I think for many people Christmas involves a large dinner surrounded by family and/or friends. My Christmas always involved a huge smorgasbord of food, typically at my grandparent’s house (before they passed away). The menu always seemed to remain the same, except the one year with the spicy lasagna that no one could eat. For the most part the menu is still the same, even as recent as last year. Here is what is normally on the menu.
Turkey and/or ham
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Green bean casserole
Sweet potato bake
Olives, pickles, carrots
Pumpkin pie and/or apple pie
It is actually a very similar set up as our Thanksgiving. The last few years it seems like more people on my side of the family are wanting to try something new. A few years ago I made our entire meal, from scratch. I added a couple of new things like stuffed mushrooms and brussel sprouts as a side. It all turned out delicious, but spending literally all day in the kitchen and stressing at the last minute trying to get it all together was a bit overwhelming for me. The following year, I went back to our traditional menu.
This year there has been talk of not wanting turkey or ham at all, though we did get a free turkey from Chris’ work that is waiting patiently for it’s debut. I still expect some of the sides that I make to still be expected on the menu; greenbean casserole and stuffing. You can find the green bean casserole recipe at this site, which is not my own recipe not so traditional green bean casserole.
As for the rest, no one has decided anything. I imagine we will do a potluck sort of theme like we did for Thanksgiving (everyone bring a dish). It just makes it simpler and less costly for one person.
Jenn’s Homemade Stuffing Recipe
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 celery stalks, cut in half length wise then chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
2 teaspoons ground sage
2 teaspoons dry thyme
2 bags of bread cubes (you can use pepperidge farm already seasoned or find unseasoned in your local bakery area) [16-20 cups]
4 cups chicken broth (I use low sodium)
1 box (or bag) of uncle Ben’s long grain wild rice [cook without seasoning packet but according to directions]
Parsley for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Melt the butter in a large pan on medium heat, once it is melted fully add the onion and celery. I let it cook, stirring frequently for close to 15 minutes, until they are softened to my liking.
- Turn off the heat to the pan, [you can use a mixing bowl for this part if your pan is too small] add the bread cubes to the pan (or bowl), then slowly add the chicken broth folding everything in carefully, do not over soak.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs
- Add eggs and cooked rice to the stuffing mixture, stirring to ensure even coating of the eggs. (Add seasonings here if you used the unseasoned bread cubes. You could also substitute the rice seasoning packet as the seasoning if you don’t have any on hand)
- Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Cook at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
What is your traditional Christmas menu? Let me know in the comments!