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 What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?

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Natch

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Age : 66
Location : foothills of the Ozarks
Registration date : 2007-12-21

PostSubject: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:43 pm

I find one of the strongest cultural connections we keep is the foods we eat, specifically during holidays.  Many of us are several generations removed from our ancestors migration to what we now call home and we've lost most of those cultural markers, (language, dress, music, etc.).  But if we keep any of the culinary traditions, it's often that "special dish" we make once or twice a year, and what's more special than Christmas in our culture?

Although living in Arkansas for almost 25 years, I still make oyster stew every Christmas Eve.  Several of my friends from the Great Lakes area, even though they live in the South, also follow this tradition.   Back in grad school, (a long, long time ago, I think my philosophy professor was some dude named Plato?) my roommate wrote a paper on food migration patterns, and he looked at why throughout the Great Lakes and into Central Minnesota, oyster stew is a relatively common holiday food.  He traced it back to the English/European ancestry that landed in New England, having a traditional diet heavy in sea foods.  Over the many generations, as they moved westward across the northern swath of the US, (many were like my ancestors, lumberjacks or railroad men) they carried their love of various sea foods.  As they moved further and further from the coast, and refrigeration is a relatively new invention, it became more expensive and more of a "special" a treat.  

Increasingly, a seafood dish became associated with Christmas.  His paper showed, primarily through looking at historic railroad shipment invoices, that a variety of sea foods morphed into primarily oysters.  Oysters were relatively inexpensive (until recently) and when packed on ice in an insulated box car in December, could last up to two weeks, more than enough time to move them from the East Coast into the heartland.  My grandmother and mother would tell stories how everyone in Northern Wisconsin and the UP would place their oyster orders in early October, and a special box car would stop at each little lumber town in the North Country the week before Christmas with all the women rushing down to the depot to get their buckets of oysters.  

So, what is that traditional dish your family has to have at Christmas, and is it unique to your family/ethnicity or your region?

Eat well this Christmas, my friends.

Natch
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herbinedave

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Age : 51
Location : Anthracite Coal Fields of PA
Registration date : 2012-03-14

PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:00 pm

Kielbasi and halupkies, an Eastern European staple for the holidays.
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BigCasino

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Age : 49
Location : North of Pittsburgh pa
Registration date : 2012-11-27

PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:10 pm

We never really had a traditional Dinner, we just always had what we had, altho after I moved out of the house, my mom used to ask me what I wanted for Christmas dinner and she would make that, kind of like part of my gift, one year I picked Cabbage rolls, halupki, galupki, pigs in the blanket, what ever you call them around here you can hear all of those names, unfortunately I came down with the flu that same evening and ejected those wonderful cabbage rolls, knowing that rice absorbs moisture quite well, I looked like a playdough machine, weirdly enough I thought that would ruin my love for those little parcels of cabbage wrapped love, but luckily enough it hasn't.

Now a days since I started to stay home for Christmas dinner we have been having Hams, the reason is so that we can make things like Ham, cabbage and potato soup, and bean soup, and potato soup with the left overs! I look more forward to the soups then the actual Christmas meal...LOL
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PozzSka

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Age : 34
Location : Valley City, OH
Registration date : 2013-07-02

PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:41 pm

We tend to make more traditional American fare at Christmas, turkey, ham, etc...

We make our ethnic food at other celebrations more frequently. Family reunions, birthdays, anniversaries, dace (pro nounced dah-cheh, the lunches after the funeral thing), and other various culturally oriented get togethers, we have lamb, cevapcici, sarma, grah i kupus, etc.

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gravel

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Age : 43
Location : Oregon
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PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:47 pm

Christmas - traditional American Christmas fare

New Years Eve - oliebollen
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BigCasino

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Age : 49
Location : North of Pittsburgh pa
Registration date : 2012-11-27

PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:56 pm

LOL I didn't realize there was a difference between American food and ethnic food.

