Secrets To A Christmas Goose

The Christmas season has officially arrived!  Now, last year at this time I told you about our Christmas Markets.  This year I want to fill you in on a very special dish that is served during the holiday season: roasted goose with dumplings, glazed chestnuts and red cabbage.

Do you know the feeling when certain scents are attached to memories?  Well, when I smell roasted goose and those side dishes, many childhood memories come to mind— Christmas with my grandparents, wintery evenings at home with the family and vacations in the countryside.

Also at Breidenbacher Hof’s Brasserie “1806” the season for roasted goose has begun.  And our chefs are not just preparing the traditional roast— they also created an entire three-course menu to go along with it!  In addition to the goose, the menu includes truffle and liver pate for starters and chocolate and quince dessert.  Yummy!

I have always wanted to prepare the goose for Christmas Eve with my family, but have been too intimidated.  This year I plan to conquer my fears and have asked our chefs for tips on preparing the perfect roast goose at home.

Christmas Goose

Here is what I learned:

–  The weight: A goose with a weight of 4 kilos should be enough for 6 people.

–  The ingredients: You should add water, oranges, apples, some lemon and herbs (e.g. Mugwort) to the goose in the roasting tray. Use the resulting stock to moisten the goose throughout the roasting period.

–  You can calculate 45 minutes in the convection oven (180°C) for every kilo of goose.

–  The perfect side dish: We add traditionally red cabbage to the goose. Some of you may ask, why we always eat that much cabbage in Germany.  Well, like potatoes or corn in the US, this is one of the most prevalent crops in Germany.   One secret to good red cabbage: Add some cassis liqueur and goose fat to it.  Believe me it makes a huge difference!

Hopefully I have taken some of the mystery out of roasting the ideal Christmas goose!  Let me know if you tackle this dish for your holiday meal.

Gänsezeit Be Breidenbacher Hof

Die Weihnachtszeit hat offiziell begonnen! Vor genau einem Jahr habe ich Euch etwas über unsere Weihnachtsmärkte erzählt. Doch in diesem Jahr möchte ich ein besonderes Gericht der Weihnachtszeit vorstellen: Gänsebraten mit glasierten Maronen, Rotkohl und Kartoffelklößen.

Kennt ihr das Gefühl, wenn bestimmte Gerüche mit Erinnerungen verbunden sind? Naja, wenn ich genau diese Weihnachtsgans mit besagten Beilagen rieche, erwachen in mir ganz viele Kindheitserinnerungen – Weihnachten mit meinen Großeltern, Winterabende zu Hause mit der Familie und Ferien auf dem Lande.

Auch in der Brasserie “1806” im Breidenbacher Hof hat die Gänsezeit begonnen. Aber unsere Köche haben nicht nur eine Weihnachtsgans zubereitet – sie ist Teil eines drei-Gang Menüs! Dieses wunderbare Menü bietet unter anderem Gänseleberpastete zur Vorspeise und Schokolade mit Quitten zum Dessert. Einfach lecker!

Ich wollte schon immer mal eine Gans an Weihnachten mit meiner Familie zubereiten, doch habe es mir nie zugetraut. Für dieses Jahr habe ich mir allerdings vorgenommen, meine Angst überwinden und habe auch bereits unseren Küchenchef nach brauchbaren Tipps gefragt, wie die Gans zu Hause perfekt gelingt.

Hier das Ergebnis:

–  Das Gewicht: Eine Gans von 4kg sollte für 6 Personen reichen.

–  Die Zutaten: Fügt zu der Gans im Bräter Wasser, Orangen, Äpfel, etwas Zitrone und Beifuß hinzu. Den entstehenden Sud könnt ihr nutzen, um die Gans regelmäßig damit zu übergießen, so bleibt sie schön saftig.

–  Man plant ca. 45 Minuten pro Kilogramm Gans ein, bei einer Temperatur von 180°C Umluft.

–  Die perfekten Zutaten: Verfeinert doch den Rotkohl mit etwas Cassis Likör und Gänseschmalz. Ihr könnt mir glauben, das macht einen großen Unterschied.

Vielleicht habe ich Euch mit diesen Tipps ja auch die Hemmungen vor der Zubereitung genommen! Lasst mich wissen, ob ihr die Tipps ausprobiert habt.

Christmas In The Tropics

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As the year draws to a close, my favorite season is just beckoning round the corner – Christmas. I always feel like there is something indescribably festive in the air during Christmas.

Unlike what we often see in movies, here in Singapore, white Christmases are only made possible in our imagination. However, I assure you that a tropical Christmas has its own charms.

