Christmas dinner

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Dec 1st, 2001, 06:02 AM
  #21
Judy
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Hi Cass, Christmas day is always turkey and trimmings, which I love!
However, Christmas eve's traditional dinner is a Lithuanian tradition (Kutchie, I think it is called).
It is primarily fish (smelts, yech) and various "simple dishes"(herring, dried peas, boiled potatos, sauerkraut, etc) that remind people of the simplictiy of the true spirit of Christmas.
When I was young, I used to dread Christmas eve dinner, big time. Now we have modified to please more modern palates, shrimp, pierogies, fried flounder, yumm.
I love Christmas traditions.
Judy.
 
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Dec 1st, 2001, 01:59 PM
  #22
Anndine
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What is the "proper" dinner for Epiphany/Reyes/Kings, if that is the day you most celebrate? Is lamb traditional for that in Orthodox countries?
 
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Dec 1st, 2001, 02:24 PM
  #23
Annie
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I grew up on the Christmas Eve Midwest oyster stew Pris mentioned above. Must be an aquired taste, as everyone in my immediate family loves it. Just milk & oysters & butter & salt & pepper. Yum. Though there's always a pot of chili for the in-laws.

As long as we're on gruesome sounding foods: for as long as I can remember my family has eaten ham balls every Christmas. It's ground beef, ground ham, and ground pork shaped into spheres with a sweet/sour tomato/brown sugar glaze. Also freakishly yummy.

Ham Balls don't sound nearly as bad when you know that the alternative was traditional Norwegian lutefisk, which is dried cod rehydrated in a lye solution. I am not making this up. The old timers eat it like candy!

The holiday feast also includes lefse, a traditional Norwegian food that 's like a tortilla, but made of potatos, eaten with butter and sugar.

Anyone from Norway reading this thread? Are lutefisk & lefse still traditional holiday foods there, or is it just us crazy Americans?
 
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Dec 3rd, 2001, 07:24 AM
  #24
aj
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Thanks for all the yummy ideas. I want to try the roast beef and yourshire pudding for Christmas this year. What cut of beef would be good? The brussell sprouts are good and also the steamed pudding. What else with the main course would your see in England? Thanks for the help. I am tired of turkey.
 
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Dec 3rd, 2001, 07:25 AM
  #25
aj
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Sorry, I meant to type "yorkshire" not yourshire pudding!
 
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Dec 3rd, 2001, 07:40 AM
  #26
cdf
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I just heard from my son who is living in Japan,teaching English..he has been there for a year and a half, we have not seen him in all that time.Sunday he called to tell us that he will be home for Christmas~I, thinking that this year, it being only myself and my husband,and of course the dog, we would have a little turkey or something, then go to a movie or something, if we couldn't just get away completely...now I have to get a big tree, do the wreaths,and plan a dinner that will remind him of how nice it is to be home,encourage him to want to come back home(the US-not especially this home and what to make since he is vegetarian!??? I will keep watching this site and will steal dishes from you all!
Happy holidays~C
 
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Dec 3rd, 2001, 07:44 AM
  #27
Dottie
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I married into a German family 41yrs ago and it has always been ham and sweet potatoes for Christmas Day and pork and sauerkraut New Year's day.
 
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Dec 3rd, 2001, 09:30 AM
  #28
carolyn
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Our *whole* family including aunts, uncles, and cousins by the dozens get together on Christmas, formerly at different people's houses but now fallen to my sister who has lots of room and doesn't seem to mind. The hostess does the turkey and dressing and hot vegetables, and everyone else brings a casserole, salad, or dessert. One aunt always brings a Honey-Baked Ham and rolls. Sis lives in the country and so has lovely fresh-frozen corn and home canned green beans. We have sweet potatoes in various forms, mashed potatoes (we are southern, of course), scalloped tomatoes, broccoli and cheese sauce, other vegs., cranberry sauce and cranberry salad, fruit salad, etc., and an army of desserts beginning with jam cake. The counters are crowded with food, and we eat ourselves into an absolute stupor while visiting with each other and watching the cut throat Rook game going on.

