The kitchen is the heart of the home, and it’s the perfect place to share cherished stories and create new ones. We might not be able to celebrate the holidays in person with our families, and that makes it even more special to carry on some of these traditions, the best that we can.
What makes your family unique? A lot of things, we’re sure! If you’re like many out there, you know a bit about your ancestry and use the Internet to learn more or maybe even tried a testing kit. Still, living relatives might just be the greatest – and most joyous — source for ancestral stories, food traditions, and family lore.
As we celebrate this year in non-traditional ways, it’s enticing to think about how to bring your family traditions into the mix.
And we have some ideas!
Prepare a Recipe that is Connected to your Family’s Ancestors
Gnocchi is a traditional Italian dish with considerable variation in recipes and names across different regions. This recipe is a nod to the traditional, kicked up a notch with a mouthwatering sauce made with Italian chicken sausage, fire roasted tomatoes, and green pepper.
Tandoori is one of Northern India’s most popular dishes, and for good reason. The yogurt-marinated chicken is cooked over hot coals in a special clay oven called a tandoor. Traditionally, whole chickens are used, but this recipe also works well with thighs, boneless breasts, or drumsticks. While the delicious smoky flavor from the tandoor is hard to beat, you can also get great results using your home oven or grill.
Serve Up Your Family’s Traditional Holiday Foods
It’s warming to remember helping to prepare the food for celebrations and to remember the food and to remember who taught you. Hold these memories as you grate, stir, mix, and cook.
Thanksgiving is a time to stop and be grateful – and to eat! Every family has stories – and even if the tales have been told, for what seems like, one hundred times, tell them again. It’s how we keep them alive.
For a smaller crowd, you might want to scale down your main dish and consider this beautiful Turkey Pot Pie (shown above) - a recipe that the family will love as much as Thanksgiving. If you’re going traditional for your Thanksgiving meal, this recipe works perfectly with your turkey leftovers.
There is no better combination than Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar and bread. Shape it like a Christmas tree and you have the most amazing Holiday appetizer of all-time. Don’t miss making this super simple, super yummy, show stopping recipe this season.
Use the Good Stuff
Do you have something in your kitchen, a special tool, serving dish, or utensil, that was gifted to you or one you inherited? Remembering these details can be the secret ingredient to making your meal extra special.
A frittata or quiche makes a wonderful side dish, and will be great as a warm breakfast or lunch, as well. This frittata recipe can be made in a cast-iron skillet, a kitchen staple that gets better with age and use.
Adapt to Please
Don’t simply forgo your family favorites because of dietary preferences. With a little twist on tradition, most dishes can be adapted to be lower carb, vegetarian, gluten-free, and others. Consider making substitutions or modifications when preparing your family favorites. And be sure to note the changes. The handwritten (or typed!) notes become part of your family’s eating evolution.
Food brings us together, even when we are apart. Preserving the stories connected to the food we enjoy is a wonderful way to bring extra joy into the holidays.