With the holidays approaching, my mind is turning to food. One of our most closely held family traditions is the food that is served at holiday meals. In anticipation of being ready for Thanksgiving next week, I bought our turkey yesterday. In addition to turkey, I’ll make my mom’s pork sausage stuffing recipe. All of my boys really love it, and if I did not make it, I’m sure I’d hear about it. Then, there’s gourmet potatoes. These are known in this part of the country as cheesy potatoes. This recipe is from a friend of my mom’s and I cannot remember having a holiday dinner, either growing up or now as an adult, without them. Having white cheddar cheese, onion, sour cream, and lots of butter they are delicious but decidedly not good for one’s waistline. Not all of my boys like these, but we still make them. Then, there’s chinese cabbage salad. This is made with Napa Cabbage and hot bacon dressing. Yum, Yum, Yummy! I cannot seem to make a batch of this salad big enough to satisfy everyone’s need for seconds or thirds. My husband makes sweet potatoes with brown sugar. He also makes delicious apple pies made with apples from our own orchard. And, we serve our home-made cider as well.
I love making special food anytime of year. Two days ago, I made a batch of homemade chicken noodle soup with orzo instead of egg noodles. It was great for lunch yesterday or a light dinner the night before.
Some of my favorite desserts come to mind during the holidays as well. One is fudgy pecan cake. This is a flourless cake and very rich but elegant and a crowd pleaser. It’s been a recipe I’ve turned to again and again.
Then, there will be lots of cookie making! This year, I am trying to get all my holiday shopping done so that I can spend time baking in December. I’ve made quite a bit of progress! So, I’m excited to have time to put my new Kitchenaid Mixer to good use!
There will be some candy making. I think I like the candy making best of all. In year’s past I’ve made apple cider caramels (shown below), peppermint patties, and homemade peanut butter cups. Cinnamon taffy also got made one year but wasn’t that much of a hit, so it has never been made again.
Last year I made Cherry Bounce, a vodka infused with cherries. And the year before that, I had a lemon tree that produced enough lemons for me to make our own Limoncello! Both make great gifts that seem appreciated by the recipients. But, my lemon tree died and our cherry harvest was low this year, so sadly there won’t be any homemade aperitifs.
Enjoy the holidays and all the special treat that come with the celebrations! I am planning to, as you can see! What are some of your favorite holiday treats and why are they special to you?