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Old 09-12-2013, 10:07 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

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Old 09-12-2013, 11:20 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.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:50 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, 12:36 PM   #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, 12:56 PM   #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, 01:05 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
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:13 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, 02:10 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, 03:44 PM   #9
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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 .
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, 05:38 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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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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