Christmas Dinner, Past & Present

BDBoop

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Don't harsh my zen, Jen!
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - what was your family tradition, and what is it now? Who made it? Did you have to travel to get to it?
 

Mr. H.

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We'd hang stockings on Christmas eve as I recall. There was usually a fire in the fireplace below.
Lots of excitement with 7 kids running around LOL.
Big dinner on Christmas (if mom and dad weren't fighting). Yeah it was great. Last one like that was 1966. Dad flopped over the following July.
 

HenryBHough

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Grandpa and Grandma
Mom and Dad
Mom's older sister
We kids
Yeah, three generations with some overlap.
Two generations per bedroom.

Somehow we never thought we were other than comfortably well off.

Today we'd be eligible for food stamps, free phones and maybe a free Chevy Volt!

But I doubt anyone in the family would accept any of it.
 
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BDBoop

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Don't harsh my zen, Jen!
We'd hang stockings on Christmas eve as I recall. There was usually a fire in the fireplace below.
Lots of excitement with 7 kids running around LOL.
Big dinner on Christmas (if mom and dad weren't fighting). Yeah it was great. Last one like that was 1966. Dad flopped over the following July.
But what was on the menu?

When my dad started making enough, we had lobster every Christmas eve. Buffet Christmas Day. Now, my family is pretty splintered and there are no traditions, but Christmas Eve I will be with my daughter's in-laws, having prime rib. Christmas Day, back here with my sister, and we are having lobster. :)
 

Big Black Dog

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The entire family, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and the like would all gather at my Grandparent's house on Christmas Eve. There was a huge feast that consisted of turkey, ham and all of the trimmings. After supper we would gather around the Christmas tree and hand out the presents. We would draw names at Thanksgiving to see who you needed to bring a present for on Christmas Eve. It was a great time. The food was wonderful. Everybody had fun. Sadly, just about everybody except for a few cousins have since died but the memories live on.
 

HenryBHough

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Dad ran a neighborhood butcher shop/variety store.

The "shop" was heated with an ancient pot-burner oil stove.

Each Monday he'd go the "beef houses" (meat wholesalers like Swift, Wilson, Cudahy) to pick up the stock for the week. Around the holidays he'd get a huge chunk of the lowest grade (cutter) beef. It went into a big GI can with onions and celery, a little salt, pepper and poultry seasoning plus about three gallons of water. It got put on the heater to slow cook for the rest of the week.

Why? To create an aroma in the shop that caused people who came in for a loaf of bread to leave with a nice beef roast out of the display case. The low-grade beef was NOT for sale. It came home for the family - especially for the holidays when we had all three generations plus a variety of brothers and sisters from the two older generations.

Nobody ever stopped to think it was all we could afford.
 

Jughead

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My past Christmas dinners were very similar to Thanksgiving dinners. Mom would usually prepare a Turkey.

After I moved out, I lived alone and would have my favorite meal for Christmas dinner, that is everything that was in the refrigerator. Kidding aside, I would usually make myself some hamburgers for Christmas.

Once I met Mrs. Jughead, Christmas dinner has varied year to year. She changes the menu depending on the company we have.
 

Mr. H.

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We'd hang stockings on Christmas eve as I recall. There was usually a fire in the fireplace below.
Lots of excitement with 7 kids running around LOL.
Big dinner on Christmas (if mom and dad weren't fighting). Yeah it was great. Last one like that was 1966. Dad flopped over the following July.
But what was on the menu?

When my dad started making enough, we had lobster every Christmas eve. Buffet Christmas Day. Now, my family is pretty splintered and there are no traditions, but Christmas Eve I will be with my daughter's in-laws, having prime rib. Christmas Day, back here with my sister, and we are having lobster. :)
As I recall, more often beef than fowl. Mom was a really good cook. Not that she simply presented palatable eats, but more so that she enjoyed the entire process. The pre-planning, the preparation, the execution, the presentation. A nice correctly set table.

We had a huge round table (still got it) with 9-10 chairs seated around and a lazy suzan in the middle. "Bless us, oh Lord, for these thy gifts..."

Oh this is cool... when mom was young, she and her siblings bought for her parents a small wooden pig with tiny holes all around. The holes are for toothpicks with cheese chunks, pickles, olives, etc. We still have that too.

Anyhow- I mostly remember beefy things with mashy taters, corn, beans, etc

Oh- Yorkshire Pudding. Damn that was the best. Made with fatty drips. My mother's dad was quite British (Burgess), her mother German (Fieburg).

Yeah there were some salad days in my youth, however short lived.
 

syrenn

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Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - what was your family tradition, and what is it now? Who made it? Did you have to travel to get to it?

I make Turkey and all of the timings.....


