Monday, December 10, 2007

It Wouldn't Be Christmas Without It

Every year at Christmas Hub's Mom goes into a cooking frenzy like I am sure most other mothers do. Of all the fried chicken and mixed rice and clam chowder that she makes, Hubs likes the custard the best. No worries, she makes LOTS of it. Enough to eat after dinner and enough for everyone to take home. But, this year, the parents-in-law are headed to Okinawa over the Christmas weekend. Poor Hubs, that means no custard!!

So, in all my let's make the holidays the best they can be full of emotion-ness, I decide to tackle making custard from scratch last week. I followed the recipe exactly and although it looked fine, it didn't taste fine AT ALL. I couldn't even pretend to like it and ended up just throwing it all out. I could try it all again, but instead I went to the grocery store and got a mix and refrigerate box and now, it is all whipped up and just chilling in the fridge waiting for Bailey to get home so we can taste test it together.

Give me another few days and I might work up the courage to try it from scratch again, but right now I need to get that bad taste out of my mouth before I even think about trying again.

What about you? What kind of foods mean Christmas to you?


Gina said...

*Excellent topic Trisha* And this is so easy for me to answer! As you know, I come from an extremely traditional Roman Catholic Italian American family. For our family at Christmas time, we always had homemade pasta. Manicotti and homemade spaghetti. Every single year like clock work. A big bowl of Italian sausages just brimming on the table and a huge bowl equally full of meatballs. Homemade from scratch by my aunties and gram's before she passed, god bless her! And the Italian cookie of goodness of course, pizzelles. I even have a freaking pizzelle iron here in Japan! Why? Because my family thought it was an *essential* when I moved so they bought me one, ha ha ha! So long story short, what pops in my mind when I think of Christmas dinner? Honestly homemade pasta, manicotti, meatballs, sauce. Trays upon trays of garlic bread! Pizzelles in stacks upon stacks all over the house! That's what I instantly think of in my heart when I think of Christmas dinner! For 29 or 30 years of living there, that's what it always was. And let's not forget the homemade pies and cheesecakes that were to die for! And my grams had 10 kids. And I have about a zillion cousins, so that house was full of family, laughter and lot's of love! No wonder family is so important to me now, I had a good role model as my family and for that I feel lucky, I really do! : )

When I went to college and met friends who were other then Italian and Catholic (cut me some slack I went to catholic school, from kinder to grade 12, lol, although I did have a lot of Irish friends at the same catholic school though too), I was surprised that some of my friends in uni said, they ate turkey at Christmas too, besides Thanksgiving, hmm. So that was new for me. Now that we live in Japan. I am not sure. We play it by ear every year. This year we are making a spiral honey ham and a roasted chicken and pies and stuff.

Anyway, good topic.

coarse gold girl said...

Fudge, Divinity and Pastry Christmas trees. Which reminds me, I think I'll dig up that recipe for the Pastry Christmas trees and maybe the girls and I can make them together.

My mother always used Christmas as a kind of "experimental" dinner night--although I do remember meat fondue for a few of them. I have this intense fear of hot oil though, so don't think we will be doing that! I am actually, gulp, getting into the KFC Christmas tradition of Japan. Easy peasy. And I am going all out on Thanksgiving instead--a purely American holiday, celebrated with all American foods!

I still choke on that tasteless fluff they call Christmas cake here though!


Claire said...

Lots and lots of things with dried fruit in. British Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, and mince pies are all stuffed chock-full of raisins, sultanas, currants, and mixed peel. When I was little I hated raisins, and would refuse to eat Christmas cake - I'd peel the marzipan and hard royal icing off the outside and just scarf that down. Now I have to make my own cake, and it's a labour of love, made a month or two in advance and fed every few days with a tablespoon or two of brandy. By the time it's finished, one slice will put a small child to sleep ;-)

I'm not making one this year, though, as we're going back to the UK. Mum has promised to make us one instead, but the kids and I will ice and decorate it. We'll have the full turkey dinner too, with roast potatoes, roast parsnips, brussels sprouts, stuffing, bread sauce, and gravy ... yum.