What are your Christmas foods?

by Amanda Mattos

Unlike Thanksgiving or 4th of July*, there aren’t a lot of extremely traditional Christmas foods (for the meal itself, not the accompanying sweets which we’ve clearly got a handle on around here). At least not in the U.S. (from what Charles Dickens and various Hugh Grant movies have taught me, if you live in England, you cook a Goose to celebrate baby jeebus’ birthday; and put on one of those paper crowns that come out of poppers). Growing up, we always had steaks for Christmas dinner at my grandparents’ house. I know some people don’t consider it a proper noel without artichokes. This year, my mom is doing a honey baked ham — that’s pretty standard, right?

Does your family have Christmas dinner traditions? If so, what do they include? Or is it more of a big good meal, whose menu is upon year-by-year?

*Yes, I consider Independence Day, with its grilled dogs and burgers and potato salad and corn on the cob a big deal food holiday.

14 responses to “What are your Christmas foods?

  1. I learned upon marrying into an Italian (like, directly from Italy) family that Christmas Eve is synonymous with seafood and lots of it. It may be more specifically Neapolitan.

  2. RoboticGhost@gmail.com

    Mom uses Christmas to justify her 3 freezers, 2 fridges, 2 ovens, and 8 burners. Last year I counted 17 things on the table. But the only real tradition it seems is macaroni and cheese. How a family of Slovak mill workers and coal miners adopted a southern African-American tradition is beyond me, but who cares? Macaroni and cheese is, after all, pretty damn awesome.

  3. In England it isn’t necessarily a goose. Turkey is common (there’s no Thanksgiving to pre-empt it). Brussels sprouts are a requirement. And Christmas pudding to follow (which you start making weeks in advance).

  4. Good food and lots of it with the only requirement being homemade egg rolls. My mom used to use them as a project to keep my sister and I busy on Christmas Eve Day. Now, I think she’d like to have something else for dinner on Christmas Eve, but my sister and I insist. And since the two of us do most of the cooking over the holiday now, she doesn’t really complain.

  5. We don’t have traditional Christmas foods (just a nice homemade dinner), but it is a tradition in my family to eat Claw Chowder and Grilled Cheese sandwiches for dinner on Christmas Eve evening before church.

  6. Roast beef. We’d have Yorkshire pudding with it, but one of us is too old to digest it comfortably and the other had a stroke several years ago and must therefore eschew things like yorkshire pudding.

    Come to think of it, we probably shouldn’t be eating roast beef either, but what the hell–Christmas comes but once a year.

  7. I’ve done lots of things for Christmas dinner — everything from turkey to standing rib roast (with Yorkshire pudding, of course) to goose. I’d wanted to do goose again this year, but ay caramba!! Goose costs more per pound than the frickin’ beef roast this year!! And you get less usable food outta them birds!! Frozen geese are going for $90 at my grocery store. Fuggedaboutit.

  8. My family is part-Austrian, so our Xmas dinner is on the 24th (and opening presents too). Our traditional Xmas dinner is Wiener Schnitzel, which for those who don’t know is breaded pork cutlets deep-fried, and what the Austrians call French salad, i.e. mayonnaise salad with peas, diced potato, diced carrot, diced apple. Mmmm.

  9. Turkey, or chicken, Stuffing, bread sauce, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots, roast parsnips, gravy. then mince pies, christmas pudding and custard, ice cream, and quality streets.

    yum yum yum.

  10. In New Zealand new potatoes are in season, so we always have a big bowl of them, boiled and then drenched in far too much melted butter and chopped mint. Those, and pavlova with kiwifruit are the only constants. We usually have two roasts, one chicken or turkey, the other a leg of lamb or a pork shoulder. Veges, what ever’s in season, asparagus, brocolli, bell peppers.

    Cooking up a massive pile of bacon on the barbie for breakfast happens a lot, with fresh croissants.

    I’m in Aussie this year, and I’ll probably be spending christmas with my brother’s in-laws. I understand that seafoods pretty big over here, I guess I’ll find out.

  11. How a family of Slovak mill workers and coal miners adopted a southern African-American tradition is beyond me, but who cares?

    Bryndzové Halušky is pretty close to mac and cheese, and similarly delicious, but with potato dumplings instead of pasta.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryndzové_halušky

  12. As a jew who considers Christmas to be the most adorable of all holidays my expereince might not count for much. But my family has always been fond of busting out either Turkey or a corned beef shephards pie. And latkas. And knishes.

  13. Pingback: All I Want for Christmas is Cookies! « The Internet Food Association

  14. Pingback: All I Want for Christmas is Cookies! | easy2sew.com

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