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    Default Christmas tradition thread food and misc

    So Boone gave me the idea for this, its interesting how different ethnicities have different traditions regarding food, presents etc etc, and even how it vaires from family to family. Post yours and anything different or interesting that you and yours eat or do.

    Heres our tradition from my family we are Metis and norwegian

    so we have reveillon, basically a 6 hour dinner that goes from 9 pm christmas even is broken up by 2 hours for midnight mass (we are catholic) and then continues with more feasting and then opening the presents in the very wee hours, then everyone goes and naps while the women finish preparation of the christmas dinner.

    the primary foods are Tortiere ( a spicy meat pie made from pork, deer, and beef ) or from deer, rabbit and boar depending on your family. Roast turkey with walnuts, or roast goose or roast duck, and a huge number of hors doevres. we have a christmas cake called a buche noel, its a yule log but made with butter cream icing.

    My family usually goes pretty traditional with cheeses and sausages as the primary food and lots of wild game and wild fowl. we say grace in english and french and everyone has to say one thing they have been thankful for that year.

    we each get to open one present before midnight mass and everyone has to have a drink (even the little ones) when we toast pere noel.

    I dont miss very many things living here in the city but I do miss everyone going to my grammas and seeing the entire living room covered in presents. In our family, everyone buys for the kids but for the adults we do whats called a white elephant, we each buy one gift the limit is 30 dollars and the gift can be anything, then each adult draws, and picks a gift accordingly, when its your turn to pick you have the choice to pick a new gift or take one that someone else has already opened, then they have the choice to pick new or take one from someone else. its actually a lot of fun.

    then we would all go out to my Dads ranch in the afternoon and take the kids on a hayride its usually dark by then and its quite beautiful even if its a bit cold, this time of year you can see the northern lights very clearly and the sleighbells are pretty cool.
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    I guess Christmas traditions are more private than I thought lol
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    Folks are just busy - give it a bit I haven't even had time to post my own. It's a great idea
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    I suspect you have been able to sustain many more traditions as it sounds like your family is mostly in one place and has been. I think in the States there tends to be the dynamic where kids disperse all over the place and don't necessarily stay put in their home towns or states but may be distant to parents/grandparents/etc.. So long-standing traditions may not be as easy to sustain.

    I am lucky that my immediate family (on my side) is nearby. When my mom, who was the center of all of our family celebrations, passed away, all of our traditions changed. I think for a good while, we went through the motions of getting together at holidays, but it was painful as it mostly just reminded us of who wasn't there. But after a few years, that passed and we now really enjoy the family getting together again.

    We usually do our own Christmases with our kids, then later meet at my brothers for a big meal. There's no standard fair, although it usually involves either roast beef, turkey, lamb or something similar. We probably spend as much energy on the side dishes and appetizers as anything. It inevitably results in more food than an army could possibly finish, but we have a lot of fun with it. The best part is seeing all of my nieces and nephews interact (I've got a lot of them).

    We have 'White Elephant' here but it's called 'Dirty Santa' in my part of the country. We exchange gifts the usual way amongst family members, with 'Dirty Santa' usually reserved for work parties and that kind of thing.

    That 'Tortiere' dish sounds amazing!
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    Growing up we always had fried ham and eggs for breakfast, after opening everything. Now with my kids, I will fix biscuits and gravy after we open everything.

    This year my brother in-law is in town from Memphis. Him and all the in-laws will be over to my house for Christmas dinner. We are doing rack of lamb, roasted chicken, and spiral ham for the protein. It has been requested we have mac and cheese, broccoli casserole, and green bean casserole. My youngest son (culinary student at high school) is doing some kind of cake, cookies, and potatoes.

    Merry Christmas to All!
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    yeah because of the greater distances involved here we tend not to disperse as much. although when we do its pretty far lol

    I think that family is the key with this holiday, I dont get homesick but I do miss being at home for this Holiday. Tortiere is pretty good, my gramma used to make around 80-90 pies , my aunts would come over and my dad and uncles would drop off the game meats and then leave lol. one of these days you have to post your recipe for bisuits and gravy.

    Riggins, whats your recipe for biscuits and gravvy? and I gotta ask, whats spiral ham?
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    Well, Mrs Sarge and I both have divorced parents, so it makes things intersting. We usually have egg cassarole and fruit for Christmas breakfast with one side of the family, then Christmas dinner with the other side. Nothing special for dinner, typical Thanksgiving feast actually, turkey, mashed taters with lots of whole milk and butter, stuffing, all that
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    Christmas movies!
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    Being of Southern Italian heritage, Christmas eve is the big event, with the feast of the seven fish.

    The Feast of the Seven Fishes (festa dei sette pesci), celebrated on Christmas Eve, also known as The Vigil (La Vigilia), is believed to have originated in Southern Italy and is not a known tradition in many parts of Italy. Today, it is a feast that typically consists of seven different seafood dishes. Some Italian American families have been known to celebrate with 9, 11 or 13 different seafood dishes. This celebration is a commemoration of the wait, Vigilia di Natale, for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus.
    The long tradition of eating seafood on Christmas Eve dates from the Roman Catholic tradition of abstinence—in this case, refraining from the consumption of meat or milk products—on Fridays and specific holy days. As no meat or butter could be used, observant Catholics would instead eat fish, typically fried in oil.

