I wanted to share some family food traditions today. I've never actually taken too many photos of the food during the holidays, but I will rectify that this year. Here are some foods that I grew up with and Dave grew up with and some new things we've tried in recent years. Since this is the first year we are hosting Christmas, we will be figuring out what we will be carrying on as traditions in our own family.
Atlantic Lobsters. (Caveat, Dave is allergic to lobster, but I love it, so I'm sorry, but it will have to remain part of our traditions.) I don't get lobster often, but it does mean Christmas to me. Lobster season where I'm from starts around December so the fishermen are starting to sell them right around the holidays. We eat them hot, dipped in lemon butter, and any leftovers are added to scrambled eggs on Christmas morning.
Fondue. This is something that Dave's family did every year. There are so many stories about their fondues of years past, usually involving fire, spilled wine, etc. We just do simple chicken, beef, meatballs, and vegetables, but it is fun. E didn't know what to think last year.
Christmas Jello. I do not know why this was named Christmas Jello other than we always had it at Christmastime. It is a favourite of mine and of my Uncle Robert's. Here is the recipe:
1 pkg yellow jello (usually only lemon is available, but get pineapple if you can)
1 pkg pink/red jello (cherry or raspberry)
Make each jello in separate bowls as per directions on the package. Put in fridge until partially set. Take out of fridge and whip each bowl well.
To the yellow jello add:
1 banana, sliced
A couple of handfuls of red maraschino cherries
To the pink/red jello add:
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
Whip 1 cup of real whipping cream. Add half of the whipped cream to each bowl of jello. In a large bowl, swirl both jello mixtures together. Refrigerate until fully set.
Fun Cocktails. I remember once long ago we made Crème de Menthe parfaits at my neighbour's on Christmas Eve. That is obviously something you don't drink all the time, but it was a treat. I have found a few drinks that I've made the past couple of years.
Snackies. My mom found this recipe in a Company's Coming for the Holidays book one year and made some to send to me at university. I shared it with everyone while we studied for exams and it was extremely addictive. Here is the recipe.
2 cups bite-size shredded wheat cereal
2 cups bite-size shredded corn cereal
2 cups oat squares cereal
2 cups corn bran cereal
1 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup butter
1/4 corn syrup
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Combine cereal and pecans in a large greased bowl. Coating: Stir all ingredients in saucepan until mixture comes to a boil. Boil slowly for 3 minutes. Pour over cereal mixture. Spread on 2 greased baking sheets. Cool until firm. Break into pieces. Store in airtight container.
Oysters. Dave and I order oysters pretty much anytime they are on a menu. Last New Year's Eve we got some oysters (and enjoyed them despite Dave stabbing his hand). We want to get some for Christmas this year. Freshly shucked, lemon, fresh horseradish, and maybe a mignonette.
Turkey with all the fixings. Refer to my post about Thanksgiving. This will be practically the same meal I'll make for Christmas.
Eggs Benedict Casserole. This is something I made for the first time last year but it will be something we are definitely adding to our holiday rotation. I love eggs benny, and this is a simple variation that is easy to make ahead and serve to a group.
6 English muffins, toasted, cut into bite sized pieces
3/4 pound Canadian bacon, uncooked
2 cups milk
1 tsp onion powder
1 pkg of Hollandaise Sauce mix plus ingredients for that
Beat together eggs, milk and onion powder, In a large casserole dish, sprinkle the English muffins and Canadian bacon, alternating to make sort of layers. Pour egg mixture overtop. Let sit overnight in the fridge for best results. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking to allow to come to room temperature.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes or until firm.
Make Hollandaise Sauce according to directions. Spoon over each individual serving.
Cookies. I make the same sugar cookie recipe every year. The ingredient that makes them special is cardamom. I usually decorate them with icing and sprinkles. Dave usually requests gingerbread men, so I've added those to the rotation as well.
Last year's Christmas Morning