Traditional Cooking for Christmas


family gathered around a holiday table

Every family has their own traditions for the holidays. My family would have bacon wrapped filet roast, twice baked potatoes, some veg and chocolate mousse for dessert when I was growing up.

As we kids became adults and had our own homes, things evolved. My mom finally shared her manicotti recipe that she would rarely make because it took a lot of time and effort.

She passed away in 2000, and I make it for Christmas Day every year to honor her. I’ve occasionally made chocolate mousse but usually we’re so stuffed that we can’t eat anything else.

There are very few universal Christmas traditions anymore. And that’s good. Here in the United States, however, there are some things that may people consider traditional holiday cooking. It’s fairly regional.

Turkey vs. Ham

Believe it or not, “both” is even an acceptable answer. And “neither” is also, as in our case. People really are attached to their traditions. So if you’re thinking of changing things up, you may want to talk about it with the family so there’s no hurt feelings.

Other traditional favorites are deviled eggs, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, sweet potato casserole, and green bean casserole.

And nothing is more personal than the stuffing or dressing. Some use oysters. Some use cornbread. Others put in chestnuts. I make the recipe that my mom made and don’t deviate. One year, someone else made the stuffing and it was unspoken, but everyone wanted it to be the same as usual next year.

One year, we decided to order a turducken breast to add into the mix. It can be fun to try different things as an add-on but keep the basics the same.

Holidays are about traditions and family and feeling that bond. And it can be good to add in something new every year to keep it fresh.

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