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Family Food Holiday Traditions

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What are the foods your family makes that it wouldn't seem like the holidays without?

My grandfather spent several years as a Dutch baker. He makes butter letter, almond tarts, and Krakelingen (pronounced crockalinger I think, they are a thin crispy sugar cookie loaded with butter and sprinkled w/sugar) and my aunt makes oliebollen (dutch donuts with rasins).

I can't imagine the holidays without them. We also try and sneak them out of my grandparents house before the holidays, and stop by a lot more often after Christmas when my grandmother is sick of the stuff.

So, what are the foods your family makes that it wouldn't seem like the holidays without?

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  1. For almost twenty years (since I was a kid), my family has done Christmas Eve with family friends, and it's the ultimate stress-free event- relaxed, any clothes will do, nice wine, etc. It's whole purpose was to be the ideal festive holiday gathering, and it is. So for food we have limit it to the best part of any party: appetizers. We always have crabmeat fondue with fresh italian bread as the staple, then the other apps depend on the whim/supplies of those attending- spanakopita, mini green chili quiches, homemade salsas, stuffed mushrooms.... It's become the essential holiday event for both families, and now some of us have our own kids who have never known a Christmas without the finger-food Christmas Eve.

    1. Unfortunately I live far from my family and do not get to see them at Christmas. Luckily, I've learned how to make some of my mom's specialties and now host holiday celebrations for my husband's family. We always have sage/potato stuffing with our turkey, shortbread cookies, apple pie, homemade cocoa, Ganong's chocolates and eggnog (not all at the same meal, of course!). I've added a few new traditions as well: mimosas with Christmas brunch, ginger cookies, baked ham, mulled cranberry cider and this year I'm doing osso bucco on Christmas Eve. I would actually enjoy a change from turkey on Christmas but tradition says we must have it and I'm sure I would never be allowed to pull it from the menu!

      1. Although your post is two years old, I am hoping you can help me. Growning up in north Jersey, there were several local bakeries that sold the best Krakelingen. I have been looking for a good recipe to bake them myself, but the one that seems to be all over the Internet is nothing like the ones I had growing up. Do you have an authentic Dutch recipe?

        Thanks in advance.

        ...Rich DeYoung