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Christmas & Christmas Eve Celebrations

Christmas & Christmas Eve Celebrations
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  • How do you celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas?
    Do you celebrate on Christmas Eve & open gifts on Christmas?
    20%
    6
    Do you celebrate on both Christmas Eve & Christmas day?
    57%
    17
    Do you celebrate on Christmas only?
    13%
    4
    Do you celebrate on Christmas eve only?
    3%
    1
    Do you celebrate on Christmas Eve & open gifts?
    7%
    2
    Total votes : 30
  • Christmas & Christmas Eve Celebrations

    Post #1 - December 4th, 2004, 10:53 pm
    Post #1 - December 4th, 2004, 10:53 pm Post #1 - December 4th, 2004, 10:53 pm
    Hi,

    Until very recently, I did not realize when I was small we celebrated Christmas in a German-European fashion. My Dad would buy the tree on Christmas Eve or very close to it. These trees were always in a sad state with maybe a substantial area of missing branches, which our humble decorating had to overcome. Frankly, I thought he was being frugal (ok, cheap) buying his tree at the last minute, always forcing us to make-do. Whereas my friends had their trees early, in pristine condition and wonderfully decorated for several weeks.

    I then read an account where a German family would put the children to bed early on Christmas Eve. The parents would bring in the tree, decorate it and arrange presents underneath. The children would come upon this lovely spectacle in their living room bright and early Christmas morning. If only I understood my parents were doing a Christmas wonder just for us.

    In my immediate family, we still don't get too carried away on Christmas Eve. We are firmly in the preparing for Christmas until we leave for midnight mass then off to bed. Since we have no resident little ones to please, we celebrate all day Christmas though not too early!

    Through the years, I have visited friends on their Christmas celebrations, where I have found a variety to expressions:

    - I have friend who has a wonderful dinner on Christmas Eve inviting close friends and family. They will go to mass and return home to open gifts. Christmas Day is anti-climatic mostly spent lounging around and eating leftovers.
    - My relatives in Mexico celebrate on Christmas Eve though Christmas day is quiet and leisurely. I learned this by showing up very early Christmas morning in Puebla expecting to celebrate only to learn they were effectively done.
    - Another friend is Dutch-American married into an Italian family, which has a considerable seafood feast on Christmas Eve. She prepares rib roast dinner for Christmas day with all the trimmings.
    - In my other life in the USSR, there was no official (wink) Christmas celebration. New Year's Eve (Christmas in the Russian Orthodox calendar) was a family time. At midnight (or was it just before), Gorbachov or whoever was in power gave a speech. At midnight, fireworks would explode all over Moscow. People would raise a toast to the New Year, then run to answer the phone from friends and family wishing "New year, new luck!" They sat down to dinner under the gaze of a decorated (Christmas) tree, which one could easily buy from December 23rd on. Gifts were opened. Nobody went to bed any earlier than 4 AM and slept well into the day.
    - My English friend, who serves steak on Thanksgiving, serves Turkey on Christmas because that's how she always celebrated.
    - My Aunt and cousins eat cabbage rolls and pierogi, then play cards for the rest of the evening on Christmas Eve until it is time for mass.
    - In Czech Republic, carp is the preferred meal for Christmas Eve.
    - My best friends are Polish. They celebrated a meatless meal of mostly white foods for the Christmas Eve Wigilia. On Christmas day, they had another feast featuring Krakus ham.

    I created a poll with all the permutations on how one can celebrate Christmas. I hope you will not only participate in the poll, please comment how you do celebrate Christmas.

    My family doesn't drink very much. Rum does not ring our bell, though vanilla certainly does. I have been making the following Eggnog for thirty years:

    2 eggs well beaten
    1 can Eagle brand milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 quart milk
    1/2 pint whipping cream-whipped
    nutmeg

    DIRECTIONS: Combine eggs, Eagle brand milk, vanilla and salt until thoroughly blended. Gradually blend in milk. Gently fold in whipped cream. Sprinkle nutmeg to taste.

