In our family the Christmas dinner dessert was anticipated with such excitement. Whether young or old, we knew that when the dining room lights were dimmed, it was time for the presentation of the magnificent flaming plum pudding.
Green bean hot dish! Also meatballs.
Christmas—pork and sauerkraut, with cranberries on the side.
Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows for Thanksgiving. It’s the marshmallows.
My favorite holiday is Christmas and my favorite food is korv (Swedish potato sausage). My dad gave me his mother’s recipe about thirty years ago, written as part of a letter he sent to me. It is the only letter he ever wrote to me and I still have it.
Since then, almost every year, three families from Faith Covenant Church in Farmington Hills, Michigan, gather to make up to 150 pounds of korv. Oh the fun of peeling, shredding, mixing, and stuffing! One of my grandsons asked me this summer if we will make korv this year. The tradition continues.
Jeannine Lawson McFadyen
Whole barbecue lamb on a spit. The Serbian side of the family roasted one of these for each Orthodox holiday growing up. I can still see all my uncles standing around the lamb daring each other to eat the eyes (a “delicacy”). One year I took the dare. Lamb eyes taste like caviar. Just make sure not to chew.
Pecan pie, Velveta and rotel tomato dip with Fritos (Texas!), sweet potato casserole with pecans and brown sugar (no marshmallows). For a variety of reasons there were a number of holidays where we ate at fast food restaurants. We laughed about it then and they’re some of our family’s favorite memories now.
My sister’s andouille jalapeño stuffing for Thanksgiving. Comfort food with a kick!
Jennifer McDonald Gillan
My fondest food memories are of my mom’s Swedish meatballs at our Christmas Eve smorgasbord—about the size of ping pong balls, tender meat, browned to perfection with the subtle hint of allspice. I grew up eating them with ketchup but, in my adult years, have come to enjoy them with Swedish lingonberries.
Iron Mountain, Michigan
Roast beef at Christmas. My grandpa would slow-roast it all morning, and I loved to watch him slice it up. Plus, any medium for getting horseradish to my mouth is so good!
My favorite holiday food is
schnecken (cinnamon buns), which my sister-in-law makes every Christmas. It’s delicious but, more importantly, I loved the looks on my sons’ faces each year when it was brought to the table—and the creative bargaining that ensued when they were told just how many they were allowed.