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Favorite Holiday Treat, Food, Dish...


LindsayAnn
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I should not have begun reading this thread. Here I am at the office, the cupboard is bare, the fridge ditto, and I am salivating like one of Pavlov's dogs.

I love just about any kind of "holiday" food, it is difficult to choose favorites. Mashed sweet potatoes with chopped pecans and chunks of persimmon are an interesting variation that I like. NO marshmallows!

I like dressing or stuffings that include chestnuts, giblets and made with cornbread as the major ingredient. NO oysters.

I like fruit cake in all its myriad forms, some steamed puddings and certain types of pumpkin pie. (The leaden, solid stuff that comes straight out of a can, no!)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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ludja, your Christmas Eve feast sounds delicious! I'd love to try all the cookies.

I'm not a huge fan of Thanksgiving. This year I've ordered a smoked turkey from Texas, so we'll see how that goes. I do *love* bread stuffing/dressing the way my mom made it... plain white bread, butter, eggs, chicken stock, sage, salt, pepper. Yum. I also really get into cranberry relish (not sauce); I usually just buy it from Gelson's since I like their version so much.

Other than that, I could eat a whole batch of homemade Ischl Tartlets (recipe from Kaffeehaus). We also order 1/2 lb. white truffles from Oregon which are really good and relatively economical. And I'll be ordering another Kurobuta ham from Snake River Farms this year.

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Cookies! And not necessarily always my own, even though I make some good ones (rugelah, pecan bars, orange flower-almond cookies). There's a kind of cookie that Archway makes, called Cashew somethings, and DH and I buy boxes of them and inhale them! They are SOOOO good! Only available at Christmastime.

We also make a rum cake every Christmas that my family loves. My sister, especially. When she was living in Florida, we mailed one to her. She had a terrible head cold that year, and she called to say it was the best medicine there could be!

I love the soy eggnog that is available now (I think Silk makes it). I can't drink real dairy stuff; neither can DH.

Things I don't like to eat around the holidays? Hmmm...does green bean casserole made with Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup count? It's not strictly a holiday thing, but my sister-in-law makes it for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

:rolleyes:

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Bahlsen's chocolate-coated soft gingerbread cookies (which I haven't been able to replicate).

Do you mean Lebenkuchen? Love them. My favourites aren't the chocolate covered ones, though - the hazelnut stars with white icing do it for me. Oh yum.

I'm not sure what they're called in German -- haven't seen them out yet this year!

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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ludja, your Christmas Eve feast sounds delicious! I'd love to try all the cookies.

I'm not a huge fan of Thanksgiving. This year I've ordered a smoked turkey from Texas, so we'll see how that goes. I do *love* bread stuffing/dressing the way my mom made it... plain white bread, butter, eggs, chicken stock, sage, salt, pepper. Yum. I also really get into cranberry relish (not sauce); I usually just buy it from Gelson's since I like their version so much.

Other than that, I could eat a whole batch of homemade Ischl Tartlets (recipe from Kaffeehaus). We also order 1/2 lb. white truffles from Oregon which are really good and relatively economical. And I'll be ordering another Kurobuta ham from Snake River Farms this year.

Most of the cookies are in "Viennese Cooking" by O. and A. Hess. It is an older cookbook so some of the recipes can be kind of cryptic if you don't bake a lot or not familiar with the cookies a bit. I've started trying some of the recipes in Kaffehaus by Rick Rodgers and have had good success with them so far. The recipes in Kafeehaus are much more explicit and are more up to date in terms of the methods and some of the ingredients but they are quite true to the originals in the final result.

Smoked turkey sounds like a very nice alternative to the regular roast.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I love the stuffing recipe from the old Betty Crocker "red" book - 2 sticks of butter, I believe...made even better with some Jimmy Dean sage sausage and fresh sage. I don't stuff my turkey, I bake it so the top gets nice and crispy. Leftovers are made into "matzo balls" for the homemade turkey soup.

I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday.

Christmas isn't complete without the Land O'Lakes turtle cookies I've been making since I was 12. And eggnog with Maker's Mark.

