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Old 09-13-2013, 08:33 PM   #11
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Christmas Eve it's potato soup and bratwurst and yeast buns, Christmas morning waffles and later if any one is hungry, they bring out the soup and brats.
I have yet to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for my family. My husband has always insisted that the cook needs to be thankful too and we go out for dinner. Sometimes my sister insists that is just too sad and insists we join her family.
I have Oktoberfest, in October, for about 25-30 family members and friends which kicks off the holiday season. The rest of the year seems to take care of itself.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:37 PM   #12
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Here in England we would have Easter, Bonfire Night, Christmas and New Years Eve .

Christmas and New Year are times for a roast dinner with turkey or goose, and lots of buffet type food , with pickles and piccalli , plus a roast ham , that type of stuff .
As Gravy Queen said but she left out the Christmas pudding which is sometimes store bought but in traditionally minded families is made at home on 26th November (called "Stir Up Sunday") and everyone in the family including the little ones has a go at stirring the mixture and making a wish. (If you are interested search for Delia Smith's recipe). It's traditionally brought to table dowsed in burning brandy and flaming merrily.

Then at tea time, with the pickles and cold cuts there is the Christmas cake, made weeks ahead of time and "fed" regularly with rum or brandy. Then it has a layer of marzipan over it and on top of that goes a layer of royal or fondant icing and often Santa Claus or snowment decorating it. There are also mince pies at tea time. These are pastry cases with pastry lids with mincemeat inside. Mincemeat is made up of currants, sultanas, raisins apples, almonds and sugar. There hasn't been any meat in it for over a hundred years. Mince pies were supposed to represent the Baby Jesus in the manger which is why Oliver Cromwell banned them in the 17th century. I don't suppose they made it across the Pond to America as the pilgrim fathers were dissenters and didn't go in for anything that smacked of popery.

There are also nuts, dates, tangerines and clementines, liqueur chocolates and marzipan fruits to nibble on in case you get peckish between meals.

And then there is Boxing Day on December 26th when the left-overs are eaten - turkey curry, turkey pie, turkey salad, turkey soup, turkey gratin - and this goes on for about a week as most people buy a turkey that will feed the five thousand even if there are only 4 or 5 of them to eat it. (Tongue firmly in cheek here ).

Our family tradition for New Years Eve was a big party with friends and family when my mother made a huge meat and potato pie, apple pie and trifle and about 20 of us sat, squashed but jolly, round a trestle table. At five minutes to midnight a dark haired male guest was pushed out of the back door with a coin, a piece of bread and a lump of coal. He ran round to the front door to be ready to ring the bell when midnight struck in order to do the first footing. The coal, bread and the coin were supposed to ensure prosperity and good luck for the coming year. I think this is a northern English and Scottish tradition as friends from the south of England didn't do it.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:59 PM   #13
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Traditions have changed over the years. When I was a kid my Mom always went all out with everything for everybody. When I got older and married Mom and I took turns hosting holidays (I'm an only child). My in-laws lived in FL so they usually did't figure into the picture. We had holidays at our home the last several years our kids were in high school and there were still elders alive in the family. We moved to MA the year after they graduated. Never did like going out for a holiday. Tried it once. *shudder*

New Year's Eve is something quick because I have sung the vigil Mass with the choir until the last two years. New Year's DAY is the bigger event, even now. I'll have my SIL and hubby over for roasted pork and sauerkraut, pierogies, mashed potatoes, and some kind of veggie - usually butternut squash.

St. Patrick's is corned beef with cabbage, potatoes, and carrots. The carrots are my favorite part along with soaking rye bread with caraway seeds in the broth from cooking the meal.

Easter was a capon dinner when Mom made it. I do a pork loin dinner with parsley-buttered red potatoes and always asparagus if I do anything at all. The last few years it's been the ham, eggs, kielbasa and bread that was taken for food blessing on Holy Saturday.

Memorial Day/Fourth of July/Labor Day are all cook-out days with burgers and/or dogs, potato salad, and beer.

Halloween has always been a pot of chili because of the little beggars.

My SIL and I collaborate on Thanksgiving. She usually makes the turkey and pie(s) (one pumpkin, sometimes an apple also). I do the side dishes: stuffing (to add to the one she has from the turkey cavity - she puts all the giblets in hers and I do not like the liver. ), homemade cranberry sauce, baked sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts with bacon & mushrooms (extra-good for breakfast the next day!) and a relish tray.

