The Best Christmas Tradition…FOOD!

I don’t know about all of you, but for me the thing I look most forward to is cooking during the holidays. I get excited figuring what I will make and who I will gift my food to this year. I love getting homemade gifts and I adore giving homemade gifts. I watched my mother as I was growing up making three different types of fudge, turtles, four or five different types of cookies other than the ones she made with me and my friends, as well as our Christmas dinner. Let me tell you at 76 she is still making some cookies and our Christmas dinner. She refuses to give that one up. My children do not like it. They want their mother to do it, but I explain that Nanna wants to do it as long as she is able and we will let her until she burns it.

We have a family tradition of having beef for our Christmas dinner because none of us are really big turkey lovers. So, we traditionally have (if the price is right, of course) a standing rib roast, wild rice, fresh green beans, and twice baked potatoes or just baked potatoes. I love it. My favorite meal of the whole year. Three of us have lost our gall bladders over this meal!! My mother is of Swedish descent on her father’s side so many of our cookies and pastries during this time of the year come from her grandmother’s recipes. They are light and crispy and yummy. My grandmother, Nonnie Olson, was an awesome baker. I learned to bake an awesome pie crust from her. I enjoy candy making and baking during the holidays and giving it all away. I love the ideas on pinterest¬†for new ideas each year, but bark is my favorite. It is so easy. And, being from the land of the pecan, I always make roasted pecans. I can’t stop eating them myself.

Years ago, when I was married to my first husband, I was introduced to the most wonderful drink–Syllabub. Have you ever had this stuff? It is so crazy good. You drink a cup of bubbles. Not like eggnog that’s been beaten; it tastes much better. It was allegedly invented by the Tudors and is a mixture of white wine and cream that is sweetened with sugar and a touch of nutmeg and then whipped until frothy and bubbly. His family has this each year at their Christmas dinner. Last year was my son’s first time having syllabub, as he was finally 21, and able to drink it. He came home raving about how good it was. I told him he’d have to learn how to make it so he could make that part of his family tradition once he has a family if he so chooses.

What sorts of family traditions have been passed down through your family in terms of food? I believe that food is what really brings us together as a family. It bonds us when we break bread together. It opens us to sharing our lives and hearts. Do you share your recipes? I am blessed to be an only child and grandchild, so I have my mother’s, grandmother’s, and some of my great-grandmother’s recipes and I cherish them. I will teach them to my daughter. Share with me how your family shares food together during the holidays.

Merry Christmas and very Merry New Year from my family to yours! Be safe!

Deanne

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