Too Many Cooks: Holiday Traditions

December 21, 2012

You'll be hearing from the staff at FOOD52 every week in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more.

In a way, holidays are a little like fried eggs. Everybody does them differently -- they're personal, and that's the beauty of them. Whether it's nog on Christmas Eve or a special holiday breakfast, everyone has something they do every year. And so, today, we're answering the question: 

What's your favorite holiday food tradition? 

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Christina: The whole day of Italian traditional goodness -- panettone and frittata for breakfast and homemade ravioli and meatballs for dinner -- and then a long winter's nap.  

Stephanie: I'm going to be very Canadian again and say tourtière on Christmas Eve. The French side of my family always has a big dinner with a beautiful meat pie and tomato preserves that are lovingly referred to as ketchup, but are nothing like ketchup. 

Brette: Getting all dressed up on Christmas Eve and going out to a restaurant called Uncle Tai's in Boca Raton, Florida for extremely mediocre Chinese food. It is such a scene.

Kristy: Oh, you know, deciding that we're both adults and if we don't want to wait until Christmas morning or Christmas Eve, we can open our presents early. 

Veronica: My boyfriend and I were feeling orphaned on Christmas, since our families are usually busy or away this time of year, so we wanted to offer some comfort and good food for everyone else who felt the same way and riff off the Jewish tradition of eating Chinese food. We started the tradition of Woks and Lox last year and we're doing it again on Christmas Eve next week!

Lindsay-Jean: Fully loaded bloody marys in the morning with one family, and then champagne with peaches with the other family later in the day. (Totally counts as food, as there are items to munch on in both beverages.)

Amanda Li: Christmas is when we have several Peking ducks on the dinner table, and my cousins fight over the legs and my aunts fight over the butts.

Karl: Swedish meatballs (and everything else that comes with the smörgåsbord).

Amanda: Grilled oysters and prosecco. One year we found this little guy among the oysters.

Kenzi: The inexplicable dish of little gherkins that was always on my grandmother's holiday table. As a kid, I would pick the chair right next to it, every year. 

Merrill: Pandoro or panettone, bacon, clementines and coffee for breakfast on Christmas morning, eaten on our laps while going through our stockings -- we do it every year.

Ryan: Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. More specifically, my father has always made trip to Cinnabon at the mall on Christmas Eve. Marianne and I carried on the tradition in our own way with this potato cinnamon roll recipe. This year we'll be back with family and sharing our newfound revelation. 

Kristen: Christmas Day is for fancy dinner -- whatever we want -- but Christmas Eve is always just soups: my grandpa's recipe for oyster stew and a chicken chile soup with tortilla chips and melty cheddar in the bottom, implemented when we were kids and not okay with the other option. 

Nell: Christmas Eve is our big dinner and my two favorite things are the Yorkshire pudding and hard sauce. 

Marian: My mother always stuffs our stockings with dark chocolate pecan turtles from a nearby chocolatier, which we eat in our pajamas while opening the rest of our gifts.

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Kenzi Wilbur

Written by: Kenzi Wilbur

I have a thing for most foods topped with a fried egg, a strange disdain for overly soupy tomato sauce, and I can never make it home without ripping off the end of a newly-bought baguette. I like spoons very much.