Author Topic: What do you traditionally serve for holiday meal and why?  (Read 6419 times)

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gingerzing

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What do you traditionally serve for holiday meal and why?
« on: December 03, 2013, 02:39:26 PM »
Because of some stories on the Holiday Hill to Die On thread, I thought this would be interesting. 

GlitterIsMyDrug had a lovely story about why her family serves brisket and the tradition behind it.

For large holiday meals, my mother or aunt will often serve a small jello salad*(usually with mini-marshmallows)  in honor of my Great-Aunt who always brought them to every family holiday because my father once politely took some and she always brought them because "Ginger's dad loves it so".  (he really didn't like them, but always had a small spoonful to make her happy.) My mom even has Great-Aunt Leona's pretty glass bowl that it was brought in. 

*Jello with fruit.  Very Midwest -especially Iowan.  Often made festive with mini marshmallows or the mini colored marshmallows.  :P

My tradition with DH is that I make homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning.  We have that and coffee while we open stockings and presents.


So what do you have for your holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah ... whatever big holiday meal) that is traditional for your family?  Do you have a special story that you pass along for the younger generation?

Lady Snowdon

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Re: What do you traditionally serve for holiday meal and why?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2013, 02:52:38 PM »
For Christmas Eve, we traditionally make fish soup.  It's pretty simple, and the ingredients can vary from year to year, but we always have to have red potatoes and celery in there, so our soup is red, green and white (I'm not really sure why - as a kid I thought it was because you had to have Christmas colors in Christmas soup).  I believe the tradition started with my grandmother's family living in Massachusetts, close to coast, where fish would be fairly easy and cheap to obtain.  The cost has gone up significantly at this point, with family living in Colorado and Minnesota (fish is decidedly NOT cheap in Colorado!), but we still make it, due to tradition.

Also during the Christmas season, my family traditionally makes whoopie pies.  I suspect my grandmother made them on a whim from a magazine recipe years ago, but she'd never admit it!  :P  Anyway, the recipe we have has been adjusted for living in humid areas, living in desert and semi-arid areas, living at low altitude and high altitude, altered based on what ingredients are available, etc etc.  I've seen the original recipe card, and there are so many scribblings and notations it's a wonder you can make out the recipe itself!  I have many many fond memories of making whoopie pies with my mom or grandmother, and then taking plates of them over to neighbors on Christmas Eve.

ladyknight1

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Re: What do you traditionally serve for holiday meal and why?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2013, 02:56:08 PM »
Christmas Eve is equally precious to Christmas for us. On the 23rd, I make a breakfast casserole, divided in half. Half is baked on Christmas Eve morning for our breakfast, and the other half on Christmas Day. That means we only have to make coffee and get out the bread we have with it and breakfast is done with a minimum of fuss.

Christmas Eve is special to our family as it is "just us" except for a candle light and Christmas carols service we attend at our church.

We have a multitude of appetizers for dinner.

Dried beef cheese ball with crackers
Mini sausages wrapped in puff pastry
Meatballs in sweet & sour sauce
Layered dip and chips
Fresh vegetables
A decadent dessert

For lunch, we have steak with all the trimmings.

Christmas Day we usually have ham, but I am making Glitter's brisket with all the trimmings this year. We'll save the ham for New Year's Day.

Amara

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Re: What do you traditionally serve for holiday meal and why?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2013, 02:59:00 PM »
For Thanksgiving I like the following:
Roast turkey
Dressing
Gravy
Cranberry Sauce
Steamed fresh green beans (and offer sage butter)
Green salad
Tiny fresh fruit and cheese salad (Brie, raspberries)
Pumpkin pie
Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Cabernet

For Christmas my family usually repeats their Thanksgiving menu, which varies a bit from mine. But I like the following:
Chicken Bastilla ( http://simplerecipes.co/march-of-dimes-bastilla-chicken-moroccan-pie/ )
Moroccan Orange Salad (http://cooking-spree.com/2011/05/15/moroccan-orange-salad-with-red-onions-black-olives/ )
Green Salad
Steamed Green Beans, Steamed Artichokes, or Spiced Tiny Onions
Pie (fruit)
Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Cabernet; possibly champagne
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 03:01:19 PM by Amara »

cwm

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Re: What do you traditionally serve for holiday meal and why?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2013, 03:06:32 PM »
Someone else who does homemade cinnamon rolls! That's the Christmas staple for breakfast, along with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, OJ, and coffee. Then again, my family usually hosts everyone Christmas morning for the family gift exchange.