    There are many hypotheses for what the number "7" relates to, one being the number of Sacraments in the Roman Catholic Church. Another theory is that seven is a number representing perfection: the traditional Biblical number for divinity is three, and for Earth is four, and the combination of these numbers, seven, represents God on Earth, or Jesus Christ.

    The "Feast of the Seven Fishes", a celebration of Christmas Eve with meals of fish and seafood, but there may be seven, eight, or even nine specific fishes that are considered traditional. The most famous dish Southern Italians are known for is baccalà (salted cod fish). Reasons for celebrating with such a simple fish as baccalà is attributed to the greatly impoverished regions of Southern Italy. Fried smelts, calamari, and other types of seafood have been incorporated into the Christmas Eve dinner over the years.
    Generally I'll make about 5 lbs of muscles marinara with calamari rings to cover two of the fish. If I have the time, and the tubes are of the right size, I do stuffed calamari along with the muscles, but it means two separate pots of sauce to cook them down in. Mom does bacala', flounder, and soul, and my sister does shrimp scampi, and steamer clams. Some of the dishes vary from year to year, but the muscles, calamari, and bacala' are staples. We also do midnight mass most years, but just go home for a nightcap and crash till morning.

    Before the family became smaller, it wasn't unusual to have 25 to 30 people for Christmas eve, and there was always more men in the kitchen then women. Back then, there would be 15 to 20 different fish dishes.

    Christmas day dinner is generally less complicated. Last year I did a traditional "Christmas Goose," with a pomegranate glaze, and all the fixins. This year Cindy did a nice pork tender loin with an apple and onion dressing to go over the pork.

    Hope ya had a great holiday.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles Monroe View Post
    ...
    Generally I'll make about 5 lbs of muscles marinara with calamari rings to cover two of the fish. If I have the time, and the tubes are of the right size, I do stuffed calamari along with the muscles, but it means two separate pots of sauce to cook them down in. Mom does bacala', flounder, and soul, and my sister does shrimp scampi, and steamer clams. Some of the dishes vary from year to year, but the muscles, calamari, and bacala' are staples. We also do midnight mass most years, but just go home for a nightcap and crash till morning....

    You still in South Florida? If so, I know where I'll be next Christmas Eve.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elephant View Post
    You still in South Florida? If so, I know where I'll be next Christmas Eve.
    The more the merrier...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
    We usually have egg cassarole and fruit for Christmas breakfast
    Is it egg, sausage, bread, etc? That's what we have X-mas morning - it's called "breakfast before" bc (naturally) you make it the night before then heat it up in the oven when you're ready to eat.

    Anyway...

    Our traditions have changed a lot over the last several years bc our family has become so extended through divorces and re-marriages, and bc my grandmother now winters in Florida.

    We used to go to my grandmother's house every X-mas eve to open presents w/ my grandmother and aunt, and to celebrate my aunt's b-day (which is on the 24th). Then Christmas morning, my parents, brother and I would get up and open presents while breakfast cooked, eat breakfast, then get ready for ppl to come over to our place. My oldest brother and his family would then come over and we'd exchange presents with them (including my 2 nephews), and then my grandmother and aunt and her fam and uncle and his wife would come over and we'd have the traditional X-mas "dinner" (which we actually eat around 1pm). Everyone would usually leave to go to their other celebrations by mid afternoon, and we'd sit back and watch some movies and eventually eat some leftovers from "dinner".

    X-mas day is pretty much the same now, but we don't exchange as many presents as us "kids" are all pretty well grown now (the youngest is 18 now). X-mas eve we just hang around the house now - sometimes we go out to eat which is a nice change of pace (and break from cooking).
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    Before I moved to Florida in 1996, we always went to my grandmother's for Christmas Eve and then hung around my mom's for Christmas Day. Breakfast at mom's house involved eggs, home made hash browns, pork tenderloin, scrapple, sausage links, toast and a big glass of milk!

    Unfortunately, I was in the restaurant business for much of the time I was in Florida so I could never return home for the holidays since that was the busiest time of year down there.

    It was refreshing once I moved back 2 years ago to have Breakfast at Mom's for the past three Christmases. But this was my first Christmas w/out my grandmother so it was bitter sweet.

    Got engaged about 3 months ago so I have entered a new tradition for Christmas Eve, the future mother-in-law's. Umm...not sure I like that!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles Monroe View Post
    Being of Southern Italian heritage, Christmas eve is the big event, with the feast of the seven fish.





    Generally I'll make about 5 lbs of muscles marinara with calamari rings to cover two of the fish. If I have the time, and the tubes are of the right size, I do stuffed calamari along with the muscles, but it means two separate pots of sauce to cook them down in. Mom does bacala', flounder, and soul, and my sister does shrimp scampi, and steamer clams. Some of the dishes vary from year to year, but the muscles, calamari, and bacala' are staples. We also do midnight mass most years, but just go home for a nightcap and crash till morning.