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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I'm not much of a sweet lover, but one thing my family has always done the past 25-30 yrs is make pumpkin rolls. They are like having pumpkin pie and cheesecake all in one...always the first dessert to disappear. Also, the next best thing to a perfectly cooked turkey(and gnawing in the crispy turkey tail..or "butt" as we call it), is a few cold slices the next morning, on Wonder bread with mayo...the only time, besides pb&j sandwiches, when Wonder bread is acceptable.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food"-

George Bernard Shaw

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(and gnawing in the crispy turkey tail..or "butt" as we call it

My Serbian Grandma, as a good Orthodox Christian, never passed up the chance to get in a shot disparaging the Catholic branch of the Church. She refered to the tail as the Bishcoup (sp?), or Bishop's Hat, because of it's shape. Implied, of course, is what part of the bird's anatomy is found directly under the tail. :rolleyes:

SB (Oddly, as I now recall, Grandma usually ate that part herself?) :hmmm:

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(and gnawing in the crispy turkey tail..or "butt" as we call it

My Serbian Grandma, as a good Orthodox Christian, never passed up the chance to get in a shot disparaging the Catholic branch of the Church. She refered to the tail as the Bishcoup (sp?), or Bishop's Hat, because of it's shape. Implied, of course, is what part of the bird's anatomy is found directly under the tail. :rolleyes:

SB (Oddly, as I now recall, Grandma usually ate that part herself?) :hmmm:

I don't have a Serbian grandmother, but I've also heard that part of a turkey or chicken referred to as the "Pope's nose."

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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So glad there are already so many replies to this discussion on our holiday comfort foods.

I have loved reading about the variety of likes and dislikes. I have always known those people who love their pecan pie. My mother makes a great one, so I have heard! I do not enjoy the stuff so I stear clear. She sure loves it though...and of of late (well a while now) she can proudly tout "Its healthy too - its got pecans!". I like pumkin pie personally.

I enjoy both the sweet and savory foods, and I love hearing about the preferences of all you Egulleters out there in la la land.

Continue on, please!

"One Hundred Years From Now It Will Not Matter What My Bank Account Was, What Kind of House I lived in, or What Kind of Car I Drove, But the World May Be A Better Place Because I Was Important in the Life of A Child."

LIFES PHILOSOPHY: Love, Live, Laugh

hmmm - as it appears if you are eating good food with the ones you love you will be living life to its fullest, surely laughing and smiling throughout!!!

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*typed as she happily ate her left over halloween candy...which she over-purchased/stocked by mistake....yeah right*

"One Hundred Years From Now It Will Not Matter What My Bank Account Was, What Kind of House I lived in, or What Kind of Car I Drove, But the World May Be A Better Place Because I Was Important in the Life of A Child."

LIFES PHILOSOPHY: Love, Live, Laugh

hmmm - as it appears if you are eating good food with the ones you love you will be living life to its fullest, surely laughing and smiling throughout!!!

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(and gnawing in the crispy turkey tail..or "butt" as we call it

My Serbian Grandma, as a good Orthodox Christian, never passed up the chance to get in a shot disparaging the Catholic branch of the Church. She refered to the tail as the Bishcoup (sp?), or Bishop's Hat, because of it's shape. Implied, of course, is what part of the bird's anatomy is found directly under the tail. :rolleyes:

SB (Oddly, as I now recall, Grandma usually ate that part herself?) :hmmm:

I don't have a Serbian grandmother, but I've also heard that part of a turkey or chicken referred to as the "Pope's nose."

Hmmmmm :hmmm:

That would make the anatomical orfice below the "nose" .....? :shock:

SB (wondering, what do Catholics call it?) :wink:

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I forgot to mention that I love pfefferneuse or pfeffernusse, pepper nuts or anise pillows. Whatever the name, I love them - and they keep for months and months, years even.....

and pecan crescents

and the chocolate wafer cookies I make.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Christmas cookies, any type, any kind , as long as they are home made, or from a great Italian bakery (the three layer ones, and the chewy ones with pignoli nuts; YUM!) :rolleyes:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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I love the stuffing recipe from the old Betty Crocker "red" book - 2 sticks of butter, I believe...made even better with some Jimmy Dean sage sausage and fresh sage. I don't stuff my turkey, I bake it so the top gets nice and crispy. Leftovers are made into "matzo balls" for the homemade turkey soup.

I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday.

Christmas isn't complete without the Land O'Lakes turtle cookies I've been making since I was 12. And eggnog with Maker's Mark.

AHHH Matzo balls...delious! I was introduced these though, not during the holidays but in college with my freshmen roomate...now a best friend and a soon to be bridesmaid of me. She grew up in a town filled with many jewish folk...thus she grew up eating matzo balls at her friends houses...and introduced their yumminess to me. Love em....love em. Her name, Theresa, and I have her forever more to thank for this new addiction on mine. Thanks T!~

"One Hundred Years From Now It Will Not Matter What My Bank Account Was, What Kind of House I lived in, or What Kind of Car I Drove, But the World May Be A Better Place Because I Was Important in the Life of A Child."