Every holiday get-together on my dad's side of the family has deviled eggs. My sister hates the filling for deviled eggs, so my aunt always leaves a few out without filling, just the hardboiled egg whites, for her.

Thanksgiving always sees chocolate pecan pies. Holiday parties always see mom's homemade peanut brittle (more often peanut chew, it never gets quite brittle) and some sort of cookies. They're extruded through what looks like a caulking gun, and delicious!

In dad's family, they're probably still doing ham and turkey as meats for meals. Sis can't eat ham, I never liked turkey, and the family was always big enough to have both. Dad loves ham, so I doubt that's changed at all, but I haven't been there for a few years, and I'm not about to ask Sis about it.

I do miss the traditional Easter dinner my great grandparents had. It wasn't so much what kind of food we had, but all of us (great grandparents, grandma, uncle and aunt, mom and dad and sis and me) crammed around the dining room table. There was always a salad, and always mashed potatoes because great grandma's were so good, but the food didn't matter so much as the family.

doodlemor

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Re: What do you traditionally serve for holiday meal and why?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2013, 05:15:29 PM »
Someone else who does homemade cinnamon rolls! That's the Christmas staple for breakfast.......

I like to do them, too.  And.........mark your new 2014 calendar.  October 4 is National Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden.

In the last few years I have researched my Swedish heritage, and have made Swedish foods for Christmas.  We have meatballs, ham, limpa bread, Swedish gratin potatoes, and Swedish desserts.  This has worked out well, because my family loves the stuff and it is especially good cold weather food.

The Swedish food has become our new tradition.

heartmug

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Re: What do you traditionally serve for holiday meal and why?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2013, 06:18:32 PM »
Ham is a family favorite.  So I make sure it is either served on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  I am known for my creamed spinach, so I am asked to bring that to family gatherings just as my SIL is known for her homemade pecan pie.

I ask each member of my family what they want for Christmas breakfast and I take the time to make it.  Doesn't matter if it clashes (one year it was 3 different types of pancakes and lemon scones) I have the time to make it and everyone gets what they want.
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starry diadem

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Re: What do you traditionally serve for holiday meal and why?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2013, 06:20:43 PM »
Christmas Eve is equally precious to Christmas for us. On the 23rd, I make a breakfast casserole, divided in half. Half is baked on Christmas Eve morning for our breakfast, and the other half on Christmas Day. That means we only have to make coffee and get out the bread we have with it and breakfast is done with a minimum of fuss.


I have never heard of breakfast casserole. What's in it please, and is it sweet or savoury?
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ladyknight1

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Re: What do you traditionally serve for holiday meal and why?
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2013, 06:50:50 PM »
It is savory. You can use any type of breakfast meat you like, cooked. You add beaten eggs and dairy. I like to use sautéed onion and sweet peppers, but anything can work. You can use dried bread cubes, cooked and shredded or cubed potatoes or cooked grits or polenta as a starch component. I put cheese in the casserole and on top as well.

Ratios for a 13 x 9" casserole dish

1 lb meat of choice, cooked (I have used bulk sausage, bacon, ham or smoked sausage)
12 eggs, beaten until combined
1/2 cup milk
Vegetables, herbs and seasonings of choice
6 cups of bread cubes, cooked potatoes, grits or polenta
2 cups of cheese (I like reduced fat sharp cheddar)

Layer starch component, vegetables, half of the cheese, seasonings and meat in greased dish. Mix eggs and milk together, and pour over the other ingredients in the dish. Top with remaining cheese.

It can rest in the refrigerator up to two days before baking. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, check halfway through to see if you need to add foil to prevent over browning.