Each year, Singapore’s major shopping belt – Orchard Road is decked out in a special festive theme. I particularly love the nostalgia of the glittering lights which adorn the roads, the shopping malls with their larger than life seasonal decorations, and of course the delectable aroma of all the Christmas treats, reminding me of all the presents and parties each year.  While Christmas is largely a western tradition, Singapore still celebrates it with much fervor and gusto. Families and friends get together to share good cheer over a sumptuous festive spread and being Singaporean, there is one thing we know: how to have a fantastic feast!

Most locals embrace Western traditional foods such as a big roast turkey, a good leg of ham and of course the Christmas log cakes and candy. This year, I have decided that my roast turkey will be served with a twist.  Instead of the usual roast turkey, I will be serving a Tandoori turkey.  I have gone down to Little India to buy traditional Indian Tandoori spices and herbs such as cumin and garam masala.  I can’t wait to serve this turkey dish with a twist!

Of course, there is no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than with a group of carolers belting out all the festive favorites in local shopping malls and hotels. The sounds of the angelic choruses never fail to hit the right chord and send me sailing home in a seasonal mood.

If you still cannot decide how to spend this Christmas, come and join me in Singapore for a tropical Christmas and experience the kaleidoscope of celebrations in this cosmopolitan little island.

Christmas In Singapore

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Unlike many countries where people look forward to celebrating a beautiful white Christmas, this is the time of year where our usually sunny island of Singapore is visited by plenty of rain. However as dreary and unromantic as it may seem, I can assure you it’s quite the opposite. This is because it is this very time of year where the city truly comes to life.

In the past, competitions used to be held among the shopping malls to see who could come up with the most creative and beautiful decorations.  While the official competitions are no longer, shops continue to set out their Christmas decorations in an attempt to attract more curious admirers.  Just like that, a simple street is turned into a symphony of beautifully crafted works of art.

Photo by Singapore's Tourism Board.

My favorite part is the annual Orchard Road light up – the official unveiling of the completed decoration. This is the one night where people from all over the island come over to this single stretch of road just to pass through the glittering street. There is a certain thrill, I might add, about seeing the finished masterpiece come to life.  Perhaps it’s the excitement of trying to guess what the theme of each year would be or simply the festive cheer that is evoked by the shimmering display.  Either way, it truly is a sight to behold.

Festive cheer is not just limited to the main island of Singapore. Here at Capella Singapore on Sentosa Island, we also do our best to bring in the holiday spirit, with a whole line up of exciting activities, special Christmas menus and luxurious hampers filled with delectable goodies. Even the hotel is decked out of to the nines!  So, if you’re thinking of somewhere to spend your Christmas vacation, just remember there’s always is the tropical Christmas in Singapore.

Beloved Christmastime

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The holiday season is upon us! This is my absolute favorite time of year.  I love to spend time with friends and family, enjoying all the season has to offer.  Food of course is central, including almond cookies, Christmas biscuits, gingerbread, seasonal chocolates, mulled wine and the list goes on and on.  But, what makes this time of year extra special are the traditional Christmas markets.

During the holiday season the streets of Düsseldorf are transformed into winter wonderlands.  Stalls are set up where vendors sell holiday treats, handcrafted gifts and traditional holiday decorations.  There is nothing more wonderful than spending an evening strolling through the festively illuminated markets with a mug of mulled wine in hand.  In my opinion the best Christmas market is located in the market place and is not to be missed!

This year, the markets are open from November 17 through December 23.  Tours are scheduled that lead participants through the festively decorated streets of Old Town, complete with storytelling, holiday poetry and other themed surprises.

 

(Auf Deutsch)

Geliebte Vorweihnachtszeit

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Die Vorweihnachtszeit hat begonnen! Meine favorisierte Jahreszeit. Ich liebe es, diese Zeit  mit Freunden und der Familie zu verbringen. Dabei spielen natürlich die saisonalen Leckereien wie Printen, Lebkuchen, Spekulatius, Weihnachtsschokolade oder Glühwein (die Liste ist endlos) eine ganz besonders große Rolle. Aber was diese Zeit so besonders macht, sind die traditionellen Weihnachtsmärkte.

Während der Vorweihnachtszeit verwandeln sich die Düsseldorfer Straßen in ein Winterwunderland. An den Ständen verkaufen die Händler weihnachtliches Naschwerk, handgefertigte Geschenke sowie traditionelle Weihnachtsdekorationen. Es gibt nichts Schöneres als abends über die festlich beleuchteten Märkte, mit einem Becher Glühwein in der Hand, zu schlendern und sich die Stände anzuschauen. Meiner Meinung nach sollten Sie den Düsseldorfer Weihnachtsmarkt am Marktplatz auf keinen Fall verpassen!

Dieses Jahr sind die Märkte vom 17. November bis 23. Dezember geöffnet. Organisierte Stadtbummel durch die festlich geschmückte Altstadt begleitet von weihnachtlichen Geschichten, Gedichten und weiteren Überraschungen verwandeln die Stadtführung in ein weihnachtliches Erlebnis.

 (In English)