Every household has some holiday food traditions. The big ones are Thanksgiving and Christmas. When we think of those holidays we have thoughts of sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, turkey and pumpkin pie. You have a special meal you cook for just those particular holidays. Many times, that is the only time of year you eat those foods.
In our household, we have started food traditions for smaller holidays too. For instance, we love to make sushi. Our homemade sushi is usually veggie rolls that include carrot, cucumber, avocado and cream cheese. We have fun with the whole process from the prep to seasoning the rice to rolling. We customize it to exactly how we like it. We started these additional holiday traditions because we found that as much as we love certain foods sometimes we forget about them. We would end up going a couple of years without having them. Then we came up with a plan. We decided to take some of our favorite meals that we rarely make and assign them to a holiday. So now every New Year’s Eve we make hand rolled sushi. Regardless of how crazy life may get, we know we are going to have our loved sushi at least once a year!
New Year’s Day we eat what many people in the South have: black-eyed peas (for luck), cabbage (for money & health) and pork (for luck). We do change it up, one year it may be boiled cabbage, another year it may be cabbage rolls. Regardless of their form, those three foods are included in every New Year’s Day meal.
Pictured above you see our traditional Valentine’s Day meal, fondue. I love me some cheese! Again, it was something we loved to eat but tended to just kind of forget about it. Depending on how busy life is I either buy a marked (gluten free) pre-made cheese packet or buy all the individual cheeses to make our own. This year I found a pre-made packet at Aldi. We do it up with all the goodies – sausage, bread (sliced Schar baguettes), grape tomatoes, broccoli, sugar snap peas and asparagus. There is something romantic about cuddling up with your honey while you eat creamy cheese mixed with a liberal amount of kirsch.
The good Irish girl in me makes sure we have cabbage, corned beef and potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day. To go with the meal, I make a pretty mean soda bread. I will post the recipe in March.
On holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and birthdays, we let the person being celebrated pick the meal. For instance, my other half celebrated a birthday earlier this month. Her choice of meal was homemade lasagna and German chocolate cake. Tinkyada makes a very good gluten free lasagna noodle. Stay tuned for the German Chocolate Cake recipe, it’s a good one!
I love me some Julia Child. On Bastille Day I pull out one of her cookbooks and make a traditional French meal. Last year I made Boeuf Bourguignon, the year before that it was Steak Frites. The holiday reminds me to open her books and love them all over again.
Holidays that fall in the summer months like Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day usually tend to have a somewhat traditional cookout menu. Burgers, hotdogs, brats with sides like potato salad, curried coleslaw (LOVE it!), broccoli salad or pea salad. It changes up, but the same theme tends to stay.
No matter your level of cooking know-how or the size of the holiday, it is nice to spread your wings a little in the kitchen. Make something you really love or try to make something you’ve never cooked before. Cooking a holiday meal you and your family can enjoy is a great way to make lovely memories and eat some wonderful food.