Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas memories: foods

The Christmas season comes bundled with many food traditions. Food at the holidays was less complicated when my generation was younger as I recall. Most of the foods my family and my extended family and the community (at least our social circle) enjoyed were similar and drawn from mostly a common tradition pool.

Today’s holiday treats seem to fall into three generally disparate categories. There are the long-term traditional foods that we fondly remember from our Christmases of youth. There are the foods we have adopted as we have interacted with others at Christmas over the years. Then there are some foods we aren’t that fond of but somehow it doesn’t “feel” Christmassy if we don’t have it, but nobody really eats it.

Today’s lists will have foods from the first two categories but the third category we’ll just skip over with the exception of fruitcake. Ah yes, the traditional fruitcake. I really could not believe my eyes when I saw a whole gigantic display of little fruitcake logs in the store last week. Is there really anybody still around who actually consumes fruitcake because they like it? Don’t answer that. I grew up with the fruitcake ritual of baking them before Thanksgiving so they would be aged by Christmas. We did it one year, but never again.

Our traditional favorites:
1) Decorated sugar cookies
2) Banana nut bread
3) Peanut blossoms
4) Waldorf salad

Favorites we adopted:
1) Sweet potato souffle
2) Pumpkin bread with chocolate chips
3) Almond k├╝chen
4) No-bake cookies

This would not make a complete meal but our main dishes vary with the number of guests expected and time of day we eat. That in itself is an adaptation because we grew up in traditional homes where the main meal included a turkey and/or ham and all the trimmings at the same time every year.

So what are your favorite holiday foods? Are they traditional or have you adopted them over the years? Please share in comments.

Other Christmas memories: games, music

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AuthorMomWithDogs said...

We have a big crown roast with stuffing in the middle and the usual sides. Except for turnips. Don't think anyone thinks mashed turnips are usual. :)

Mrs_Scotsman said...

You forgot 7 layer magic bars! I made two batches this week.

G's Cottage said...

Karen - It sounds like your Christmas dinner has a bit of an English flavor to it. I had mashed turnips once, but not for Christmas.

Mrs - True, although they won't get made until after Christmas this year.

chelle said...

We love sweet potatoes and stuffing mmmmmmm we are cooking today. I can hardly wait!

Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!
May your family's wishes all come true this coming year :)