Author Topic: Bizarre Holiday Food Traditions  (Read 17803 times)

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LadyL

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Bizarre Holiday Food Traditions
« on: November 27, 2011, 11:54:13 AM »
The post in the "hill to die on" thread about the SIL serving frozen food for Thanksgiving inspired this thread.

What bizarre food tradition have you encountered that still has you perplexed? For me, it's my in-laws preference for how they serve the canned cranberry sauce- they extricate it from the can in one piece so the can imprint is intact, and they serve it like that - a perfect cylinder with a can imprint, sitting on a china serving dish. Everyone slices off pieces of it like it's a loaf of bread.

I asked LordL, "why do they almost seem to celebrate how artificial it is?" Our conclusion is that it's a holdover from the era when "home made" meant "too poor to afford store bought" and "store bought = fancy."

Every time we eat somewhere and there is canned cranberry sauce, and you can see even just a little bit of the can imprint on part of it, we look at each other and say "Fancy!"

Sharnita

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Re: Bizarre Holiday Food Traditions
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2011, 12:00:46 PM »
Interesting assumption. I think a lot of people actually prefer the taste or texture of the canned jelly.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Bizarre Holiday Food Traditions
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2011, 12:02:46 PM »
The post in the "hill to die on" thread about the SIL serving frozen food for Thanksgiving inspired this thread.

What bizarre food tradition have you encountered that still has you perplexed? For me, it's my in-laws preference for how they serve the canned cranberry sauce- they extricate it from the can in one piece so the can imprint is intact, and they serve it like that - a perfect cylinder with a can imprint, sitting on a china serving dish. Everyone slices off pieces of it like it's a loaf of bread.

I asked LordL, "why do they almost seem to celebrate how artificial it is?" Our conclusion is that it's a holdover from the era when "home made" meant "too poor to afford store bought" and "store bought = fancy."

Every time we eat somewhere and there is canned cranberry sauce, and you can see even just a little bit of the can imprint on part of it, we look at each other and say "Fancy!"

Green-bean casserole based on cream-of-mushroom soup, canned green beans and dried onions from a can. Gag. Gag. Gag.

LadyL

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Re: Bizarre Holiday Food Traditions
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2011, 12:08:26 PM »
Interesting assumption. I think a lot of people actually prefer the taste or texture of the canned jelly.

I didn't say anything about the taste or texture, it's the presentation I find unusual.

ETA: When looking for a picture as an example, I learned that presentation of the canned sauce is apparently the source of lots of (hilarious) debate:
http://www.fark.com/comments/6758556/Canned-Cranberry-sauce-It-looks-like-a-log-of-happiness.

I guess it's actually a "thing." Who knew!

O'Dell

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Re: Bizarre Holiday Food Traditions
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2011, 12:12:39 PM »
My mother always made cranberry salad from scratch so I was older when I ran across the cranberry sauce from a can served the way LordL's family does. And I think the green beans/mushroom soup thing is strange too.

My family had it's own bizarre holiday food. Most of us loved homemade egg noodles. Since they were so time and work intensive for someone to make, they were usually only on the menu for b-days and holidays. No thanksgiving or xmas or easter was official without them. And one thing I don't see on TG menus often here at Ehell is corn. Sweet corn was a staple for TG and Xmas.
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Jelaza

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Re: Bizarre Holiday Food Traditions
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2011, 01:31:00 PM »
Green-bean casserole based on cream-of-mushroom soup, canned green beans and dried onions from a can. Gag. Gag. Gag.

Whenever that is served, I pass on it.  If someone asks me, I claim that I don't like it.  In truth, I have never even tried it, because it scares me.  It looks like glop.

The Wild One, Forever

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Re: Bizarre Holiday Food Traditions
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2011, 01:46:25 PM »
Green-bean casserole based on cream-of-mushroom soup, canned green beans and dried onions from a can. Gag. Gag. Gag.

Whenever that is served, I pass on it.  If someone asks me, I claim that I don't like it.  In truth, I have never even tried it, because it scares me.  It looks like glop.

The word "glop" is not used enough.   ;D

That casserole is a staple of southern dinners, (although mama never made it for our table, preferring instead to make steamed fresh green beans.)  Almost everyone I know has that at TG, though, as well as Christmas and Easter.  It's not bad!  No funeral lunch or church supper would be complete without it.  I don't make it because I do so many other things with vegetables for TG.

I grew up with my grandma's home made orange-cranberry relish for TG, but my husband and son are not wild about it, so I don't make it.  We use the canned stuff, which they prefer, (although this year, I completely forgot about it.  It'll still be there for Christmas dinner, which is basically a repeat of my TG cooking, only with the addition of a ham.) 
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camlan

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Re: Bizarre Holiday Food Traditions
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2011, 01:55:52 PM »
My childhood Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners always had the carefully de-canned log of cranberry sauce, but ours was cut into equal slices, so that there would be less fighting about who got the most cranberry sauce. The canned cranberry sauce was eaten by my siblings. My mother made her famous cranberry-orange sauce for the adults.

