Christmas celebrations in Bermuda have always been a huge and treasured part of our culture.
From every family’s take on the coveted Cassava pie, to Gosling’s Black Seal spiked eggnog and cakes, and ginger-laceded goodies, there are so many recipes that we long for and comfort us that bring our family together to bake, cook and enjoy them at a time when we can celebrate and spend time with loved ones.
Whether you’re looking to add a delicious vintage Bermuda recipe to your holiday table or you’d like start your own Bermuda Christmas tradition, we searched through the archives to find some retro takes on the beloved holiday care of Betsy Ross and her popular Royal Gazette cooking column “Bermuda Kitchen Kapers” and her 1957 cookbook What’s Cooking in Bermuda, which details some nostalgic memories of how Christmas was celebrated in the past.
People rush to the store as soon as there are sightings of that coveted green, red and white Dunkley’s Egg Nog container. However, if you’d like to try your hand at it, this classic punch-style recipe was featured in What’s Cooking in Bermuda and would be perfect to wow guests. However, we’ve switched out the suggestion for “Jamaican rum” to Gosling’s Black Seal because it really pairs perfectly, but any favourite dark rum will work.
- 12 egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 bottle Gosling’s Black Seal
- 12 egg whites
- 1 qt. heavy cream
- 1 qt. (approx.) milk
- Beat egg yolks until thick and light. Gradually beat in sugar. Slowly stir in rum. Cover; chill for at least 3 hours. Before serving, pour mixture into punch bowl and fold in whipped cream, egg whites beaten stiff and enough milk to thin as desired. Serve sprinkled with nutmeg in punch cups.
This recipe and accompanying sauce pairings appeared in The Royal Gazette on December 14, 1952. The image of this pineapple and maraschino cherry ham sitting as the centrepiece of a holiday party will certainly create a retro vibe!
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 small bottle ginger ale
- 4 oz sherry
- Mix all ingredients
- Bring to a boil
- Thicken with corn starch
- Simmer the ham for two hours or until tender in a large covered pot (When it is tender it will start to shrink at the knuckle). Take it off the stove and let it cool.
- Cut off the rind and place the ham in a roasting pan. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of brown sugar over it. With a knife mark the fat in squares and stud each square with a clove.
- Mix one teaspoon mustard in one can orange juice and pour in the bottom of the roasting pan. This mixture is to be used to baste the ham.
- Bake the ham for about two hours in medium oven (350 degrees F) basting it often.
- After the ham is removed from the oven take out some of the cloves, pierce them through halved maraschino cherries, replace in an artistic arrangement on the ham. A little more elaborate arrangement could be to place pineapple slices on top with the berries and cloves through the centre. If this is done, pop the ham back into the oven for a few minutes to glaze the pineapple. Pineapple can also be used by grilling separately and serving on the same platter with the ham. Grilled peach halves filled with cranberry sauce lend a very colourful touch to the platter. There are a number of tasty and attractive ideas – use your imagination and give it full rein.