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Old 09-12-2013, 09:07 AM   #1
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What are your traditional holiday meals?

1. New Years Eve - All home made - Egg rolls with pineapple sweet and sour sauce, Indian Pastries, tempura chicken, shriimp scampi, sauteed scallops, shrimp ring with cocktail sauce, home made chicken liver pate (my recipe), assorted crackers and chips, boxed chocolates, White grape juice and ginger ale to toast in the New Year.

2. St. Patrick's Day - Home made corned beef with potatoes and cabbage

3. Easter - Spiral ham, glazed with honey mustard, and grilled on the Covered Webber with Apple or Maple wood

4. Cinco de Mayo - Whatever Mexican recipe I'm in the mood to make, from shredded beef tacos, to Hennessey Tacos, to home made tamales, to enchilladas, to...

5. 4th of July, grilled, premium hot dogs, grilled sausage, grilled burgers, cole slaw, baked beans (my own recipe), corn on the cob, chips, dips, watermelon, cantaloupe, fruit pie

6. Halloween - Beans and hot dogs (we're too busy handing out goodies to the trick-or-treaters to have anything more complex).

7. Thanksgiving - Oven roasted turkey for our house, barbecued turkey at the church (cooked by me), bread dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, from turkey drippings and turkey broth made from neck and giblets, mashed, or cubed rutabaga with brown sugar and butter, baked sweet potatoes, relish tray with black, and green olives, stuffed celery sticks, deviled eggs (again, my recipe), home made cranberry sauce, home made apple pie, home made pumpkin pie, sometimes a home made New York Cheesecake, hey Sprout, P.A.G., did I miss anything?

8. Christmas - The Feast! so-named by my younger son, consisting of the dining room table covered with deli meats and cheeses, home made rolls, different breads, and rolls, and assorted condiments, lettuce, peppers, sliced black olives. It's a sandwich lovers place to be. It frees the parents (that would be me and DW) from having to cook anything on Christmas. Everyone just makes what they want, when they want it.

I think that's all of them, and none of them were pancakes.

What are your traditional holiday meals?

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North


“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:20 AM   #2
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When I saw the title of your thread, Chief, I immediately assumed the holiday meals you were speaking about were Thanksgiving and Christmas. The other events have always been add-ons in our family.

New Year's Eve for the bulk of my adult/family life was spent in the Washington, DC area, which gets pretty crazy on that night. As a result, Buck and I rarely ventured out to "party" or whatever and our children stayed at home or close by in the neighborhood.

From that, we developed our own "safe" celebration which involved making a batch of everyone's favorite cut-out cookie dough and having the first cookies out of the oven at the strike of midnight. The adults washed them down with champagne and the young folks had sparkling grape juice. It became a tradition and, as the children got older, they came to expect the cookie celebration.

Since a great part of my family heritage is Irish, of course, we have corned beef and cabbage on St. Patty's Day. I love the stuff and so does my family, so it is practically mandatory that a huge corned beef and plenty of cabbage and potatoes make their way into the house in time to feast on "our" day.

When I was growing up Easter was not really considered a "holiday" even though my parents took us to mass and we had a special meal on that Sunday that usually eclipsed our normal Sunday fare. It just never took off in my own household and, to this day, except for a little nicer than normal Sunday meal, it's just like any other Sunday.

Cinco de Mayo? Nuthin' really. As a child I didn't know about it and, besides, May 5th is/was my father's birthday and we always had his favorite, along with birthday cake.

Fourth of July? Again, as a youth we didn't do much to observe the day except for the obligatory fireworks and some backyard grilling, which was already underway because it was summertime. Now? Well, most of the time we're invited to Glenn's son's home for a cookout. Otherwise it would be business as usual, except for all the bunting and flags we put out in observation of the day.

Halloween? Growing up, we were more interested in getting out and begging for our "loot." As a result, my mother always had a big pot of homemade sloppy joes that we'd throw into our faces before we threw back our chairs and headed out the door.

Same held true when I had my family but it was also, as you noted, when the doorbell began ringing with ghosties and goblins on the other side, there was little time to have a meal. Again, sloppy joes to the rescue.

The remaining two holidays are when the food flows.

Thanksgiving has always been very, very traditional in any of my households. Roast turkey, gravy, a variety of accompaniments, and dessert if there was any room left in anyone's tummy. However, that doesn't say that dessert was ignored. Usually put off until several hours later when things settled and there was room available in our already pushed to the limit stomachs.

I never strayed far from the expected Thanksgiving menu, but I would "play" with several of the sides to give some variety to the menu. To this day I have more ways to prepare sweet potatoes than one could imagine.

Christmas dinner has always been quite similar to Thanksgiving dinner but, as our family spread its wings and we were obligated to have the meal at one family member's home or another, the preparation styles varied. We enjoy Christmas dinner any way it's been prepared, but the one thing I miss when we dine at someone else's home is that there are no leftovers to "pick" in the evening when my taste buds crave one of the many delectable flavors. In my later years I have solved that challenge by preparing a mini Christmas meal the day after just for my husband and me.