Library Dragon

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Re: What do you traditionally serve for holiday meal and why?
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2013, 06:59:37 PM »
I was just talking about this with someone.  We rotate between our major MEAT choices.

Thanksgiving it's always turkey, but we may add a ham as well. 

Christmas Eve is always fish.  If we have a group I will do the traditional Italian Christmas Eve of 7 fishes.  DS2 doesn't eat much fish, so he requests quiche. 

Christmas Day is always a honey baked ham.  Sometimes we add an additional meat depending upon the crowd.

Easter is always lamb.  This past Easter I did a lamb roast and made beef Wellington for the first time.  It came out really good.  I usually stuff the lamb with a parsley-walnut pesto.  No mint jelly is ever seen on my table  :P .

The sides are my time to really be creative.  They vary every year. 

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Katana_Geldar

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Re: What do you traditionally serve for holiday meal and why?
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2013, 07:18:42 PM »
We usually have ham, as DH loves ham.

We also usually have fresh cooked cold prawns, just not this year as I'll be pregnant over Christmas.

We usually have stuffed mushrooms, because I love them.

We would normally have turkey, but my grandma is brining a piece of poked she cooked, so it's not needed.

And we usually have pudding with cream.

Other the that we just have what we like that's in our capabilities to make. Our menu is going to be mostly cold this year, with salads and pavlova which I'm making the night before and fruit for after. As well as crackers and dip and nibbles first up.

kherbert05

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Re: What do you traditionally serve for holiday meal and why?
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2013, 08:01:31 PM »
Christmas Eve - Uncle Eddies hamburgers. Think spicy meatballs but flat like miniature hamburger paddies served on mini buns.

Thanksgiving night and Christmas night Papa sandwiches. Triple decker turkey, lettuces, tomato, bacon sandwiches with Durkey's spread.

Orange Stuff - orange jello made with mandarin oranges, juice from the mandarin oranges and orange sherbert used instead of water making the jello.
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Kariachi

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Re: What do you traditionally serve for holiday meal and why?
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2013, 01:05:16 AM »
Thanksgiving is all traditional fare. Turkey, mashed potatoes, canned cranberry sauce, black olives, homemade dinner rolls with butter (really they're just cinnamon roll dough cut into rounds and un-cinnamoned), and any vegetables we have laying around.

Christmas I always make my bacon-cheddar scone (which I have taken to calling my Solstice Scone), yes singular, and chocolate chip cookies. Typically we have ham, but last year we bought a duck and this year we raised some so we could have it again.

New Year's Eve is always cheese lasagna. Always. With homemade sauce because I'm pretty sure my immediate family would die if you fed us the jarred stuff. We have the lasagna at around six, and then me and my mom break into the shrimp and cocktail sauce at around eleven.
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starry diadem

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Re: What do you traditionally serve for holiday meal and why?
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2013, 02:53:39 AM »
It is savory. You can use any type of breakfast meat you like, cooked. You add beaten eggs and dairy. I like to use sautéed onion and sweet peppers, but anything can work. You can use dried bread cubes, cooked and shredded or cubed potatoes or cooked grits or polenta as a starch component. I put cheese in the casserole and on top as well.

Ratios for a 13 x 9" casserole dish

1 lb meat of choice, cooked (I have used bulk sausage, bacon, ham or smoked sausage)
12 eggs, beaten until combined
1/2 cup milk
Vegetables, herbs and seasonings of choice
6 cups of bread cubes, cooked potatoes, grits or polenta
2 cups of cheese (I like reduced fat sharp cheddar)

Layer starch component, vegetables, half of the cheese, seasonings and meat in greased dish. Mix eggs and milk together, and pour over the other ingredients in the dish. Top with remaining cheese.

It can rest in the refrigerator up to two days before baking. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, check halfway through to see if you need to add foil to prevent over browning.

Thank you!  I'll give that a try sometime. Only without the grits, since that isn't something we do here in the UK!

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heartmug

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Re: What do you traditionally serve for holiday meal and why?
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2013, 11:37:20 AM »

Christmas I always make my bacon-cheddar scone

That sounds so good!
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