The immediate family, only 25 of us, spend the night either at my sister's or brother's house, and it's a mad rush to get up and open presents and have some breakfast before getting dressed for the company. We do have little ones, so there's no waiting to open gifts.

It is a lot of work, but as the number of aunts and uncles dwindles we treasure more and more the time we have together.
 
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Dec 3rd, 2001, 09:51 AM
  #29
Beth
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When I was a "housewife," Christmas dinner was prime rib and yorkshire pudding with lots of side dishes and homemade cookies. Now that I work full time and host my three grown kids, their spouses and three granddaughters, it is a Honey-Baked ham, side dishes and whatever else I can con my kids into bringing as their contribution. It is no longer a sit down dinner as we have on Thanksgiving, but a buffet for eating most of the day while we unwrap presents and test the new videos and computer games for the little ones. Food has become less and less the focal point of the day. Having all my family there is the important part.
 
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Dec 3rd, 2001, 01:24 PM
  #30
John G
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My grandmother is from England, so she always makes roast beef with Yorkshire pudding for Christmas (which I love). My WASP mother always makes ham with yams and mashed potatoes with brown gravy. My best friend, who is Italian, always has the 5-fish dinner for Christmas Eve. And my Polish brother-in-law always makes halushki, knish, potato pancakes, and cole slaw for his Christmas Eve dinner. In both the Italian and Polish cultures, it seems the Christmas Eve dinner is the more important than the meal on Christmas Day.
 
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Dec 3rd, 2001, 02:37 PM
  #31
Cass
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You are all great, and thanks for not letting this discussion disappear.

cdf: Why not fondues? You could do cheese with all kinds of bread and vegetables, or you could do a vegetable broth to cook veggies (such as mushrooms, sweet potato, etc.). Of course, you know what kind of dessert fondues are wonderful with fruit, angel food cake chunks, marshmallows. Warning: I once tried to make a white chocolate fondue and the flame got too hot -- the mix caramelized and turned an unpleasant brownish color -- tasted good but looked pretty fierce. Stick with chocolate (Hersey's morsels with cherry brandy make a wonderful fondue).

Or if your son accepts eggs, you could do a wonderful Christmas fritata with layers of red and green pepper, a spinach salad, etc., and splurge on wonderful cheeses either in the fritata or on some salad.

There are also some wonderful things you can do with specialized pizzas - e.g., with asparagus and red bell peppers, etc.

Stuff a round boule of bread with some wonderful mixture of vegetables and perhaps cheese.

He probably is used to various forms of tofu, but I'm not the one to ask for tofu recipes -- eh!
 
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Dec 3rd, 2001, 03:33 PM
  #32
cdf
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Oh, Cass, thank you , that is so nice of you! Actually, I thought since it has been a year and a half since he has had 'western'style food, I thought I would make some kind of Italian feast, making casseroles,breads,salads,and -yes-something chocolate..He has requested Mexican-I think that will be in a restaurant in NYC..CHristmas breakfast will be breads and pastries from the bakery and me, he hasn't had our kind of bread either! But I will be checking this thread, stealing ideas, he will be here for 2 weeks*he will probably go back to Japan a much heavier young man*
 
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Dec 3rd, 2001, 03:53 PM
  #33
Susan
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Inspired by our recent trip to Italy, my mother-in-law is having a multi-course Italian feast for Christmas. First we'll start with antipasti from DiBruno Bros. which our Philly family members always generously send. Then we'll have priests-stranglers, those lovely spinach gnocchi we loved in Tuscany. Next up is a roasted capon with sage and then the salad, caprese for the colors of Christmas. And for dessert we're thinking of tiramisu! And plenty of regional Italian wines to wash it down. But we are open to suggestions from the Italians out there ... anyone?
 
