HOLIDAY SPECIALTIES (all faiths/traditions/nationalities) - Cuisine of the Quarter, Fall 2018 (Oct-Dec)

(Dan) #61

Oh they eat like birds! But I am grateful for their dedication to our family. I lost both my parents at diff times but both tragically. These women kept me and my younger sibs in line. Holidays are all about their keeping the memories.


After 20 plus years with my family (cousins and aunt and uncles) which has swelled to over 60-70 plus friends which has taken it to near 100 which has taken it to the next level, we’ve been having TG at my in laws in Birmingham. Always at my wife’s aunts house. Same menu every year. Low fat meal (uncle is a physcian and long distance runner). Unlike the boisterous gathering with coupious amounts of alcohol and other indulgences at my families gatherings, this is quite subdued. Football watched on a 13" TV…tea and coffee you get the point. It is what it is and its family which is meaningful none the less

Still thinking its time to do alternate TGs. I’m missing the party atmosphere

(Dan) #63

Man, that’s a crowd! :grin:
I love celebrations of all kinds. But nothing beats a quiet moment with a glass of something grand just cause.


No alcohol, no cigars.

(Dan) #65

Something grand, your call😄.


Last year I brought 2oz samples of 10 malts and 10 bourbons plus Armagnacs to be enjoyed with my BIL and one of my wife’s uncles to be enjoyed “back at the ranch” after dinner. Also Cuban cigars to be enjoyed by anyone who wanted. Just call me the candy man



(Dan) #68

does anyone include a Eton Mess dessert on their holiday table? As layered desserts go, this looks delicious.

(saregama) #69

No, but we have (English) Trifle at Christmas - in a clear bowl to display the layers.

Me, I would rather have the pound cake with plain custard…


Well, Thanksgiving preparations have begun chez moi! I bought and broke down an 11 lb. turkey on Sunday - no one here likes white meat much, so I will roast the thighs and legs, sous vide one breast for the odd sandwich over the weekend, and use the rest for stock. I made pie dough today, and made and froze my green olive cheddar balls. They bake up best from frozen anyway, so best to do ahead. Those will go in the oven during the parade to be enjoyed with mimosas and a couple of other snacks (our Thanksgiving morning tradition).

I also started the process for Serious Eats’ sous vide, all-belly porchetta. This is wholly untraditional for Thanksgiving but I really don’t enjoy turkey, so this will be my main. Prep couldn’t be simpler - score the meat side of the belly and rub with fennel, garlic, rosemary, pepper and salt, then roll, tie and stick in the sous vide bath at 155 for 36 hours. Day of, all I’ll have to do is dry it off and quickly deep fry it to crisp the exterior. I’m hoping it will be such a hit that I can completely dispense with turkey in the future!


I have posted this over at Thanksgiving Baking…Sour cream Coffee cake, that is a perennial at our table.
The wife is prepping the turkey, pot of white beans, some stuffed cabbage and then some deep fried chicken gizzards in front of the TV while watching the games.
We are going to the eldest child’s house to consume the feast.

The gizzards are first brined for a couple of hours (salt/sugar 50/50 mix) then boiled in some chicken broth for about and hour. This is all done before, like this afternoon.
They will be dusted with a cornstarch/flour/cayenne/onion powder/garlic powder mix, then into deep fry 350 degree vegetable oil for about 2 minutes until they are a bit crispy. I am serving them with something new this year, a red pepper tapenade, although the standby humus will be alongside.

(saregama) #72

How are holiday preps/celebrations continuing?

We added a new thanksgiving tradition this year - stuffing “balls” :joy: which converted all the non-stuffing eaters, bec who doesn’t like crispy bits of flavor- and butter-soaked bread?! Also, home-cured salmon was a hit and will stick around the app table for coming years.

Anyone have Hanukkah traditions kicking in?

Holiday cookie baking?

Other food traditions this time of year?

(Dan) #73

Rats, I should have put my 8 crazy nights fondue story here😁


Actually this year for Hanukkah we have all the usual suspects, including latkes, yeast doughnuts, fresh homemade raspberry apple sauce, and some fried fish, which I will pick up tomorrow…Of course the miracle of the oil in the temple lasting for eight days , is why it is called the Festival of Lights. Thus foods cooked in oil.
The eight nights of gifts came about only in this country about 25 years ago, as retailers wanted to make all people inclusive with the “holiday shopping season”…(and add to their bottom lines)
If one looks back at the history of the holiday, you see that some solders were under siege and sat played a game of spinning a Dreidel and gambling on the out come and drink wine which was typically stored in the temple… Therefore, I enjoy the fried foods, we typically play some board games, and drink plenty of wine…(as Linda W would say “plenty of wine”) and of course it is a tradition …

(Dan) #75

Very special! Have a wonderful celebration, Phreddy.

(saregama) #76


(Dan) #77

I’m 60 and 8 nights of gifts goes further back than 25 yrs in my family. My first memory of candle lighting was probably age 6 and gifts along with. Of course my siblings would call it eight days of chores because we had to earn those chocolate coins and small boxes. The Italian relatives baked cookies like crazy, the whole month to cover both celebrations.


I’m close to 60! My family did 8 nights of gifts but they were quite modest. Each child would receive one “big” gift for the holiday. One nights gift was always a box of pencils with your name embossed - my Mother was really into those pencils! Often the other gifts were family gifts, like receiving a puzzle or a board game. Something like that would have it’s pieces divided and wrapped. As we unwrapped we would discover the parts made a whole. We played dreidel every night for pennies.

My Mother didn’t do much frying. We would have one special holiday meal with latkes and leg of lamb. The day of the first night we would make spritz cookies in holiday shapes and frost or apply sprinkles to them. These became dessert for all 8 days. On a Sunday night we had a party at my grandparents for the extended family. Roast beef was served (the only thing my grandmother made well).


It was driving me crazy trying to remember where my Mother ordered those darn pencils from. She was really into that particular catalog company. The name suddenly came to me and you can still order the pencils! For your shopping pleasure my I present:


We never did 8 nights of gifts as a child and don’t do it now. Just one nice gift has been our tradition.

Having my son and his girlfriend over as well as my BIL for dinner tomorrow. I’m on Latke duty and will start prepping now. I have a large chuck roast that will go on the smoker tomorrow morning. At least that’s easy peasy. The latkes, now that’s work