Being from an area that has a lot of Polish, German, Irish, this is the stuff we eat all the time..LOL

Gravel what the heck is oliebollen ... LOL
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swhipple

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Age : 48
Location : North Carolina
Registration date : 2013-05-02

PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:01 pm

I'm half British so both my Mum (Mom for the American side) and my Grandmother always made Yorkshire puddings to go with Christmas dinner. My mum's only came out properly about 50% of the time but they always tasted good. Grandma's always came out fantastic. Very Happy 
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flytyer

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Age : 51
Location : N E Pa.
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PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:03 pm

Our Christmas eve dinner is usually seven different types of seafood and homemade pierogies , a combination of Italian and Lithuanian traditions.
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Hermit

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Age : 64
Location : Ascension Parish
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PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:58 pm

Potato Sausage...I'm a Swede.   Wink
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Ocelot55

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Location : Columbus, OH
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:20 pm

We always had the traditional Christmas dinner: turkey etc.

However, we always have cheese logs, summer sausage, and almond bark pretzels for snacks and black eyed peas and pasole on New Year's eve.
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Briar Spirit

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Age : 49
Location : England UK
Registration date : 2012-08-30

PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:27 pm

I was one of the few kids who never went home to his parents for holidays, most commonly I had a sandwich for dinner on 25th Dec, marmite is what I remember the most.
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:38 pm

I too would have to say American traditional; Ham, sweet potato pie, etc. Mom would always put out dishes of sweet gherkins, olives and of course deviled eggs before supper to snack. And there was always home made pies, Apple, Cherry and Mince meat and cookies. None of that frozen crap or cookie dough in a tube crud, always home made. We never ever bought bread because her and grandma always seemed busy making it. I reckon that's what I miss the most, the smell of her cooking and baking wafting through the house. Just the smell would tell you what time of year it is.
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Brewdude

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Age : 65
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:04 pm

Growing up, my family had alternating year Christmas dinners at our house and my Uncle's on my Mom's side.

Mom was a great cook. Everything from scratch. Baked Ham with honey glaze sauce and pineapples, candied yams (the real thing), mashed 'taters with sour cream and plenty of butter (in the mash), green beans with almonds, fresh baked buttermilk biscuit rolls, several salads, antipasto, raw veggies with dip, and fresh baked pie - usually apple with real whipped cream.  

In contrast my Aunt was a terrible cook. Nothing from scratch. Canned ham baked dry and tough, "mashed potatoes" from a box, canned cream corn, heated frozen dinner rolls from a foil tray, canned yams, frozen pumpkin pie with Cool Whip and Ice Milk. (Anyone remember Ice Milk? It was the cheaper version of Ice Cream and was bland. Don't see it any more, thankfully).

Always hated the year at my Uncle's. And you didn't dare ask for something like say mustard for the ham. That was insulting to my Uncle. It was almost like saying that the ham wasn't good enough to eat on its own. Yet I always had mustard with my ham, and couldn't see the problem with this.

So I asked for mustard and got daggers from my Uncle. And the mustard jar that was produced for me from the fridge was virtually empty with liquid on the top and a crusty lid. Like it hadn't been used in years or something.

Another thing was wanting salt and pepper, which again I was used to having. There were salt and pepper shakers on the table, but they were literally thimble sized. The pepper container was essentially empty and the salt shaker looked similar, with the signs that it hadn't been used in quite some time. Dried up, in other words!

Nothing my Aunt produced tasted of much of anything, yet my family always had to praise her cooking. And then on the ride home my folks would comment on her shortcomings in the kitchen.

Of course I wasn't allowed to turn up my nose at anything. I was always taught to eat what was placed in front of me. To do otherwise would have been subject to going hungry, or a lickin'... Or both!!