    Merry Christmas!
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #2 - December 5th, 2004, 10:46 am
    Post #2 - December 5th, 2004, 10:46 am Post #2 - December 5th, 2004, 10:46 am
    C2,

    We celebrate, eat a lot and open gifts on both Xmas eve and Xmas day.

    Local relations get together on the eve; on the day, it's just The Wife and kids.

    This year, on Xmas day, I'm thinking of instituting a new family tradition: the Italian fish extravaganza. I have been making notes on posts here and on CH, and I plan to do some kind of stew, but don't have the recipe yet.

    Incidentally, I talked The Wife into putting up the tree last week, and she balked, but I pointed out to her that you had said you kept the tree up for a full year, twice! That was, I must assume, an artificial tree, no, or did a need to celebrate Xmas every day of the year override common fire safety practices? :lol:

    Hammond
  • Post #3 - December 5th, 2004, 11:46 am
    Post #3 - December 5th, 2004, 11:46 am Post #3 - December 5th, 2004, 11:46 am
    The party of celebrants is limited to my brother, my mother, and myself. My father (deceased) notwithstanding, the only addition to the party over the years has been the occasional girlfriend of mine. At any rate, since my brother's birth (he is three years my junior), the three of us have never been apart at this time of year.

    We are cranked into high gear with wrapping one another's gifts on Christmas Eve. When my brother and I were still both living at home with my parents, Midnight Mass was de rigueur, but that is no longer the case. Anymore, "celebration" on this Eve perhaps means sharing a delivered pizza and raiding the liquor cabinet. But that is much later, after the gift wrapping is out of the way. There may be a rented DVD to watch along with our Tom&Jerrys. Otherwise, we just cool out.

    On Christmas Day, we take a slow and leisurely approach to the gift opening. Coffee and pastries usually accompany the event. The balance of the day is spent preparing Christmas Dinner. This is really the only meal of the year that we take in a formal manner.

    Erik M.
  • Post #4 - December 5th, 2004, 11:53 am
    Post #4 - December 5th, 2004, 11:53 am Post #4 - December 5th, 2004, 11:53 am
    Hammond wrote:I pointed out to her that you had said you kept the tree up for a full year, twice! That was, I must assume, an artificial tree, no, or did a need to celebrate Xmas every day of the year override common fire safety practices?


    I guess you suspect a knee jerk reaction to my Dad's lateness is why I kept a tree up for a year? No. A bit of family history. When my Opa was a teenager working in the shipyards of Hamburg, he and his friend Herman hid away on a ship bound for South America. They did not reveal themselves to the Captain until they were past the last European port. He threatened to throw them overboard. When he learned they did ship maintenance, they were assigned duties to compensate for their expenses. I imagine before leaving Hamburg, he sent a note to his parents advising of his departure. I really don't know the timeline, all I know is his Mother did not take the (live) Christmas tree down after the holiday. She maintained it until he came home and they could celebrate together. My Opa returned to Hamburg on the exact same ship he departed on; just many months later. My Dad was also gone for extended periods of time, which was one reason why our (artificial) tree stayed up twice for year.

    I haven't started our tree yet. :roll:
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - December 5th, 2004, 4:32 pm
    Post #5 - December 5th, 2004, 4:32 pm Post #5 - December 5th, 2004, 4:32 pm
    How does a Jewish family celebrate Christmas? Well, for us, the cliche of Chinese food and a night at the movies was a tried-and-true tradition. (Unless Chanukah overlapped).

    Early dinner at Pekin House or Kow Kow and a movie was the staple of my childhood. It wasn't until I went to college that I discovered that this was pretty normal for Jews around the country. I thought that it was only a West Rogers Park tradition.