Of any of the holidays listed, the part I enjoy most, especially now that I'm getting older, is watching everyone have a good time. We could all be eating a Big Mac for all I care when I see all the smiles and hear all the laughter and giggles.

"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:50 AM   #3
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New Years my B/Day so we go out to my favorite place for Chinese the whole gang comes and I love it.
Saint Pats, corned beef and cabbage
Easter we have Smithfield ham so good it's spiral cut we also have potatoes in cream salt and pepper with sautéed onion thrown in, fruit salad, home made rolls butter and honey peas and mushrooms. dessert of some sort.
The 4th. grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and mac salad, all the goodies like chips and dips, pickles, olives both green and black, Ice cream we make and either cake or cookies to go with it.
Halloween we pick up Subway sammies go to my daughters and baby sit the door so the kids can go T&T
Thanksgiving Ham and Turkey mashed taters, gravy, fennel salad, String beans with butter and heavy cream, polenta topped with dolce gorgonzola as a starter, plus my dad's avocado dip and bread and a platter of iced cold shrimp and cocktail sauce, desserts pies and cookies ice cream
Christmas for us is on the 24 the kids all scatter the 25th and DH and I put our feet up and snack on left overs from the night before cold meats and cheeses, breads focaccia, olives, veggies and dips, shrimp, chips, fondue yum yum yum, you name it we have it stuffed onion and zucchinis,rice torta and ice cream and cake.
nice thread Chief
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:36 AM   #4
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Only thanksgiving and Christmas for our family.

For Thanksgiving, roasted four chickens. My kids did not like turkey. All the fixings. When they were small, I told them they were baby turkeys. They would tell their friends that we had four turkeys for our dinner. All the fine china and family silverware comes out. Starting on Monday, polish the silver, trays, serving dishes and tableware. Tuesday, make the non refrigerator pies. Apple, Blueberry. Wednesday make the custard pies. Pumpkin, Custard. Wednesday night open the table, get out the holiday linen and set the table up. Thursday, start the prepping of the veggies and the chickens. The kids would come rushing in around one from our standard holiday football game. Eastie vs. Southie. For those who didn't go to the game, they watched the Macy Thanksgiving Parade. By two we all sat down to eat. After dinner everyone headed for the living room to watch football and fall asleep. For those who didn't find a bed, they slept on the floor. By six, everyone made up a large plate to take home. One year my SIL told me that the table and dinner was like going away to the countryside and having dinner at a B&B.

On Friday night, I put the tree up and put on the lights. Saturday, all the grandchildren would come and decorate it. All my decorations were child safe ones made out of wood. For the real small ones, one parent had to stay and take care of them. After the tree was done, each child got half of the Pillsbury cookie roll and got to make cookies. When they were done, they had a cup of cocoa with the cookies they made. Then they all got to do a craft. I would pass out their presents and send them on their way. Saturday night I would crash and not come to until Monday morning when I had to get up and go to work.

Christmas, open presents and cereal for breakfast. Standard traditional breakfast for dinner. Scrambled eggs or baked eggs in a muffin tin. Bacon done in the oven, home fires, and popovers. Cocoa and coffee. If you wanted anything else to eat, fix it yourself.

All the other holidays, eh!
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:56 AM   #5
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New Year's Eve... Butterfest! We typically have anything that can be dipped in butter: crab legs, lobster, artichokes. All washed down with copious amounts of sparkling wine. It's the last pig out of the year before we start diets the next day.

New Year's Day - aspirin in the morning, followed by a good cardio workout to punish ourselves for the previous night's dining debauchery. Then we ruin everything once again by having a nice creamy oyster stew for dinner. Oh well. The diet will wait one more day.

Easter - always a leg of lamb roasted with the rotisserie over a wood fire. Without a doubt my favorite holiday meal of the year.

Thanksgiving - meh. I hate turkey, but we go to the in-laws house and that's what they always serve. I usually fill up on sides and skip the bird.

We usually travel over Christmas, but if we happen to be home I make prime rib.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:05 PM   #6
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For Holidays, if my family is here that's just about all I care about. We do traditional meals for some, not so much for others.

St. Partick's Day – Corned beef boiled dinner.

Easter – Every year now we do an Easter Egg hunt for my grandson and the neighbors' kids. Appetizers and mimosas for the adults. No special meal. Whatever all the fussy eaters are OK with. This year I did lasagna.

Cinco de Mayo – We don't really celebrate. I may do a Mexican dinner if I'm in the mood.

Independence Day – Usually some kind of cookout coupled with taking our grandson to the pool.

Labor Day – Another excuse for a cookout and an end-of-the-season visit to the pool.

Halloween – Something quick and easy as we are constantly jumping up and down to answer the doorbell. First we take our grandson out for his looting of the candy dishes then sit down to dinner. He has to go to the door with SO every single time to help hand out the candy.

