With another Thanksgiving over with, I find myself thinking of my different viewpoint of ‘holiday food’. I never think that what I make is weird, until somebody brings it up.
Case in point would be the stuffing/dressing I made for Thanksgiving. It was a wild and brown rice dressing, made with celery, onions, pecans and dried apricots. When I brought the bag of rice home, my Mother-in-law had no clue what I was going to do with it. The bag came with the wild and long grain brown rice already mixed (although I’ve even made both types and mixed them in the past, this did make for one less step). While it said “wild and long grain brown rice” on the package, my MIL asked me, “What’s this? Bird seed?”
I laughed and said, “Well, in a way…” then went on to explain it was going to be the stuffing. After telling me how to make the stuffing (which she’d never had nor heard of before) she then said she was glad she’d be going to her niece’s house for Thanksgiving where she’d get “normal” food.
This started me thinking about how some of the things I make and eat aren’t quite normal.
My ideas of what is good to eat have expanded a bunch since joining my hobby 18 years ago (was it that long, where did the years go?). I’ve had things I never thought I would eat, much less enjoy. I’ve also had things I’m glad I had the opportunity to eat once, but probably wouldn’t ever want again. Because of this, I’ve incorporated some ‘weird’ things into what I consider feasting or holiday food.
For appetisers, I either make hummus (a chickpea/garbanzo bean paste usually made with garlic and herbs, a little bit of olive oil) and veggies, or a cheese dip that is out of this world rich and oh so addictive with breads (have to have something to carry the dip to your mouth). Dinners a lot of times are roast meats, but I usually add ‘weird spices’ or other things (like a glaze for a pork dinner I’m going to make for some friends in a couple weeks will be cherry based). Deserts have things like a “small cake” (or cookie) recipe that is attributed as being put on a Pope’s table in the mid-1500’s. I would make the rose cookie (attributed as being served to Queen Elizabeth I in the 1500’s) but I’m the only one in the family that likes the taste of rose.
I realize that I make weird things, sometimes. But then, my family usually likes the weirdness. Like the time a year ago that I started experimenting with a lemon sauce for pork chops. I was asked to make that again and again and again.
Do you have any ‘nontraditional’ (by the ideas of your culture) food you make for holidays? If so, what are they? And when you made them the first time, were they accepted right away, or was it something that had to grow on people.
Mom doesn’t know it yet, but I’m going to be making my meat pie for Christmas soon. It has lamb, pork, and beef in it, and is so good. Hopefully, she won’t turn her nose up at it. But if she does, that just means more for me! 🙂
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