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Dec 4th, 2001, 09:51 AM
  #34
ana
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Cass:
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to share all these wonderful ideas. I was also searching this thread but couldn't find it.
 
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Dec 4th, 2001, 10:13 AM
  #35
SharonG
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My grandfather came from Poland and Christmas Eve was always the big celebration. It is traditional not to eat meat that day. It is also traditional to have 12 dishes of different kinds of food, put straw under the tablecloth to represent the manger and set an extra place for a stranger. We always had shrimp cocktails, fried smelts, fried shrimp, and lots of other good stuff to eat. Plus the breaking of the "opwatek" (I know that's spelled wrong) which is like a communion wafer with embossed religous symbols. You take one and break off a piece from everyone else at the table and wish them a Merry Christmas. After supper we get ready for Midnight Mass and then come home and have a huge breakfast with homemade Polish sausage, eggs, babka, etc. Then we open our gifts. Christmas Day usually finds us in our PJs all day, lounging around and eating whatever is leftover from the day before.
 
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Dec 5th, 2001, 08:17 AM
  #36
Susan
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For those who thought this was lost.
 
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Dec 5th, 2001, 09:49 AM
  #37
Lexma90
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I love this thread!

Growing up, German on my mom's side & English on my dad's (both generations back), we never had turkey at Christmas or Christmas Eve. Always prime rib, or ham, or something like that; the rest of the meal was probably similar to Thanksgiving. We had a big dinner on Christmas Eve with a group of family friends, then opened presents Christmas morning, followed by a big dinner later in the day (no real breakfast or lunch, as I recall). My mom would make Christmas pudding or trifle (or both, if we were real lucky), for Christmas Eve or Day, both of which are delicious!

Now that I'm grown, live 1,000 miles away from my family, are almost-vegetarians, and my husband's family is not Christian, we're developing our own traditions. I think we'll have lobster for Christmas Eve, we always make homemade donuts on Christmas morning, then have a nice dinner, which could be anything that we all like that's festive. My son has requested Christmas pudding, so I'll pull out the mold that my mother gave to me to make it in. Aren't traditions great?
 
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Dec 5th, 2001, 10:14 AM
  #38
Ana
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Lexma:

It IS a wonderful post. I have copied this into a Word format, and printed it out.

I have enjoyed reading all the wonderful traditions and yummy dishes. I will probably be very inspired this year, and put at least an extra plate for a stranger, or some straw under the table, or, or, or........
 
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Dec 6th, 2001, 05:29 AM
  #39
Their in-law
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I have in-laws who are so, shall we say, deliberate about dinner preparations that it can go late into the evening; and on at least two occasions, they were so tired that they packed the dinner up and actually ate it the next day. No, this is not fiction, they actually have done that.

I think it's because they start with the quick stuff first, and wait to begin cooking the turkey until last. One year they had the turkey upside-down -- not purposely, as some cooks do, for the first half of the roasting to let the juices run into the breast and then turn it over for the last half for browning -- no, this was a true confusion about turkey orientation and anatomy. They hate to ask me advice about cooking, but eventually someone asked why it didn't look right. I tried to be as gracious as possible -- and it took heroic effort not to burst out laughing. But I don't think they ever forgave me for noticing that it was upside-down.

Sorry this isn't a recipe, except perhaps for intra-familial tension.
 
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Dec 6th, 2001, 07:02 AM
  #40
wendy
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I am from Halifax, NS. My family is only small and we all live within 5 minutes of each other. Every year our x-mas eve tradtion is to have fresh Atlantic Lobster! We then go to Midnight Mass. On christmas day we all make it to my parents house for present opening and brunch! Then we all stay for the traditional Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings. My favorites are my Mother's homemade cranberry sauce and stuffing. The stuffing is a family recipe passed down made with sausages and apples. Yummy.

As for New Years we usually all get together and go to a Chinese Restaraunt!
 
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