Thanksgiving – As a foodie, this is my favorite holiday! When I was divorced and on my own, I made the whole feast for myself one year. I love preparing the whole Thanksgiving feast. Roast turkey with stuffing and gravy, rice pilaf, a couple of veggies, cranberry sauce and several desserts.

Christmas – Prime rib or Tenderloin roast, rice pilaf and potatoes, gravy, veggies and even more desserts.

New Years Eve – SO and I stay home. We have a spread of shrimp cocktail, marinated herring, and several others of our favorite appetizers along with champagne and a fire in the fire
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:13 PM   #7
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I'm sad to say that in my family the holiday celebrations are becoming a thing of the past. The younger folks view the time off as time to work on projects at home, visit friends or hit the mall for a movie and some pizza.

I still do my mini celebrations!

New Years Eve is a variety of snacks and a Manhattan or two. I usually have some shrimp, kielbasa, very old cheddar cheese, Athena spanakopita triangles, a dip and other odds and ends. Oops, I forgot the last of the Christmas cookies and candy.

St. Patrick's Day is just another day for me unless I have some family or friends around. When we were kids it was always corned beef, green mashed potatoes, green rolls, green frosted cut out cookies, green milk and on and on. My Mother went through a lot of green food coloring on St. Patrick's day.

Easter is usually ham, kielbasa, pierogies, red pickled eggs, horseradish, rye bread and a lemon dessert of some kind.

Cinco de Mayo used to be a drinking holiday, now it's just the 5th of May.

Fourth of July is always a homey low budget cookout. Burgers, hotdogs, salads, chips, watermelon, brownies, toasted marshmallows.

Halloween nothing special for dinner. A Reese's cup or two.

Columbus Day is lasagna, salad, garlic bread and some treats from the Italian bakery.

Thanksgiving is a scaled down version of the standard American feast. Turkey, stuffing, Brusells sprouts, mashed turnips, sweet potatoes,cabbage salad, cranberries, pickles and black olives. Pumpkin and or mincemeat pie for dessert and a box of good quality chocolates.

Christmas starts on Christmas Eve with a watered down version of La Vigilia or Feast of the Seven Fishes. We never hit seven items anymore and if anyone mentions it someone usually shouts "have another shrimp and be happy"! After midnight a hot sausage sandwich with peppers and onions. Christmas day is a about breakfast eggs, home fries, hot sausage, Italian toast and Christmas cookies. We don't do a big dinner anymore we hit the road to visit family and friends.

Each year my holiday celebrations get smaller and smaller while the memories burn brighter and brighter!
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:10 PM   #8
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Here in England we would have Easter, Bonfire Night, Christmas and New Years Eve .

Easter is a lamb or turkey roast dinner .

Bonfire Night is November 5th so that means fireworks , roast chestnuts, jacket potatoes, sausages , toffee apples .

Halloween is not really a holiday although kids now do tend to have more parties and trick or treating , which involves sweets mainly !

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 .
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gravy Queen View Post
Here in England we would have Easter, Bonfire Night, Christmas and New Years Eve .

Easter is a lamb or turkey roast dinner .

Bonfire Night is November 5th so that means fireworks , roast chestnuts, jacket potatoes, sausages , toffee apples .

Halloween is not really a holiday although kids now do tend to have more parties and trick or treating , which involves sweets mainly !

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 .
Your Christmas sounds like it is right out of Dickens's "The Christmas Carol.

My first husband explained to me one day what Wassailing was. He was 14 the first time his father took him on a New Years Eve. Just out of curiosity, do they still do it? He came from the Lakes District in Cockermouth.
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Old 09-12-2013, 04:38 PM   #10
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Christmas - Ham , twice baked potato's or crockpot mac'n cheese, spinach salad, veggie's for dipping in hummus. Something sinful for dessert like rum cake.

New Years Eve- Prime Rib rubbed with garlic, herbs and horseradish. Some fancy smashed potato's, another salad. A cheesecake.

Easter - Lamb or Ham. Sides are not set in stone.

St. Patricks Day - Corned beef and cabbage.

4th of July - Burger and dogs on the grill. Cole Slaw, beans and some corn on the cob. Apple pie. (Must have apple pie!)

Halloween - Ironically I don't get any tricker treaters but I still decorate and carve a pumpkin. There is usually a zombie movie marathon. I'll have a big pot of something on the stove and a loaf of crusty bread for dunking. This year I'm thinking my Cataplana hot pot. Everyone enjoyed that. I don't bother with sweets. I always have a bag of chocolate just in case some poor lost soul does show up.

Thanksgiving is the usual suspects. Turkey, stuffing. mashed potato's and gravy. I don't make a cooked vegetable, a veggie platter works fine. I do insist in Hawaiian Sweet Rolls. Excellent for turkey sandwiches. Pumpkin pie.

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