Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dining with the Doctor: Charles Dickens' Own Christmas Punch for a Doctor Who Regeneration Party

Tick tock goes the clock 
And all the years they fly
Tick tock and all too soon
You and I must die

Tick tock goes the clock 
We laughed at fate and mourned her
Tick tock goes the clock 
Even for the Doctor
(from "Night Terrors") 

All Whovians know the true meaning of Christmas: the annual Doctor Who special. And this is particularly true this year. Not only is 2013 the 50th anniversary of the iconic BBC show, but in this year's special, "The Time of the Doctor," the 11th Doctor, played by Matt Smith, will regenerate into a new one, Peter Capaldi's 12th Doctor.  Now that's a Christmas birth I can get excited about.

If you have no idea what in the world I'm talking about, then you likely won't be interested in Dining with the Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook by Chris-Rachel Oseland. If, however (like me) you made a holiday out of the "Day of the Doctor" global simulcast and have been re-watching series 1-7 in anticipation of the regeneration ... in that case, this is the book for you.

My friend and fellow Whovian Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz made me aware of the book, and we thought it would be fun to each make something from it and have ourselves a virtual "Time of the Doctor" regeneration party. The author has created a recipe to coincide with every single episode of New Who, plus an additional section on fish fingers and custard, Doctor 11's favorite food. (I should add here that we don't know the author, didn't receive free copies, aren't being compensated, and are not cut-and-pasting from a press release. We're doing this just for fun. Novel, eh?)

I had a hard time choosing which dish to make. Would it be Slitheen Killing Beans on Toast? Tardis Blue Fondue with Dippable Spaceships? Or what about the Extermination Loaf, a French baguette dressed up like a Dalek?

In the end I went with a cocktail, as I think many of us will need a stiff drink to get through 11's regeneration. And Charles Dickens' Own Christmas Punch is wickedly strong.

The punch recipe corresponds with an episode from New Who series 1, "The Unquiet Dead," which takes place in Victorian England at Christmastime. It's got a funeral home, mystery and suspense, Charles Dickens, corpses rising from the dead ... pretty much everything I love. No surprise, as it's written by the fabulous Mark Gatiss, formerly of the League of Gentlemen; co-creator, writer, and Mycroft of BBC Sherlock; and writer of the excellent recent Doctor Who film "An Adventure in Space and Time," all about the creation of the series and the first Doctor. (No, if you were wondering, you're never too old to be a fangirl.)

But back to this drink.

It really is, as Oseland promises, strong enough to wake the dead. Brandy, dark rum, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon ... it's Christmas-y, winter-y, and cosy. No, I'm not going to give you the recipe - I think you should treat yourself and buy Oseland's book. This is the perfect book to help you plan your very own regeneration party. It's quirky, a bit silly, and completely fun - clearly a labor of love!

To further tempt you, go check out Evelyne's fruit cake and angel wings, and get started planning your regeneration meal - unless you have a Tardis, you only have a week left!


  1. Oh I remember that poem, birngs shivers donw my spine reading it. And another thing we have in common are proper drinks! This punch sounds just incredible and powerful. What a fun party this is and since we can't be together I will cheer to you in spirit on the 25 th during the regeneration!! A wonderful read as always and love the Victorian pics. xxxxx

  2. Wonderful photos dear and the drink does in fact sound cozy for this time of year ! I am not a fangirl (too old I guess) but the drink sounds marvelous indeed. I watch many things but The Doctor is just something that has not ever taken hold despite giving it a go every now and then.

  3. 50 years? Who knew? (Pun intended???)

  4. I have gotten HULU plus this month. I actually cancelled it for January because I spend all my evenings watching old Who episodes starting with DR1. It has been fabulous. Once I start I can't stop and each story is nearly 2 hours in 4 episodes. I love them. There is something about the doctors and the magic Tardis that we all wish we had. The book sounds like a hoot.
    I love your photos and that cup... I have one that looks like a first cousin! I can't wait to see the Christmas doctor.

    Hope you have a Happy Holiday and a great New Year!

  5. I have to admit, I've missed out on the entire Dr. Who phenomenon. And it seems I'd have a LOT of catching up to do if I ever wanted to join the band wagon. But I am curious to know what all the fuss is about...

  6. Who knew? I have never watched this show, but now you have piqued my curiosity. I love the sound of this drink - it's the kind of thing I bet I would really enjoy. Plus, I am ALWAYS looking for new things to watch. I am glad to know that one is never too old to become a Fangirl. Thank you for the introduction.

  7. Long live punch (and the good Doctor as well). GREG