Christmas has been just the two of us most every year for the past 13. Again till the last couple years I sang midnight Mass with the choir. We'd sleep in Christmas morning, have a nice brunch, then relax until later. The first year SIL and her hubby moved up here the four of us had Christmas together, the kind I always made back home: beef roast (either standing rib or tenderloin), mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, broccoli, green beans with almonds, salad, and pumpkin and apple pies. Since then they've headed to FL to be with their kids every Christmas. (Can't wait till we move back to OH so we can be with our kids, but driving through PA during the winter can be just a bit dicey at times.) These days I usually make a vat of homemade spaghetti sauce earlier in the week, then on Christmas we have spaghetti or lasagna along with a nice big salad. There is red and green on the table - how can that be wrong?
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:11 AM   #14
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....I don't suppose they (mincemeat pies) made it across the Pond to America as the pilgrim fathers were dissenters and didn't go in for anything that smacked of popery............................At five minutes to midnight a dark haired male guest was pushed out of the back door with a coin, a piece of bread and a lump of coal. He ran round to the front door to be ready to ring the bell when midnight struck in order to do the first footing. The coal, bread and the coin were supposed to ensure prosperity and good luck for the coming year. I think this is a northern English and Scottish tradition as friends from the south of England didn't do it.
Re: Mincemeat. My great aunt lived with us from when I was 7 until her death when I was 18. Nana was the baker in the house and made all the pies nearly all the time. When she baked for Thanksgiving she would make a mince pie and tell me it had meat in it so that I wouldn't eat any - she LOVED that pie so! Nana also told me that Czernina soup was made from solid chocolate candies like Hershey bars and those gold-wrapped pieces in an assortment box. Got me to eat it until I found out what was REALLY in it! It all started with the butcher's son dropping off a fresh-killed duck and a 1-quart container of...blood.

Re:: New Year's Eve. We would put a coin, usually a silver dollar, on the back porch sometime during New Year's eve day. When the clock struck midnight one of us would go out to get the coin to symbolize bringing money into the house that new year. We also never ate chicken on New Year's Day because we didn't want to scratch for our existence in the new year.

FWIW, I'm 100% Polish.
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:18 AM   #15
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We also never ate chicken on New Year's Day because we didn't want to scratch for our existence in the new year.

FWIW, I'm 100% Polish.
That's an interesting NY's Day tradition. From what you say it's Polish?

The food sounds delicious.
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:38 AM   #16
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Not sure the no-chicken thing is a Polish tradition or an "Elsie" tradition. Mom's name was Elsie...

Thanks for the compliment on the food. We love to eat in our family. Gotta cook good when you love to eat.
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:56 AM   #17
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Hmmm...for Thanksgiving I pick a menu from another country and fix that all up. Haven't decided what country to pick this year.

Christmas I do a very scaled down version of a turkey dinner if it's just Shrek and I. A whole turkey if someone else is invited. If I know any students who are staying in town for Christmas I have them over for eats. But we have Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, veggie side and pumpkin pie. If students are invited I ask them what they would like. A relish tray and veggie tray. Just Shrek and me...turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes and a side veggie, pumpkin pie.

St. Patrick's Day corned beef, cabbage (I have my cabbage as coleslaw) and colcannon.

New Year's, we do up an appetizer meal, shrimp cocktail, relish tray, finger foods along with some Moscato.

That's it.
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:53 AM   #18
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I enjoy reading about the New Year's day traditions.

I had never heard the one about eating chicken, great story!

In my world it is considered bad luck to spend any money on New Year's Day. We also take some time to tally up our income and expenses from the previous year. No big detailed plan just a back of the envelope calculation to see where we stand at the start of the new year.

I have never enjoyed going out to eat on a holiday and only once did I have a meal for Christmas that had no leftovers. Never again! It was years ago and I was away from family. My friends were all in the hospitality business and they all had to work at some point on Christmas day. We decided to have a dinner of shrimp cocktail, NY strip steak, lobster tails, baked potato and Caesar salad! A wonderful meal! That night we were all very sad because we did not have any turkey to pick at, dressing to heat up, no pie, NO COOKIES! It was very depressing, so we went out for a drink!
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Old 09-14-2013, 10:15 AM   #19
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Hmmm...for Thanksgiving I pick a menu from another country and fix that all up. Haven't decided what country to pick this year.

Christmas I do a very scaled down version of a turkey dinner if it's just Shrek and I. A whole turkey if someone else is invited. If I know any students who are staying in town for Christmas I have them over for eats. But we have Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, veggie side and pumpkin pie. If students are invited I ask them what they would like. A relish tray and veggie tray. Just Shrek and me...turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes and a side veggie, pumpkin pie.

St. Patrick's Day corned beef, cabbage (I have my cabbage as coleslaw) and colcannon.

New Year's, we do up an appetizer meal, shrimp cocktail, relish tray, finger foods along with some Moscato.

That's it.
So my mother has discovered Moscato. She was never a wine drinker. When I was home she was using one of those big cups from McDonalds filled with ice and Moscato complete with straw... She's a classy dame
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Old 09-14-2013, 10:21 AM   #20
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So my mother has discovered Moscato. She was never a wine drinker. When I was home she was using one of those big cups from McDonalds filled with ice and Moscato complete with straw... She's a classy dame
LOL!!! We drink ours from champagne flutes...and then they are packed away till the next time. I had forgotten where I put the last ones, so I had to buy another set. We could have just had it in wine glasses, canning or jelly jars.
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