Holiday food traditions...

Just for fun this morning, I ran a little EYB search (Occasion: Christmas; Course: Main Course)  to see what holiday proteins our cookbooks feature.  The results read like some kind of crazy, carnivorous 12 Days of Christmas (I know I'm leaving out our vegetarian friends here): 

  • 85 beef joints
  • 82 whole turkeys
  • 81 pork joint
  • 77 whole ducks or geese
  • 62 hams, cooked or not
  • 43 roast chickens
  • 24 lamb roasts

When I stepped back in the holiday menu to check, I saw there were 876 Christmas recipes to 45 Hannukah recipes, which pretty accurately reflects the somewhat goy-oriented state of cookbook publishing.

My own holiday meat of choice this year is going to be a roast goose (a somewhat fetishistic object for me, as detailed in A Spoonful of Promises).  That's Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve I'm going to my cousin's house, where my contribution to the pan-Chinese feast will be some kind of pork belly, probably red-cooked.

On both New Year's Eve and Day, dumplings will be on the menu at the households of two different sets of friends, neither of them Chinese.  Go figure!  I'm just happy I won't be the only one folding and wrapping my way through a hangover, the way it used to be years ago before we knew many people here.

At some point this week I'll also be "secretly" making my husband his  chocolate-covered orange rinds, which are a sort of private joke within the family because the whole thing is so not a secret.  I even put them in the same candy tin every year. I wrap the tin before putting it under the tree, but it still rattles in an obvious, familiar way if you pick it up.

What's your holiday food tradition?  What food is it not Christmas without?  Are you hosting or bringing? And while we're at it, what's your favorite day-after remedy?


  • Jane  on  12/19/2011 at 11:03 PM

    Apart from the standard British Christmas lunch (similar to the American Thanksgiving but Christmas pudding replacing pecan pie) my must-makes for Christmas are my Scottish grandmother's shortbread and mince pies (with my own mincemeat). I have never had a Christmas without these two items (I have even taken Kilner jars of mincemeat to New Zealand in my luggage).

  • Avocet  on  12/24/2011 at 4:56 PM

    Mincemeat pie for us, too. I use the Borden's in a box and add a chopped apple and some brandy when reconstituting it. I've thought about making my own, since I don't think the Borden's is quite as good as it was years ago, though they've added beef as an ingredient after an absence for a number of years. Jane, do you have a source for a recipe you can recommend?

  • schambers  on  12/24/2011 at 9:38 PM

    Looking forward to the baked cheese garlic grits and grapefruit that are both de rigeur for Christmas morning. Grits are in the oven right now.

  • Jane  on  12/26/2011 at 10:18 PM

    Avocet - it's my own recipe that I've adapted over the years from other recipes. I'll email it to you. If anyone else wants it too, I'd be happy to email it to them.

  • susie  on  12/27/2011 at 12:43 PM

    I'd like the mincemeat recipe too! I've always been interested in the idea but never quite got round to pursuing it. Grits and grapefruit--that's new to me!! fascinating.

  • BettyC  on  12/27/2011 at 2:00 PM

    If you get a moment, I'd also like the mincemeat mincemeat pie, but as far as I know, have only had homemade mincemeat once, when a relative from Nova Scotia visited for the holidays when I was a child and made mincemeat for tarts.

  • Jane  on  12/27/2011 at 2:35 PM

    Mincemeat recipe sent to all who asked.

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