    Best,
    EC
  • Post #6 - December 8th, 2004, 9:46 pm
    Post #6 - December 8th, 2004, 9:46 pm Post #6 - December 8th, 2004, 9:46 pm
    Hi,

    While researching something this evening, I found an article on the Christmas food traditions in the Philippines.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #7 - December 12th, 2004, 12:44 pm
    Post #7 - December 12th, 2004, 12:44 pm Post #7 - December 12th, 2004, 12:44 pm
    ________Vigilia di Weihnachten________


    Part One: Why the Christmas Colours are Green and Red



    I am the product of a mixed marriage: my father's family is Italian, from Campania and southern Lazio, and my mother's family is primarily German, from Alsace and Prussia.* For a variety of reasons, when I was a child, our connexions to the Italian side of the family were extremely close and constant and consequently virtually all holidays were celebrated all'Italiana. Eventually, however, and then in stages, the total orientation of all holidays to my paternal grandparents relaxed, first with their moving out of their old, large house in Jersey City, and then with the death of my grandmother some five years later. The first change in the pattern of holiday celebrations involved Thanksgiving, which came to be celebrated at our house and transformed from the Italo-American hybrid into a much more traditional and focussed 'American' feast. The second step was my parents' decision to have Christmas Day dinner at our house and with that my mother converted the main part of the meal back to what she had grown up with, namely a German feast. In this way, there came to be a sort of 'feestelijke apartheid' which I have maintained over the many years since I moved away from my family: Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and Easter involve Italian feasts, Christmas Day is primarily German and Thanksgiving American; New Year's Day chez Amata and Antonius varies quite a bit, from Italian to North-Carolinian to German to Belgian. We also observe the Feast of the Epiphany, albeit privately.

    This division of the holidays actually works quite nicely insofar as the two main ancestral cultures come to the fore on the holidays that within them have traditionally been most important. For my Italian grandparents and still among all my relatives in Italy, Easter is without question the primary holiday of the year and after that comes Christmas Eve, which involves a grand communal meal and overshadows a festive but relatively more sedate Christmas Day celebration. On the other hand, in my mother's family, where the traditions of my very German grandmother reigned supreme, Christmas Eve was not focussed so much on feasting as on other Christmas activities, most notably putting up the tree; the real feast and without doubt the grandest holiday celebration of the year came on Christmas Day.

    So then, for most of my life now, Christmas has had this dual character, Italian and German: Christmas Eve is a night of 'strict fasting' in the best southern Italian tradition, that is, with a seafood feast; Christmas Day usually involves an Italian element, namely an early lunch of some manner of fresh, stuffed pasta (though I suppose one could call them Maultaschen), but the main celebration is a German feast featuring roast goose.

    The two ethnicities also come together nicely in the realm of holiday decorations: the Neapolitans are the champions of the presebë (standard Italian presepio), the crèche scene with manger, figurines, and more or less complex and grandiose backgrounds; the Germans have given us the Christmas Tree and especially the Alsatians take back seat to none in the energy spent on this beautiful symbol that brings together pagan and Christian elements.† The Campanian crèche and the Teutonic Tannenbaum, in the best of all possible worlds, stand side by side.

    The Christmas colours are, of course, green and red. You ask why? Well, those are the colous of the Italian flag and so too of the arms and flag of Alsace.

    Fröhliche Weihnachten! / Buon Natale!

    Antonius

    * Of course, neither area is part of Germany these days; Alsace is in France and old Prussia is mostly in modern day Poland, with a part belonging to Russia.

    † The first historical records of the practice of erecting a Christmas tree appear to be from Alsace in the early 17th century; this is, of course, not to say that the practice necessarily started there -- though it may have -- but it does surely reflect the Alsatians' fondness for the custom.
    Last edited by Antonius on December 8th, 2005, 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #8 - December 12th, 2004, 8:27 pm
    Post #8 - December 12th, 2004, 8:27 pm Post #8 - December 12th, 2004, 8:27 pm
    Antonius wrote: Christmas Day usually involves an Italian element, namely an early lunch of some manner of fresh, stuffed pasta


    At the Fisher house our Christmas day too starts with an "Italian element," otherwise known as homemade pizza for breakfast. I can't recall how it got started but I suspect Ed was involved somehow :) .