The thing that makes it "christmas" for us is we purchase a st. honore cake.


 

The Professor

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I'm an old man. In over over a half a century I have experienced Christmas dinners which included main courses of turkey, lamb, chicken, goose, lobster, standing rib roast, even meat loaf and a few other things. But the dinner I remember the most was hot dogs.

My dad was a steel worker. When he was working times were good, really good. But when he was on layoff -which was a common - times were tough, really tough. One Christmas, in spite of being laid off dad had managed to get a duck and all the kids were anticipating a roasted duck dinner. Mom did her duty. She awoke in time to roast the beautiful bird, but she was hungry, exceptionally hungry, and little by lite she picked at the bird until there was nothing left. The word quickly spread throughout the neighborhood and a number of people invited us to eat at their homes. But one thoughtful person, whose family was even poorer than were were apologized for not having anything good to gives us and offered us a pack of hot dogs which we gratefully accepted. Not everyone,may appreciate the kindness I felt at this gesture but the memory has been with me and enriched me for a long, long time.

This Christmas I plan to make my wife grilled baby back ribs, grilled corn on the cob, twice baked potatoes, a simple salad and pumpkin pudding topped with chopped walnuts and whipped cream followed by a cup of coffee with Kahlua. But when the day is over, it will be the hot dogs I remember.
 
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BDBoop

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Don't harsh my zen, Jen!
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - what was your family tradition, and what is it now? Who made it? Did you have to travel to get to it?

I make Turkey and all of the timings.....


The thing that makes it "christmas" for us is we purchase a st. honore cake.


:)

Did you have a traditional meal coming up?
 
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BDBoop

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Don't harsh my zen, Jen!
I'm an old man. In over over a half a century I have experienced Christmas dinners which included main courses of turkey, lamb, chicken, goose, lobster, standing rib roast, even meat loaf and a few other things. But the dinner I remember the most was hot dogs.

My dad was a steel worker. When he was working times were good, really good. But when he was on layoff -which was a common - times were tough, really tough. One Christmas, in spite of being laid off dad had managed to get a duck and all the kids were anticipating a roasted duck dinner. Mom did her duty. She awoke in time to roast the beautiful bird, but she was hungry, exceptionally hungry, and little by lite she picked at the bird until there was nothing left. The word quickly spread throughout the neighborhood and a number of people invited us to eat at their homes. But one thoughtful person, whose family was even poorer than were were apologized for not having anything good to gives us and offered us a pack of hot dogs which we gratefully accepted. Not everyone,may appreciate the kindness I felt at this gesture but the memory has been with me and enriched me for a long, long time.

This Christmas I plan to make my wife grilled baby back ribs, grilled corn on the cob, twice baked potatoes, a simple salad and pumpkin pudding topped with chopped walnuts and whipped cream followed by a cup of coffee with Kahlua. But when the day is over, it will be the hot dogs I remember.
:smiliehug:

Thank you. What a wonderful memory.
 

syrenn

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Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - what was your family tradition, and what is it now? Who made it? Did you have to travel to get to it?

I make Turkey and all of the timings.....


The thing that makes it "christmas" for us is we purchase a st. honore cake.


:)

Did you have a traditional meal coming up?
yep.... but it is going to be a bit stressful this year. The MIL is having back issues.... so it would be easier for HER if we more or less cater it all in to her...and serve there, instead of her coming here for dinner....

the SIL is sending texts now saying....well you have house guests, MIL will feel funny having it at home.... so we will leave her home and come to dinner..


:cuckoo:
 

Ernie S.

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Christmas Eve was at home with my father's family. It was roast beef mashed taters 4 or 5 veggies and pies. LOTS of pies. And presents! Yay presents!
When everyone had left, Mom, my sister and I would walk across the street to Midnight Service. Sis usually slept through it, though I was always wide awake and attentive, as I remember.
The following morning, after Santa had left more presents, we loaded up for the trip to my mom's parents', later, her sister's house, where, lo and behold, Santa had left more presents. My sister and I felt very special to receive 2 visits from the fat man. I remember feeling a bit guilty, but a bicycle or a train set usually made me forget that.
Following opening up our gifts, it was to the table for a turkey dinner with mashed taters, 4 or 5 veggies and pies. LOTS of pies!

I love pie!
 

Statistikhengst

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Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - what was your family tradition, and what is it now? Who made it? Did you have to travel to get to it?

Cool thread!!!

There is a dinner I make at Christmas-time that is a specialty in Switzerland, called Raclette, which is a sort of cheese fondue.
 
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Destroyer2

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We have the family over for a delicious dinner of pastelillos.



They're like empanadas, except the spices are different. Possibly my favorite food ever. :)
 

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