We never had the fabled green bean casserole. I tried making it once as an adult and was underwhelmed. Most of the vegetables for Thanksgiving came from our vegetable garden, carefully frozen or stored to make it to the Thanksgiving table--green beans, beets, carrots. We also always had corn, because the Pilgrims survived on the corn that the Native Americans taught them to plant. And sweet potatoes with marshmallow, but only the grown-ups liked that.

The other feature of the holiday table was the relish tray--olives and little pickles and celery with cream cheese. We still have the relish tray (and it's still the original tray), but we just put a variety of nibblely little things on it.
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Kimblee

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Re: Bizarre Holiday Food Traditions
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2011, 01:59:00 PM »
Interesting assumption. I think a lot of people actually prefer the taste or texture of the canned jelly.

I didn't say anything about the taste or texture, it's the presentation I find unusual.

ETA: When looking for a picture as an example, I learned that presentation of the canned sauce is apparently the source of lots of (hilarious) debate:
http://www.fark.com/comments/6758556/Canned-Cranberry-sauce-It-looks-like-a-log-of-happiness.

I guess it's actually a "thing." Who knew!

I love canned cranberry sauce, whole, sliced or "squished"

I actually like it all whole though, it makes me giddy when i see that pretty red blob.

nrb80

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Re: Bizarre Holiday Food Traditions
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2011, 02:03:48 PM »
Canned cranberry sauce in can shape is lovely for leftover turkey sandwiches.  There would be utter rebellion in my house if Campbell's / French's green bean casserole was eliminated or changed - its too beloved :)

Kimblee

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Re: Bizarre Holiday Food Traditions
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2011, 02:05:39 PM »
The other feature of the holiday table was the relish tray--olives and little pickles and celery with cream cheese. We still have the relish tray (and it's still the original tray), but we just put a variety of nibblely little things on it.

We had the relish tray too. Sweet gerkins, sour gerkins, black olives, green olives and slices of bread and butter pickles.

But i never could figure out what it was for. My grandmother would slap me in the face if I ate the little things off it and tell me it "wasn't for snacking" but I swear that's what the adults did too. (and my male cousins, who were allowed to 'snack")

I miss the relish tray because my mom always made it and it was so pretty, but even when i was grown I looked, i didn't touch.

QueenofAllThings

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Re: Bizarre Holiday Food Traditions
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2011, 02:10:01 PM »
Growing up, my mother always cooked the green beans until you could tie a knot in them - because that's how grandma liked them. I used to argue that Grandma was only one of 20 people; it got me nowhere.

There was also the jello mold - mix hot jello with canned fruit cup; pour into bundt pan. Let set. Add thick layer of sour cream. Top with slightly cooled (so as not to melt sour cream) jello mixed with fruit cup. Unmold.  Egads. Thankfully, that was retired many many years ago, along with the spiced gum drop Christmas tree and the dates rolled in sugar (What? They aren't sweet enough already?)

But then I went and married into a whole set of other traditions - like the fried salt cod (you get used to it) and a weird pasta dish that consists of pasta tossed with cream cheese, parmesan cheese and walnuts. Healthy, and not at all filling  :P


poundcake

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Re: Bizarre Holiday Food Traditions
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2011, 02:39:05 PM »
We do the same thing with the bacon on the turkey, but it never makes it to the table. There's too much fighting in the kitchen over it!

I don't consider it "bizarre" but others might: we have polenta, and sometimes my brother makes our Italian grandmother's canolli recipe for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. Both are time-consuming projects, so they are reserved for holidays. For years, my other grandmother would serve oyster stew every Christmas Eve, even though no one but one of my uncles liked it or ate it.

Does anyone else remember the traditional holiday Swiss Colony Beef Log?

MrsCrazyPete

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Re: Bizarre Holiday Food Traditions
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2011, 02:43:52 PM »
Who WOULDN'T love a random bowl of bacon??   ;D
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POF

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Re: Bizarre Holiday Food Traditions
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2011, 02:55:11 PM »
I love the cranberry log. it is neat and orderly with the little lines to guage the slices ! It makes me smile.

Growing up - we had sauerkraut with turkey ( homemade and canned of course ) and the pungent saltiness offset the balnd starchiness of the potatoes and punched up the turkey.

We also had baked corn pudding which I liked a lot.

I like a nice fresh green salad with T- Day to offset the smooth starchies.

oh yes ... my family .. DH and my 2 sons like our Stove top cornbread stuffing with sausage mixed in and the cooked in a hot oven until it is like crunchy croutons on top. We do this for ourselves when i cook our own turkey ... because all the other family members think stuffing should be moist and they are horrified at our crispy version LOL.