We hardly go to Church suppers anymore here in So Indiana. IN just a couple of years, the Church Supper, which used to be a place for the food-donor/prep persons to show off their ‘quality’ dishes has turned into folks rushing in with a box of deli-chicken or deli-tray to ‘donate’.
Perhaps you are patronizing the wrong religion and/or celebrating the wrong Christmas. Church suppers and feasts at Greek Orthodox churches are still wonderful and many are open to the public (if you attend the church service, they all are in effect). Never saw any CostCo or other deli stuff at Greek church suppers except traditional deli foods like dolmades. Note, though, some Orthodox churches use the Julian calendar and celebrate Christmas on Jan 7.
In fact, as a general rule, I’d bet you’d do fine food-wise if you just stick to ethnic/mostly immigrant congregations.
Yeah, The trend has more than just evolved…It is almost like a ‘Big-Bang’ sort of thing. Suddenly, at least here in the USA, it appears that the concept of universal-sameness in food is really taking hold. Of course, thats why the Roadfood site and others like it that are trying to maintain the ‘individuality’ for food sources are all about.
The regional, or perhaps the ethnic origins of dishes and food in general seem to be settling into a great ‘melting pot’ (pun intended) so that we can feed our kids ‘pizza rolls’ and tacos while we ‘enjoy’ a Mongolian BBQ at a Chinese Buffet.
It is possible to find those regional specialties…but the search is becoming more complex and difficult. That is the SEARCH for others production….not even considering how many of these holiday specialties are attempted bu “US” with our busy schedules. [:(]
So, what is special in your area for Christmas eating?
I saw this on the web at :
However, even though traditions with regards to Christmas recipes are great, they are not the same across States.
• Hawaii blesses us with Turkey Teriyaki marinated and cooked in an outdoor pit.
• New England has Lumberjack Pie (a mashed potato crust filled with meat, onion, and cinnamon)
• Pennsylvania Dutch serves Sand Tarts (thin, crisp sugar cookies)
• Louisiana’s treat is Creole Gumbo. It can include ham, veal, chicken, shrimp, oysters, and crabmeat.
• North Carolina features Moravian Love-Feast Buns (faintly sweet bread of flour and mashed potatoes)
• Baltimore serves Sauerkraut with their Turkey (which includes apples, onions, and carrots)
• Southern states have Hominy Grits Soufflé and Whiskey Cake (with one cup of 100-proof whiskey.)
• New Mexico has Empanaditas — little beef pies with applesauce, pine nuts, and raisins
• Virginia gives us oyster and ham pie
At the same time, each family often has its own personal Christmas recipe which all members prefer. Sometimes, the turkey is stuffed with something very special or the potatoes need to be prepared in a special way on this particular day.
You will see the big differences if you examine what the different nations eat for Xmas. In Mexico, the menu mostly consists of fruits, nuts, and salad. In the Czech Republic, they eat carp, and in France, the Christmas recipes consist of both foie gras and lobster.
Of course, we have a special Christmas food in NYC:
Chinese food on Christmas!
(any Jewish person can explain this…..)
So this is the trend when you mentioned Costo, and the other person regarding church suppers. For years, the physics department where i work, our holiday luncheon was a potluck. I really looked forward to it as it was a hodge bodge of foods from around the world due to the diversity of cultures in our department. Now we get it catered with pasta, chicken roast beef, and potatoes. Barely anyone makes sweets either. All has to be purchased. Everyone is too busy..more like everyone has gotten lazy. Sorry..i know this is a bit off topic. I just wish we could go back to the tradition. I was given the responsaiblity three years ago, but no one budges, they want their catered food, and like i said..no one seems to want to bake anymore.
I had sent nice emails and personal visits to people to contribute foods, but they all say:i am too busy. I wish the woman who had changed the tradition had never done so.
Al, You are so right. Society has become lazy because of the convenience foods.
So I take it that you aren’t on Lipitor.
I’ll have to check for that herring in wine sauce after the holidays. Thanks for the heads up on it.