LIFES PHILOSOPHY: Love, Live, Laugh

hmmm - as it appears if you are eating good food with the ones you love you will be living life to its fullest, surely laughing and smiling throughout!!!

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I forgot to mention that I love pfefferneuse or pfeffernusse, pepper nuts or anise pillows.  Whatever the name, I love them - and they keep for months and months, years even.....

and pecan crescents

and the chocolate wafer cookies I make.

Can you describe the pecan crescents? Are the nuts ground up and in the dough like a Vanillekipferl or are they a filling inside a little pastry? Other flavorings?

Thank you!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I forgot to mention that I love pfefferneuse or pfeffernusse, pepper nuts or anise pillows.  Whatever the name, I love them - and they keep for months and months, years even.....

and pecan crescents

and the chocolate wafer cookies I make.

Can you describe the pecan crescents? Are the nuts ground up and in the dough like a Vanillekipferl or are they a filling inside a little pastry? Other flavorings?

Thank you!

Pecan Crescents recipe

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I forgot to mention that I love pfefferneuse or pfeffernusse, pepper nuts or anise pillows.  Whatever the name, I love them - and they keep for months and months, years even.....

and pecan crescents

and the chocolate wafer cookies I make.

Can you describe the pecan crescents? Are the nuts ground up and in the dough like a Vanillekipferl or are they a filling inside a little pastry? Other flavorings?

Thank you!

Pecan Crescents recipe

Interesting; in their use of pecans they are a "new world" riff off of Vanillekipferl or Vanilla crescent made with almonds or walnuts.. The chopped nuts on the outside sound like they would add a lot as well. Thank you for linking to the recipe; I may try these out sometime! :smile:

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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The once a year beef fat butter cheese fest known as our English Christmas dinner.

Mom came here from a small burg in England, and we've forever known the joy of the old fashioned Sunday dinner for Christmas. Is it that decadent? Only if you do it right. :raz:

The star of the show is roast of beef, the fat all crisp and brown, the middle pink and juicy. Yorkshire pudding cooked in beef fat and butter, parsnips and potatoes roasted in fat, the rich brown gravy, brussel sprouts steamed in butter, onion sauce with is merely steamed onions creamed in cream and, yup, you guessed it, more butter.

Dessert number one, any leftover yorkie dipped in leftover gravy and eaten out of hand. (When mom's not looking)

Dessert number two, steamed plum pudding with custard sauce and apple pie, also with custard. Mince tarts and maids of honour, buttery tart goodness.

Dessert number three is stilton and huntsman cheddar,eaten off jacob's water crackers.

Beverage of choice is wine, wine and more wine. until you whine about how full you are, and pass out for forty winks on the couch. But the wine comes in handy when it's time to pull the crackers and wear the silly paper crowns and tell the awful jokes that come inside the crackers.

There's a reason we only do this once a year, and we all start craving it as soon as the weather cools.

---------------------------------------

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The once a year beef fat butter cheese fest known as our English Christmas dinner.

Mom came here from a small burg in England, and we've forever known the joy of the old fashioned Sunday dinner for Christmas. Is it that decadent? Only if you do it right. :raz:

The star of the show is roast of beef, the fat all crisp and brown, the middle pink and juicy. Yorkshire pudding cooked in beef fat and butter, parsnips and potatoes roasted in fat, the rich brown gravy, brussel sprouts steamed in butter, onion sauce with is merely steamed onions creamed in cream and, yup, you guessed it, more butter.

Dessert number one, any leftover yorkie dipped in leftover gravy and eaten out of hand. (When mom's not looking)

Dessert number two, steamed plum pudding with custard sauce and apple pie, also with custard. Mince tarts and maids of honour, buttery tart goodness.

Dessert number three is stilton and huntsman cheddar,eaten off jacob's water crackers.

Beverage of choice is wine, wine and more wine. until you whine about how full you are, and pass out for forty winks on the couch. But the wine comes in handy when it's time to pull the crackers and wear the silly paper crowns and tell the awful jokes that come inside the crackers.

There's a reason we only do this once a year, and we all start craving it as soon as the weather cools.

Oh, MY! Naturally, though, at least for me, the first visual I had upon reading this, was of a little "articulated dustmop" of a dog, dripping with brown gravy!

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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The once a year beef fat butter cheese fest known as our English Christmas dinner.

