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Sep 13, 2011 12:27 PM

Food traditions?

What are yours?

On another thread, mamchef mentioned that she made cake for her boys on the first day of school because, she always has cake on the first day of school. I would love to hear about your food traditions. The common ones for me. Ham on Easter. Turkey on Thanksgiving. You know, the usual. I don't think I have any ones that are unique or special. DO you? Tell me about your traditions involving food. The common ones and the not so common. Thanks. :)

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  1. Three families and one thanksgiving for over 20 years. One Lady makes bread and desserts, the hostess the turkey, ham, and starches, the host provides the drinks, and I provide veggies and appetizers. Recently, the apps has been taken over by the next generation. All the rest do cleanup. While playing Gregorian chants and Alice's Restaurant on the stereo.

    1. My older brother's birthday is Christmas Eve. He passed away 10 years ago, but for the first 18 years of my life dinner on Christmas Eve was his pick, usually oysters or take out Chinese. Christmas breakfast was always left over birthday cake. After he died, we reinvented a lot of Christmas traditions. We still have take out on the 24th, usually pizza, but first go to the mall and sit on a bench with a cup of coffee watching the last minute actions. On Christmas morning, we have potato pancakes for brunch on Christmas, using potatoes that Santa leaves in each stocking.

      1. We've always done some version of the Feast of the Seven (or three) fishes on Christmas Eve. Grill cheese sandwiches and Campbell's tomato soup on Fridays during Lent. We always camp on the last weekend of October with three families and the boozy cheese recipe I found on this site has made an appearance for the last 4 or 5 years.

        1 Reply
        1. re: southernitalian

          What is the boozy cheese recipe? Does it go with smores?!?!

        2. I welcome summer on Memorial Day weekend with a cooked-on-the-grill chicken,sausage and seafood paella....then on Labor Day weekend I sadly say "goodbye" to summer with
          the same dish. The paella pan I have is about 18 inches so will feed quite a few folks, with
          the addition of a salad and dessert. Been making this for about 25 years and have lived in
          three diffeent towns in those same years. People in all three towns loved the dish!

          1. There are two that come to mind (the first one was so much fun when we were kids)

            1) "Magic" leprechaun milk on St. P's Day: My Mom (and her Mom and maybe longer than that) would put a drop of green food coloring in the bottom of our breakfast milk glass in the morning. So when we were at the table she would pour in the white milk and it would MAGICALLY turn green in our glass, proving that the Leprechaun had been around. It was awesome and took WAY longer than you'd think for us to figure out. Everyone should do this with their kids.

            2) Oyster Stew on Christmas. (Dad's side of the family tradition). It was horrible but we always had it until I was well into High School when my Dad FINALLY told my grandmother that he didn't really like it (I bet he said we kids didn't like it though). She said she didn't like it either, so thus ended the tradition. But honestly I've been thinking of giving it another try with a much better recipe . . . .

            11 Replies
            1. re: thimes

              OK. I got a good laugh at the oyster stew story. She'd been making oyster stew for years, and didn't like the stuff? Too funny.

              1. re: thimes

                can I ask where you're from, Thimes?

                My great-grandparents' anniversary was Christmas Eve, and the family gathered at their northern Indiana home until my great-grandmother couldn't do it anymore -- for oyster stew (and those little pillowy crackers)

                1. re: sunshine842

                  Wow - you're the first person I've ever met (okay we haven't really met) that has EVER had this tradition.

                  My Grandparents were from Wisconsin. That side of the family has been in the US for generations (DAR and all that) but the family line is very much German. I wonder if it is a German thing since Indiana and Wisconsin have strong German immigrant populations. Where your Grandparents German?

                  1. re: thimes

                    That's why I's not all that common a tradition!

                    My great-grandmother was 2nd generation Swiss (spoke "Dutch" (sic) when she didn't want any of us to know what she was talking about) - her grandfather had immigrated in the 1850s.

                    But my great-granddad WAS 2nd generation German - from the Saarland (also 1850s). Lots of Swiss in Sconsin, too...It might well be a "paterland" tradition --

                    Anybody else out there have any input?

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      I'm German, and I have never heard of any xmas tradition (or other tradition) to do with oyster stew. Bummer, really, cause I like oysters.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        My BiL's family is from Germany, and they always had oyster stew for Christmas.

                        1. re: tzurriz

                          Really? How bizarre? Which region, do you know?

                          1. re: linguafood

                            I don't, sorry, but he grew up in Nebraska. My husband's family (father's side) is also of German descent, black forest region, and they have no such tradition.

                            1. re: tzurriz

                              Well, it's funny. I'm from the Rhineland where no such tradition exists, but my mom and I are very fond of seafood, so instead of the traditional xmas goose or carp (!), we'd get a variety of seafood salads, shrimp, and other little treats, and feast over a few hours while watching TV.

                              A lot of Germans have knackwurst and potato salad for xmas dinner.

                              Lastly - and I'm not sure if this counts as a 'food tradition', but I have gathered a fairly large and faithful group of chili heads who meet once a week at a local Sichuan place. It's been going on for over a year now, long enough to be a tradition in my book '-)

                    2. re: sunshine842

                      We always have oyster soup for Christmas Eve and we're East coast (VA, MD, PA) stock and predominately English/Scottish. Every year without fail it's the same simple oyster soup with oyster crackers and served out of the same soup tureen that's been handed down since the 1820s.

                      The oyster soup tradition is more common than you may think. It was widespread in Victorian days as oysters were a wintertime specialty and could travel easily once preserved.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        It's tradition in my father's family too, coming from my grandmother's side (Nova Scotian).