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The final door number 24 reveals enchanting Germany, where forests from the Black Forest to the Spreewald inspire fairy tales, and the bells of historic cities carry the sound of the festive season!
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An interesting Christmas tradition in Germany is the concept of "Christkind" as the gift-bringer. While in many other countries, Santa Claus is responsible for delivering presents, in Germany, children often believe that "Christkind" (Christ Child) is the one responsible for gifts.
Christkind is often portrayed as an innocent, angelic child dressed in white with golden curls. Instead of arriving on a sleigh with reindeer, like Santa Claus, it is believed that Christkind visits on the night of December 24th to place gifts under the Christmas tree.
On Christmas Eve, December 24th, families decorate a Christmas tree, which is traditionally set up on this day.
In many families, Christkind is staged as a surprise visitor. Children are sent out of the room while the gifts are arranged.
Christkind is often associated with the ringing of a small bell. In some regions of Germany, children hear the sound of a bell before they are allowed to see the presents.
The belief of Christkind as the gift-bringer is deeply rooted in many families and regions. This tradition adds a special magical atmosphere to the Christmas celebration, centered around the anticipation and expectations of children. It's a unique aspect of German Christmas tradition and reflects the cultural diversity of customs in different countries.
A Christmas goose or Christmas duck is a traditional main dish served in many countries, including Germany and the United Kingdom, during the Christmas season. Here are some key features:
1. Goose or Duck: A Christmas goose or duck typically consists of a whole goose or duck that is roasted. The choice between goose and duck depends on personal preferences and regional traditions.
2. Crispy Skin: One of the distinguishing features of roasted poultry is the crispy skin that forms during the roasting process. This crispy skin adds a unique texture and flavor to the dish.
3. Stuffing: The goose or duck can be stuffed with a variety of ingredients, such as apples, onions, raisins, nuts, herbs, and spices. The stuffing adds extra flavor to the poultry.
4. Gravy: Gravy is an essential accompaniment to Christmas goose or duck. It is often prepared from the drippings of the roast and other ingredients to complement the dish.
5. Side Dishes: Typical side dishes served with Christmas goose or duck include red cabbage, dumplings (boiled or steamed doughy balls), and vegetables like Brussels sprouts. The choice of side dishes can vary by region.
6. Tradition and Significance: Serving Christmas goose or duck is associated with festive occasions and celebrations in many cultures. It symbolizes the highlight of the Christmas meal and the gathering of family and friends.
Preparing and serving a Christmas goose or duck is an age-old tradition in many families, emphasizing the festive nature of the Christmas meal. The combination of crispy skin, succulent meat, and festive side dishes makes this dish a centerpiece of the Christmas celebration.
Here's a simple recipe for a delicious Christmas goose:
• 1 Christmas goose (about 4-5 kg)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 onion, roughly chopped
• 2 apples, quartered
• 2 oranges, cut into wedges
• 1 bunch of fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage)
• 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
• 250 ml water
• 2 tbsp oil
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4).
2. Thoroughly rinse the goose under running water and pat it dry with paper towels.
3. Season the inside of the goose with salt and pepper.
4. Place the roughly chopped onion, quartered apples, orange wedges, garlic cloves, and fresh herbs inside the goose to flavor it.
5. Tie the legs of the goose together with kitchen twine to keep the stuffing from falling out.
6. Prick the skin of the goose multiple times with a fork to release the fat.
7. Rub the goose with oil and season it with salt and pepper.
8. Place the goose in a roasting pan with the breast side up and add water to the pan.
9. Roast the goose in the preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes per kilogram. For a 4-5 kg goose, this would be around 2-2.5 hours.
10. During roasting, baste the goose with the dripping fat to keep it moist.
11. The goose is done when the skin is crispy and golden brown, and the meat inside reaches an internal temperature of 75-80°C.
12. Remove the goose from the oven and let it rest for about 15 minutes before carving.
13. Remove the stuffing from the goose and serve it as a side dish.
14. You can prepare the gravy from the pan drippings by straining them through a sieve and separating the liquid. The liquid can then be used to make a delicious sauce.
Enjoy your Christmas goose with your choice of side dishes and a delicious sauce!
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