Turkey on Thanksgiving, ham on Christmas and Easter. These are the top three we all know, but there’s got to be more. I love turkey, but if it wasn’t for Thanksgiving I don’t think I’d ever throw one in the oven for a meal. Sadly, I don’t even know why. Every family should have at least one traditional holiday meal to pass down from generation to generation. If you already have one, you’re a step ahead of many.
So where do you start? How do you come up with a meal that relatives who aren’t even born yet will be enjoying 100 years from now? Talk about pressure. Keep in mind this whole “creating a holiday meal tradition” will only have at best, a 3% success rate of surviving a full century. If you can squeeze twenty years out of the same meal on the same holiday each year, I think that constitutes a victory. So, let’s get started.
First let’s pick “your” holiday. If you want to tackle one of the top three, be my guest. This will greatly depend on how your family currently feels about their annual turkey and ham dinners. If this is a problem choose another holiday. A few to consider in no particular order might be New Year’s Eve and Day, July 4th, Memorial Day, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Groundhog Day (South Carolina only).
As far as the meal itself, think of something you’ve made many times before the family loves. Has there ever been a time someone has said, “When are we gonna have that great Spaghetti and Meatballs again?” Bingo, there you go, your first potential holiday meal. The key word being “meal’. You ALWAYS need to include other items in your meal. In this case, possibly some killer garlic cheese bread and one of your famous deserts. The reason you need to do this is simple. Many years after you’re gone and your traditional holiday meal has taken on a life of its own, your future unknown relatives will be fighting over who gets to bring great great granddad Tom’s famous meatballs.
Note: When preparing your new holiday traditional meal always remember to have at least two other people in the kitchen watching you at all times. These need to be people much younger than you who have many years ahead of them to pass the recipe on.
Have a great holiday and let me know what you ate!