 Laughing 


Cheers,

RR
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:11 pm

BD, Sounds like we grew up next door to each other. LOL!
Same food same rules and Ice Milk, yes sir! We couldn't afford Ice Cream
but, I never knew the difference back then, it was still a real treat.
And ya know to this very day I don't waste food because of what Mama
taught me. Although back when I was just a sprout I can remember making a
bathroom call to spit out the Liver and or Spinach. LOL!
 santa  rendeer 
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the rev

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Age : 51
Location : Oak View CA
Registration date : 2012-10-08

PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:39 pm

Don't have time to write more but my mom grew up in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn so even though we aren't Italian out Christmas dinner was homemade lasagna

Rev
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mark
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PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:01 pm

Oyster stew is always served Christmas eve.
 Christmas dessert was suet pudding

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J Soshae

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Age : 44
Location : Birmingham, AL
Registration date : 2011-08-19

PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:56 am

Skillet fried hash browns every Christmas morning.
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Carlos
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PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Wed Dec 25, 2013 9:24 am

My Granny, more than anyone else had special dishes. This is my dad's mom. Oyster stew we had just because she wanted it. But she always made sure I was around for that treat. Christmas, and Thanksgiving, Granny made oyster dressing. That is the only time we would get it, and it was worth waiting for. She laid out bread as much as a week before to dry to the point she wanted it. Then she would start cooking giblets the eve morning to cook all day and into the evening. Then cool and chill overnight. At the proper time she assembled her dressing in the largest roaster pan, using diced and picked clean giblets, blanched celery, onions, some melted butter and a huge amount of oysters. That more than anything anyone else cooked, was our main holiday dish.

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gravel

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Location : Oregon
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PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:24 am

BigCasino wrote:
LOL I didn't realize there was a difference between American food and ethnic food.

Being from an area that has a lot of Polish, German, Irish, this is the stuff we eat all the time..LOL

Gravel what the heck is oliebollen ... LOL

I grew up around Mexicans, Japanese, Korean, Russians, etc... The food choices, although delicious, were different than the usual turkey, etc.

I'm Dutch. Oliebollen is a traditional NYE dish. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliebol
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AJ

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Location : East of the Rocky Mountains
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PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:27 pm

My family has had oyster stew every Christmas Eve since I was a baby. Continuing a tradition that's lasted over 65 years we had the oyster stew again last night for dinner. It was sooo good. To maintain the uniqueness, Christmas Eve is the only time during the year that we have oyster stew. Dinner on Christmas day is always a genuine Smithfield Country Ham baked with a pineapple/brown sugar glaze, collards, candied sweet potatoes, deviled eggs, potato salad (my Mother's recipe), oyster dressing, baked turkey with giblet gravy, butter beans with corn, mashed potatoes, string bean casserole, fresh baked rolls, and of course iced tea. For dessert there are pies and cakes of every description given by family, friends, and neighbors. With family members, grand kids, a special guest we will have 22 people sharing the blessings given us by our Heavenly Father. After dinner I will have a good smoke and then I'll take a much needed nap. That's Christmas at AJ's. Wish all my friends at the BoB could be here to add to the merriment.  santa 

AJ
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:49 pm

We're having a ham and homemade stuffed cabbage, a Hungarian recipe my great grandmother brought over from the old country.

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millerman

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Location : Dry Fork, VA
Registration date : 2013-02-01

PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:56 pm

Good old ham. Keeping with the tradition I bought a fresh one from a farm close by this year. I was going to grill it, but it was pouring down rain Monday so I cooked it in the oven. That way we can just slam it on some biscuits today and continue having fun. Have a great and Merry Christmas to everyone.
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Fr_Tom

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PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:39 pm

As a child we always had a Sara Lee pecan coffee cake on Christmas morning. It was the only time we ever ate it. My wife and I go on a quest for one every year, and sometimes have to get a special order at the Kroger. This year, we went to all the stores and no one stocked the pecan coffee cakes. Someone gave us an almond kringle, and we went with that instead.
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:43 pm

We're missing a big part of our tradition this year, actually. My wife is Mexican, and we usually have a Christmas gathering with her family either Christmas eve or Christmas day, but this year it just didn't happen. So, I'm really missing these:


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BigCasino

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PostSubject: Re: What is the traditional Christmas dish you grew up with?   Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:53 pm

That sucks! I love Tamales what kind do they make? I try to make them every once in a while, but I lack the proper knowledge, they turn out ok but never as good as some real tamales I have had
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