    I grew up with Christmas breakfast of my mother's braided round coffee cakes, frosted with a confectioner's sugar glaze and decorated with candied fruits arranged to look like holly leaves and berries. (I've reduced the chaos at Christmas but kept the coffee cakes by instead baking them at Easter and decorating them with jelly beans cut and arranged to look like tulips.)

    There were three other Christmas staples, one from my mother's side and two from my father's. Although my mother grew up in Iran, her roots were in New Jersey, and her traditions included scalloped oysters. Lacking a source of fresh oysters, which I did not get to taste until I was well into my 20's, we made them following a Joy of Cooking recipe that we essentially reduced to canned oysters, milk, saltines, and butter. Under the right circumstances, it still feels like comfort food to me. My father grew up on a Wyoming ranch. His holiday dinners always included rutabaga, just diced and boiled, and creamed onions. I never made the creamed onions, and no longer try to foist canned oysters on my skeptical family, but rutabaga is always on my holiday table, and always just diced and boiled.
  • Post #9 - December 13th, 2004, 3:07 pm
    Post #9 - December 13th, 2004, 3:07 pm Post #9 - December 13th, 2004, 3:07 pm
    ________Vigilia di Weihnachten________


    Part Two: What's good with the goose...



    As mentioned above, on Christmas Day we generally eat an essentially German meal but, given the fact that we are a small family and typically don't have massive numbers of relatives visiting for the holiday, it's a fairly restrained but very tasty little feast we have. The main course typically consists of something along these lines:

    - Gebratene Gans: roasted goose.
    - Bratkartoffeln: German fried potatoes with onion, fried in goose fat.
    - Rotkohl: German style red cabbage.
    - Fisolen mit Knofel = Grüne Bohnen mit Knoblauch: green beans sautéed with olive oil and garlic.

    Here's a picture from a few years ago, recently converted to digital format (the quality of the image could be better but this will have to do). Please note carefully the choice of colours that appear on the plate.


    Image


    Fröhliche Weihnachten! / Buon Natale!


    Antonius

    P.S. Gary: many thanks for the help with the picture.
    Last edited by Antonius on December 8th, 2005, 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #10 - December 14th, 2004, 1:04 pm
    Post #10 - December 14th, 2004, 1:04 pm Post #10 - December 14th, 2004, 1:04 pm
    ________Vigilia di Weihnachten________


    Part Three: A Plenitude of Piscine Privation


    An old proverbial expression in Sessano dialect:
    Le ate feste addó se sia, ma Natale a casa tía.
    'The other holidays spend however, but Christmas without family never.'

    When I was a child, the Christmas Eve feast was prepared by my grandparents with help from some of the younger members of the family; the menu went something like this, though I know I'm leaving some things out:

    Merenda
    pizzelle fritte di cavolfiori ed alici (small balls of pizza dough deep fried with cauliflower or anchovy fillings)

    Antipasti:
    'nzalata 'e rinforzo (verdure sott'aceto) (preserved vegetable salad)
    olive
    insalata di sconciglio ('scungillë', that is, conch salad)

    Primi:
    vermicelli con le alici (thin spaghetti with anchovies, garlic and hot pepper)
    vermicelli al sugo di pomodoro e aragosta (thin spaghetti with lobster tails cooked in tomato sauce)
    When living in Belgium, I would travel down to spend the holidays with my relatives in Italy. These are two other seafood and pasta dishes that some family members make:
    spaghetti alle vongole
    laganelle o tagliatelle al sugo di seppie (noodles with cuttlefish in tomato sauce)

    Secondi
    baccalà in padella con patate, olive e pomodori (salt cod cooked in a pan with olives, capers, tomatoes and sliced potatoes)
    baccalà fritto in pastella (fried salt cod in batter)
    fritto misto di pesce (pesciolini, calamari, gamberi) servito con limone e salsa di pomodoro 'al diavolo' (mixed fry of smelts, squid, shrimp)
    capitone arrostito (roasted eel)
    pesce al forno (a baked fish of some sort, variable treatments)