Mom came here from a small burg in England, and we've forever known the joy of the old fashioned Sunday dinner for Christmas. Is it that decadent? Only if you do it right. :raz:

The star of the show is roast of beef, the fat all crisp and brown, the middle pink and juicy. Yorkshire pudding cooked in beef fat and butter, parsnips and potatoes roasted in fat, the rich brown gravy, brussel sprouts steamed in butter, onion sauce with is merely steamed onions creamed in cream and, yup, you guessed it, more butter.

Dessert number one, any leftover yorkie dipped in leftover gravy and eaten out of hand. (When mom's not looking)

Dessert number two, steamed plum pudding with custard sauce and apple pie, also with custard. Mince tarts and maids of honour, buttery tart goodness.

Dessert number three is stilton and huntsman cheddar,eaten off jacob's water crackers.

Beverage of choice is wine, wine and more wine. until you whine about how full you are, and pass out for forty winks on the couch. But the wine comes in handy when it's time to pull the crackers and wear the silly paper crowns and tell the awful jokes that come inside the crackers.

There's a reason we only do this once a year, and we all start craving it as soon as the weather cools.

Oh, MY! Naturally, though, at least for me, the first visual I had upon reading this, was of a little "articulated dustmop" of a dog, dripping with brown gravy!

Wrong kind of yorkie, we're not that hungry!!! :laugh::laugh:

---------------------------------------

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This was a new one for us last year, Blue Cranberry Sauce!

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Blue-Cranberr...uce/Detail.aspx

I think I will do a congealed version this year, as I have two walls full of antique copper molds that really should get an outing sooner or later.

We loved it! It went over very well the the canned cranberry sauce crowd, and I did reduce the spices a bit and added a few raspberries, as many reviewers reccomend. The blueberries really do something for the cranberries!

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Oh I forgot, a great way to use turkey leftovers:

My mother takes the turkey carcass after it has been stripped of its meat and makes a lovely stock. Then she throws in some potatos, turkey meat, onions, and then puts in some karl gook soo noodles. These are delicious doughy noodles that literally translate to "knife" and gook soo just means soup. Anyways, you garnish this soup with some green onion and some soy sauce with chiles in it. Or instead of using the noodles my mother mixes some flour and water together and hand pulls dumplings into the soup. I have no clue if the hand pulled dumplings are korean, but I might like that better than the karl gook soo.

she also uses the turkey stock for man doo gook on new years day. THats just rice cake soup

I also like to take the leftover turkey and put into a dinner roll with some smeared mashed potatos acting as the "mayonaise". Sometimes I throw a few green beans in there as well.

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
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I love Thanksgiving dinner. I adore a properly roasted and stuffed turkey--not dried out, the skin golden-crunchy, the stuffing all drenched with cholesterol goodness.

My favorite stuffing recipe, unsurprisingly, is the one I learned from my mom. She *never* used prepackaged; instead, she'd save up ends of bread loaves for weeks beforehand, so we'd have a mix of all sorts of breads, heavy on the rye, pumpernickel, and wholegrain stuff. We'd dry it out the rest of the way in the oven, break it into pieces (not cut into cubes!), then add in parcooked sausage, mushrooms, onions, celery, some melted butter and/or an egg or two to pre-moisten, and herbs and seasonings. Any overflow would go in a casserole (with more moistening), but the *good* stuff was the portion that cooked in the bird. But in either case, it had to be doused with my mom's gravy, made from the pan drippings plus the simmered giblets and neck meat.

Oh yeah, my mom and I fought over who would get the turkey tail.

I hate canned cranberry sauce, and adore my mom's uncooked cranberry/orange relish--similar to what has been mentioned upstream, only minus the nuts, and instead of a food processor we'd put everything, orange peels and all, through one of those old-fashioned hand-cranked meat grinders.

I usually don't care for overly-sweet sweet potato dishes either, but my mom had a lovely casserole in which slices of parcooked sweet potatoes were alternated with slices of apple, and then sprinkled with real maple syrup before baking. Somehow the distinctive maple-y flavor made the sweetness less cloying to my tastes.

Like some secularized American Jews, my family did celebrate Christmas to the extent of putting up a tree and doing gifts, but we were understandably a little sketchy on the food traditions of that holiday. I did develop a huge fondness for fruitcake though--and have remained a bit bewildered by all the fear and loathing this sweet inspires in many people.

Italian-American friends have introduced me to the tradition of the Christmas Eve Feast of Seven Fishes, which I fell in love with.

Edited by mizducky (log)
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