Not just Costco, but all the grocery-deli stuff, Marlene. We hardly go to Church suppers anymore here in So Indiana. IN just a couple of years, the Church Supper, which used to be a place for the food-donor/prep persons to show off their ‘quality’ dishes has turned into folks rushing in with a box of deli-chicken or deli-tray to ‘donate’. Food presentation consists of unwrapping the foil or popping the top of the plastic container and sticking a plastic spoon or fork into the ‘contents’.
At least Costco makes an attempt to make the stuff look good. Most of the markets don’t bother, they shovel the stuff into a box or bucket and seal it up.
I did get a bottle of Herring in Wine sauces this week at Costco. Jan hates even the smell of the stuff, and it really gets her to see me with a forkful of Herring and Onions in one hand and a piece of homemade fudge in the other, while sipping a glass of Grapefruit juice. I love my holiday treats !!!
I’ve been finding that Christmas dinners are becoming Costcoized… Whatever platters or already prepared convenience foods are available are showing up for special occasions as Christmas.
Costco is ruining tradition.
besides gumbo, I’d say pork roast, or baked ham, oyster dressing, eggplant or mirliton(chayote) stuffed with crab, shrimp, or crawfish(or all of them). Sweet potatoes cooked any number of ways, including pie, and pecan pie, and I’m sure there’s lots more dishes but these are the only ones I can think of at the moment. Some of the older folks made a tradition of serving homemade turtle soup, but I think that’s died off, given the expense, and making it is very labor intensive.
Herring, either in wine or cream sauce. No matter whos house I go to, its always there this time of year-especially new years day when eating it is supposed to bring good luck!
Have to disagree with the OP. Here in the South hardly ever see grits souffle’ for Christmas.
Christmas is Special Holiday Cookies, Nut Breads, Fruit Breads
These are given away as gifts. The bounty of the season.
Have to admit at most Southern tables- more different kinds of Sweet potatoes or yams than anything.
And we do are fare share of Oriental Places also.
Chinese restaurants are open. That’s the easiest explanation.
Tamales may also be the thing for Christmas in California.
I spent a few Christmas Eve’s at a friend’s home and home made chicken and dumplings were served along with cinnamon apples every single year. Always something that I looked forward to.
I’m having trouble figuring out what’s “regional”. I grew up in Maryland and, until now, I didn’t think having sauerkraut with holiday meals was anything unusual.
One thing my family often did that may not be regional (although I think it’s common enough in the northeast) was to have lox and bagels for breakfast Christmas (and sometimes New Years) mornings. It works very well in anticipation of the big turkey feast later in the day. And I think Jesus, since he was Jewish, would have appreciated it.
As I mentioned in another thread, where I am now, in Arizona, tamales are being sold everywhere for the holidays. That was also true in the San Francisco Hispanic community.
Then, of course, there’s the infamous association between Christmas and Chinese food. For those who don’t know about this, Chinese restaurants are among the few places that tend to be open on Christmas Day and are often packed with those who either don’t celebrate Christmas (Jews mainly), or have no local family to invite them to dinner. In San Francisco, some Chinese places make seriously good lemonade out of these lemons (so to speak). See # http://www.koshercomedy.com/
Sometimes they even have old-time Borsch Belt comics you’d never see anywhere else.
I can vouch for sand tarts being a traditional PA Dutch Christmas treat. Although nowadays, these thin rolled out cookies are often sprinkled with colored sugar, they originally were covered with a mixture of finely chopped shellbarks (hickory nuts) or black walnuts mixed with sugar and cinnamon. It looked like sand, thus the name.
One interesting holiday drink that is well known in the coal mining country of PA but not outside of that area is a warm alcoholic beverage known as Boilo.
In Minnesota I would have to go with Lefse the Norwegian flatbread or Scandinavian tortilla, however you want to call it. Not of Scandinavian heritage but we have made it ourselves and almost every Christmas get some as a gift. It is good for main meals, snacks or desserts depending on how you eat it and what you put on or in (roll-up) it. [:)]
It transcends the Scandinavian heritage in availability. That’s something you can’t say about lutefisk. [;)]
In Miami it is a whole roasted pig (lechon asado).
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