All of our cookbooks focus on heirloom recipes. And what holiday has more heirloom family food stories than Christmas? So we thought we’d share some of our own family’s traditional holiday recipes. These are what made our Christmas Eves special as we were growing up.
Every Christmas Eve, Josh’s mother serves clam chowder and cornbread. Before the meal she serves a chopped Italian salad with many cheeses, sliced Italian meats, shrimp, and peppers with a olive oil, garlic, vinegar dressing. After the soup and bread, the platter of Xmas cookies would be served. (They were not TOUCHED before that night). They would all have a glass of champagne (tiny for the kids). The dog and the cat would be allowed in for 1 tablespoon each of the bubbly and many hugs until they begged to be let out into the cold nite again!!!! Then the whole family would trudge through the snow to Christmas Eve Mass.
Jackie’s Christmas Eve Corn Bread
1 cup roasted corn meal
1 cup flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2/ cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
7/8 cup buttermilk
Cream sugar and shortening. Add egg, milk and mix. Then stir in the dry ingredients
Grease an 8″ x 8″ pan
Bake in oven at 425 for 25 minutes
Clam Chowder for a family of 4
2 cups cooked diced potatoes, peeled
1 cup fine chop celery
1 cup fine chop onion
3/4 cup butter
pinch of white pepper
1/4 t. dried leaf thyme
1/3 cup flour more if you want it thicker
16 ounces chop clams
16 ounce clam juice
2 cup hot milk
1/2 t. parsley flakes
salt to taste
Saute celery and onion together.
Add pepper, thyme and flour….do not brown
Add clams and juice, slowly, stirring.
Heat until thickened
Reduce heat, slowly add milk
Whisk until smooth
Add potatoes, parelsy, salt
Heat but do not boil
Christmas Eve at Brent’s grandmother’s house was a 4 hour grazing festival rather than a sit-down meal. Each holiday treat was always served in the same platter each year and placed in the exact same lay out on the table. They’d eat until they couldn’t hold any more then unwrap gifts. Then they would eat some more. When we asked Edith to share some of her Christmas Eve recipes, she hand-wrote them just like a true Southern lady should.
Hint: the Ice Box Cookies are probably what made Josh fall in love with Brent
Tell us a little more about your holiday traditional meals in the comment section below!