wrapping that could be pulled apart. Voila! The humble Christmas cracker!