When I think back to when I was a young girl and being at Christmas at my Grandma's house on the lake, several wonderful foods stick in my memory. My Grandma's cut out cookies made with shortening and cream cheese frosting in all fun Christmas shapes. Her date thumb print cookies. But most of all I remember having her homemade polish sausage at breakfast (instead of other sausage or bacon). She had her own recipe blend and spices, put through her own meat grinder, and smoked in her own smoke house. They were the best things on earth!! And then we'd also have her home made raspberry jam on toast. She had a ton of raspberry bushes and would make lots of raspberry jam and sauce for ice cream and freeze them...so she then had several to serve at Christmas and give as gifts. I miss these flavors so much. Once her Parkinson's was too bad she couldn't do it anymore. My brother keeps promising to get the recipe and a grinder and continue the tradition, but it hasn't come to fruition yet. Sigh. No other relatives (including myself) have stepped up either. Hopefully one day...
But for current favorite foods for Christmas day we do a pretty traditional ham dinner. Along with the ham we have cheesy potatoes, sweet potatoes, calico beans (my hubby's family recipe), broccoli salad (my family recipe), fruit salad, crudité and sliced cheese & rolls. My hubby's family live for their pecan pie at Thanksgiving & Christmas so I always make a homemade (the crust too) pecan pie and usually one other dessert that changes each year. I think I'm going to make pineapple upside down cupcakes this year. Other relatives bring other desserts too.
We eat well people!! Lol
But a really fun food tradition each year is when my Mom and I make several food gifts for others. The pic above shows the reindeer cookies my daughter loves to help make and some of our faux turtles. The reindeer cookies are so easy as you take a roll of store bought sugar cookie dough (in the log) and once you take off the wrapper squish the log into a sort of triangle shape and slice into cookies and bake. The triangle shape turns into the reindeer face shape. Frost with store bought frosting or homemade. Decorate with mini m&m's for eyes, larger m&m's for nose (we like to do a lot of red for Rudolph and my daughter likes blue so they look cold!) and break up pretzels for antlers and push all on while frosting still wet then let set.
Faux turtles are very easy as well. You just need small pretzels (we use Xmas shape), rolos and pecans. Put a rolo on each pretzel then bake at 250* for 3-5 mins just until starting to melt and take out and place a pecan on top of each one and let set. You can toast your pecans first too for added flavor.
These photos are from last year and off my phone so sorry not as clear. I will take some better camera photos this year when I do a kind of holiday house tour. This is my kitchen during the mess my Mom and I make - we have fun!!
This year we're also going to make mini holiday loaves of bread to give away with chocolate covered spoons (for tea time, cocoa, coffee etc). I also make my homemade sugared pecans that I'm known for and folks even give me back their tins each year to make sure they get more! Lol But that's a whole recipe post in itself so stay tuned in the future.
Holiday foods and eating are just the best, isn't it?
Linking up for Blogmas day 5 with Sandra Diary of a SAHM