It’s nearly December and very soon it will be Christmas! If there is one thing I love about Christmas, apart from celebrating Christ’s birth, it’s my childhood stocking that withstood the test of time. I still remember my surprise and delight when on Christmas morning I found Kisses and a 5-dollar bill in it.
However, my fondest memory of Christmas isn’t really the chocolates or dollar bills, instead it’s the sumptuous Christmas dinners my Mom painstakingly prepared for the whole family.
Mom always made sure that her Christmas dinner was the year’s crème de la crème. As I watched her prepare the family’s Christmas dinners for over the past 24 years, before I moved out and started my own family, I realized that my Mom had no special recipe, but each Christmas dinner turned out special because she mixed her love into it.
My Mom’s Christmas Dinners:
Poultry. There’s no cooking etiquette against serving Turkey twice in a year’s time, is there? Thanksgiving turkey is different from a Christmas turkey, although they can taste the same. Mom always insisted on a turkey because of the size of our family however, if your own family objects, chicken or duck can make a tasty substitute. You can try some garlic hot sauce with it.
Quick Tip: To cook meat faster, use meat tenderizing marinade.
Bread and Pastries. Cookies, cakes, and all those yummy treats that children love were on Mom’s table and should be on your Christmas dinner table, too.
Ham. Cooked or sweet ham is an ideal Christmas dinner treat; in fact, Christmas is never complete without it.
Fruit. Mom is half-Asian, and as most Asians believe, fruit on the dinner table during Christmas, especially on New Year’s Eve, ushers in good luck. We never challenged her beliefs because fruit and salads are perfect for any occasion anyway.
Christmas Dishes From Around the World
For countries celebrating Christmas, Christmas dinners are never complete without a dish or two of the following:
Australia = roast turkey, grilled chicken in barbeque salsa, ham; cake, pudding, gingerbread, salads
Canada = roast turkey, fruitcake, gingerbread, candy canes
Finland = ham, mustard, casserole (vegetables, liver)
France = smoked salmon, oysters, roasted chicken
Germany = potato salad, ham (smoked or corned), sausages, baked apples
Hungary = roast goose, roast duck or turkey, stuffed cabbage
Jamaica = ham, chicken, goat in curry sauce, fruit cake, rice, peas
Philippines = roasted pig or chicken, pasta, fruits, salads
UK = roasted turkey, potatoes, brussel sprouts, pudding pie.
Italy = preferably fish (Most Italians abstain from eating red meat on Christmas).
So what will be on your table this Christmas? Regardless of the menu you’ll whip up, just make sure you have enough love and food to go around. Happy Holidays.