When I was a little girl I loved to be in the kitchen with my Mom Mom, especially when she was cooking Christmas dinner. I have lots of fond memories of Mom Mom in her hand embroidered apron standing over a stove top filled with pots and pans full of wonderful smells. The table was always set with the best china and a hand embroidered table cloth. I remember licking the beaters of the mixer after the mashed potatoes were done. I remember my Pop Pop carving the turkey at the table. Every time I see the Norman Rockwell painting Freedom from Want, which shows a woman placing a large turkey on the table in front of her family, I think of our family Christmas dinner.
When I got married and started my own family I wanted to make sure that my daughters would have the same types of memories to carry with them and to share with their own children someday. I started having them in the kitchen very early on. I want them to be able to cook, and to enjoy it. Today my daughter’s are in their 20′s and they both have children, and we all get together to cook our family Christmas dinner.
Our favorite mean isn’t necessarily the turkey, although we really enjoy it. Every Christmas we have what we call our holiday ham. It’s a wonderful glazed ham studded with cloves and enhanced with pineapples and cherries covered in a rich thick glaze of ginger, brown sugar, garlic, mustard and orange. My Mother is the first in the family to have had a ham for Christmas dinner.
Our Christmas turkey is a big one, 22 pounds. We always cook it with a traditional sage flavored stuffing inside it. I would be concerned about a dry turkey if I didn’t stuff it. The family’s favorite stuffing is actually cooked on the side. It’s one I learned to make from my mother-in-law, a Sage Sausage and Apple Stuffing. It’s flavorful and hearty and made even more good because we use homemade turkey broth to make it.
We have many new dishes we’ve added to our Christmas dinner menu. One is Pearl Onions AuGratin, another is Brussels Sprouts and Bacon. The brussels sprouts are shredded in the food processor, along with an onion. Bacon is browned and the brussels sprouts are cooked in a bit of the bacon fat. The bacon is then crumbled on top. Every one of my family loves this recipe, even the youngest, my five year old grandson.
My grandson is also learning to cook. In order to keep his interest in the kitchen his mother allows him to cook his favorite things. This is my Mom Mom’s fudge. It’s always on our Christmas dessert table, along with a Red Velvet Cake, also Mom Mom’s recipe.
For our family the fun of our Christmas dinner is cooking old favorites and adding new recipes. It’s especially fun that everyone enjoys being in the kitchen and we truly enjoy cooking together. My oldest daughter is pregnant with her first child, who is due to be born in the Spring. We all can’t wait to have another set of hands in the kitchen.
Catherine Olivia loves to cook and has fabulous holiday recipes and ideas you can use when planning your Christmas dinner menu to help you and your family build your own Christmas dinner traditions at http://www.greenbeansnmore.comTags: Christmas dinner menu, Christmas recipes, Christmas traditions