    Before the family became smaller, it wasn't unusual to have 25 to 30 people for Christmas eve, and there was always more men in the kitchen then women. Back then, there would be 15 to 20 different fish dishes.

    Christmas day dinner is generally less complicated. Last year I did a traditional "Christmas Goose," with a pomegranate glaze, and all the fixins. This year Cindy did a nice pork tender loin with an apple and onion dressing to go over the pork.

    Hope ya had a great holiday.

    when I was in college I was engaged to an Italian Girl, her family did the same thing only everything had to be exactly traditional (and man I do NOT like salt cod lmao) do you do that tomato and olive sauce? Natalies mom used to make calamari and mussels too. I love the seafood and yeah in my family we never ate meat on friday, only fish. that lasted until I lived on my own lol.

    I have to ask, how do you get calamari so tender> every time ive made it it was like eating rubber.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elephant View Post
    Before I moved to Florida in 1996, we always went to my grandmother's for Christmas Eve and then hung around my mom's for Christmas Day. Breakfast at mom's house involved eggs, home made hash browns, pork tenderloin, scrapple, sausage links, toast and a big glass of milk!

    Unfortunately, I was in the restaurant business for much of the time I was in Florida so I could never return home for the holidays since that was the busiest time of year down there.

    It was refreshing once I moved back 2 years ago to have Breakfast at Mom's for the past three Christmases. But this was my first Christmas w/out my grandmother so it was bitter sweet.

    Got engaged about 3 months ago so I have entered a new tradition for Christmas Eve, the future mother-in-law's. Umm...not sure I like that!

    Scrapple? what did you do in the restaurant buss?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rymanofthenorth View Post
    Scrapple? what did you do in the restaurant buss?

    Doesn't sound too appetizing and don't be around when they cook it (smell will chase you away), but boy does it taste good!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrapple

    I served tables and bartended until I got into photography. It was a great job in South Florida for a single young man!
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    Ok I have seen a food network thing where the diners and dives guy was eating it, didnt look appetising to me but I wouldnt mind trying it. it reminds me of durian fruit, it smells terrible but tastes amazing.

    I could see how serving and bartending in florida would be solid , lots of hotties out there. but for meeting very attracive women I would think photography would be the way to go. being a doorman always worked out well for me that way lol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rymanofthenorth View Post
    when I was in college I was engaged to an Italian Girl, her family did the same thing only everything had to be exactly traditional (and man I do NOT like salt cod lmao) do you do that tomato and olive sauce? Natalies mom used to make calamari and mussels too. I love the seafood and yeah in my family we never ate meat on friday, only fish. that lasted until I lived on my own lol.

    I have to ask, how do you get calamari so tender> every time ive made it it was like eating rubber.
    The tomato and olive sauce your talking about must be puttanesca, "whore's spaghetti". Great dish, and very quick to make. It's so quick to make that they say a hooker could make a batch in between customers. We have it all year round. More often then not, we eat fish or a pasta dish on fridays all year round. That's my wife's doing mind you, as she's the one that keep me on the proper path as they say.

    I'm not big on salt cod either LOL

    Calamari is all in the cooking time. I tend to simmer it for up to 4 hours. Growing up, mom would start making the gravy (sauce) as breakfast was being finished, and it would cook down till about 3PM when we would eat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles Monroe View Post
    I'm not big on salt cod either LOL
    How can anyone not like salt cod? Soak it overnight, boil about 20 minutes, and pour on bacon drippings...a meal any waterman in this area would love. Just as good as salted spot or croaker.

    Ryman, a spiral ham is sweeter than a country ham. Basically has a brown sugar rub and is pre-cut in a circular cut, thus called a spiral ham.

    http://www.honeybakedham.com/shop_online.asp
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles Monroe View Post
    The tomato and olive sauce your talking about must be puttanesca, "whore's spaghetti". Great dish, and very quick to make. It's so quick to make that they say a hooker could make a batch in between customers. We have it all year round. More often then not, we eat fish or a pasta dish on fridays all year round. That's my wife's doing mind you, as she's the one that keep me on the proper path as they say.

    I'm not big on salt cod either LOL

    Calamari is all in the cooking time. I tend to simmer it for up to 4 hours. Growing up, mom would start making the gravy (sauce) as breakfast was being finished, and it would cook down till about 3PM when we would eat.

    thats the one, lol I would sure as hell never called it that to nats moms face, I liked my testes where they were thank you( in natalies purse). very very tasty if simple sauce. ok thats what my problem is then not enough cooking time.


    Riggins, thanks for the link im gonna see if they fedex to canada.

    I cant stand salt cod, I dont mind,pickled herring but pretty much any preserved fish other than smoked is gross lol. Im half norwegian and I spent one christmas with that side of my family and man norwegians eat some gross stuff by far the worst tho is Lutefisk, which still gives me nightmares.
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