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Hello all, for those of you who celebrate Christmas, and those of you who are also responsible for the cooking of the traditional Christmas meal, what are your plans for Christmas lunch or dinner?
What is traditional in your country and do you feel it's best to stick to that, or do you go "off piste" and do something different?
I tend to stick to traditional, but that doesn't mean turkey. Here in the UK, most people think of a roast turkey as the required main course for a Christmas meal, but actually, that is an imported American tradition. Goose would be a far more traditional British option, but not many people go for that anymore (expensive!). I don't actually know anyone that loves turkey, so I usually go for a different bird.
What if you are vegetarian or vegan? Last year, due to Christmas kind of being cancelled here in London, I spent it with my one housemate who was officially a pescatarian (although mostly ate vegan food) so I had to get creative. It turns out better than I thought.
Anyway, I am rather late in planning the Christmas meal I am shortly to cook for my family. We are talking about people from different cultures who have very different preferences. Ideas and inspiration would be greatly appreciated.
@Huma0 In the almost 55 years that I've been married and living here in Italy (I'm native German) I had time enough to learn and practice the Italian cuisine. As with almost all Italians, food has always been important to my husband ...and i had to comply. So, as tradition in my husband's home, on Christmas there must be homemade Ravioli stuffed with Brasato, topped with melted butter and sage. For our family gathering of 17 members I have to prepare at least 500 Ravioli. The main course then is often a stuffed capon. A lot of different appetizers introduce this Christmas lunch or dinner and it will finish with Panettone and Mascarpone of course.
Wow, that's impressive! Do you do all the cooking by yourself or do you have any helpers and how long does it take you in total?
@Huma0 not a darn thing.
Unfortunately I have a very quick trip to see a lot of relatives who are angry that the trip is so quick, and that we are staying in an Airbnb and renting a car instead of moving in with them for 3 weeks, as they would prefer. We just don't have the time off. So its unclear if we will be hosted a Christmas meal. I think we are still invited to a brunch by one person who isn't angry. But not 100% sure. My meal may consist of a Starbucks scone.
Oh dear. Why does Christmas so often cause such drama?
Last year my family had a massive drama over presents and, as usual, I was the one having to sort it out, when really the person who started the fuss should have come up with a solution.
Another year, we had a really pointless drama over the food. Apparently, I was being neglectful by spending so much time cooking for everyone. This year, if anyone complains that the food is 'too fancy', I am going to throw it at them.
Families can be tricky at any time of year but the holidays seem to bring out the worst in people sometimes.
@Huma0 I have no idea, but this is par for the course.
My husband and I have resolved that next year we will not be traveling anywhere. We will fully decorate our home (we didn't because we knew we would be traveling. This location has no direct flights and it basically takes a full day to get there even though its in the US. So that really cuts down on time to visit.) We will have a party. And not give a flying figgy pudding if certain people come, don't come, or have a tantrum. All guests will stay in hotels or our Airbnb. And we won't listen to any complaints. This is all too much and it ruins the time my husband and I have to spend with one another.
And not give a flying figgy pudding if certain people come, don't come, or have a tantrum. All guests will stay in hotels or our Airbnb. And we won't listen to any complaints.
Good for you! I don't know of any other time when people get cooked for and complain about it, or are given gifts and complain about it, or have guests to stay and then complain they are not staying long enough.
I was very disappointed last year when we couldn't have our family Christmas due to COVID restrictions. I spent the day with my housemate, who was unable to return to her family. Actually, we ended up having a really lovey time because, for once, there was no drama!
I usually don't do a whole lot on holidays and just do some light easy go to stuff.
Hummus, healthy muffins. (with homemade tahini)
Chili with beyond meat chicken strips. Great for cold days!
This was from one of the last meet up potluck two years ago. I made the vegan cheese cake in the back. It was a raw food meetup, but like to do the cheesecake on holidays.
Healthy banana bread. I have to create my own recipe for something both vegan and healthy.
I haven't been cooking as much because the back apartment is connected to the same AC/Heat so don't want to blast them out with anything too strong. But gonna try using an Insta Pot I so far haven't used and maybe it doesn't put out so much smell.
Oh and for New Years a local tradition that started in the Low Country, where I'm from on South Carolina coast, is called Hoppin John. Its three peas mixed with rice. It originated in West Africa. And brings good luck. My mom used to make it and we would go out to the country on a pick nick. I just read that you are supposed to leave three different kind of peas on the plate for good luck for the new year.
Wow, that all looks very healthy. Homemade hummus is always so good. Have you tried homemade baba ganoush? So yummy!
Yes, the first pic is homemade baba ganoush! I usually cook the eggplant with the muffins.
I used to get baba ganoush somewhere when I was in college but can't remember the exact place which is unusual. But so many years later I was craving it and noticed its also made with tahini so decided to make it.
sometimes I like to take pictures
Hard to believe I would be cooking something like this. Completely counter intuative but I like to just try stuff for myself and see if I like it or not, and then start craving.
One of my local supermarkets used to sell baba ganoush, but then stopped. So, I looked up a recipe and realised how easy it is (like most dips). The home made stuff tasted so much better. I'll never go back to buying it ready made, unless it's freshly made in a restaurant or deli.
I so glad you made this topic! I was much more motivated making new dishes for potluck meetups but we haven't had any in almost two years, so these cooking topics are inspiring. As it turns out I've done so much contruction work it was second nature to go out and get supplies and make something.
This was the tahini recipe I used and had other links made from it, like baba ganoush just below. The weird this is that I have to add more oil then finally water just to get it to blend in the food processor. Maybe I'm doing it wrong but it turns out fine. Of course you can just buy it but this is how I first made it, and noticed the links. Yes all kinds of dips and salad dressings!
Thanks for the links. I will definitely give those a go, even if it's not at Christmas.
Yes, sometimes you have to tweak the recipe. The version of baba ganoush I make is a hybrid of these two recipes (minus the lamb):
I can also recommend this one, if you want a different spin on it:
@Huma0 My mum would usually make a roast Turkey, but over the last few years would roast a goose or duck- always good to try different things, we had salmon en-croute one year!
Mum always makes Xmas pudding (2 a year, one for the Xmas coming and one to mature for the following year!) and a Xmas cake.
Our traditional starter is a prawn cocktail, and even when I have had Xmas apart from my family such as last year, I will always make that- very retro I love it.
On Xmas Eve evening as is the tradition in our family in Trinidad, we have freshly baked bread, and roasted ham with different cheeses and treats.
I love hearing about what other people do, and their traditions old and new.