    Contorni
    broccoli rape
    cavolfiori

    Dolci
    struffoli
    torrone
    biscotti
    mostacciuoli
    frutti

    Given the small size of our Christmas Eve gatherings in Chicago, we have tended to limit the menu to something along the following lines over recent years:
    Merenda
    pizzelle
    Antipasti
    melanzane alla scapece
    insalata di tonno e fagioli
    insalata di finocchio ed arance
    Primo:
    vermicelli con le alici
    Secondi (two or more of the following)
    calamari imbottiti
    gamberi fritti
    pesce al forno
    baccalà in padella con patate, olive e pomodori
    Contorni
    broccoli rape
    insalata mista

    Fröhliche Weihnachten! / Buon Natale!
    Last edited by Antonius on December 8th, 2005, 12:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #11 - December 14th, 2004, 1:47 pm
    Post #11 - December 14th, 2004, 1:47 pm Post #11 - December 14th, 2004, 1:47 pm
    For most of my married life, celebrations of Christmas are very subdued. As we are childless and I have worked in hospitals, I would give my supervisory staff off Christmas Day and run three shifts by myself. After that, I would collapse in bed and not return to work until January 2nd.

    At the same time, my wife was in TOY retailing and after dealing with two minor riots (over Cabbage Patch and Tickle Me Elmo), she would join me for the third shift at the hospital. We would put out a nice spread for the unappreciated (and often forgotten 3rd shift workers).

    After 20 years, you would think that we would have developed at least some traditions but we haven't. However, this year, we are heading out to Elko, NV for the holidays. Why? I am not sure but it should be really different.

    Definitely the least exciting of the bunch.
  • Post #12 - December 14th, 2004, 8:53 pm
    Post #12 - December 14th, 2004, 8:53 pm Post #12 - December 14th, 2004, 8:53 pm
    Fun thread!

    My family has Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. My mom makes ham, roast beef, or cornish hens. This year will be cornish hens with an apple juice & lemon glaze. It's a low-key event since we've always lived pretty far from other relatives. When my sister and I were kids, we always had to go to the 8am Christmas mass and then open presents afterward.

    One year, we spent Christmas in California with my Mexican relatives. They do las Posadas and a different family hosts a party each night leading up to Christmas.
  • Post #13 - December 15th, 2004, 1:22 pm
    Post #13 - December 15th, 2004, 1:22 pm Post #13 - December 15th, 2004, 1:22 pm
    Antonius, I must confess, the proverb notwithstanding, I'd rather eat at your house. (A Neapolitan proverb simplifying the one from Sessano: meglio pane e cepolla casa toia ca gallina e storione casa 'e l'ate. Better bread and onion at your own house than a guinea hen and sturgeon at some one else's.)

    The last few Christmases I've set up half of my kitchen as a mini-friggitoria (fry house). I prepare various vegetable choices (a zucchini fritter, egglpant ball, rapini, small arancini and potato croquettes) and a few fish options (eel, something out of the smallest fish I can find (anchovy, sardine, smelt), and frittelle di Natale (baccala)). The eel and baccala initially scare the white people, but I've made plenty of converts, too. When every one's nibbled and had enough Prosecco (or Fiano di Avellino) we sit down to zuppa di pesce (calamari, seppie, clams and several fish: sea bass, grouper, porgy or bream) over friselle, but offer pasta for the incurious (spaghettini from Martelli).

    I've been trying to figure out how to make good pasta cu li sarde (bucatini with a sauce of fennel, sardines, onion, sultanas...) instead of the zuppa di pesce, but I'm not ready for prime time yet. If any one has suggestions....
  • Post #14 - December 15th, 2004, 8:35 pm
    Post #14 - December 15th, 2004, 8:35 pm Post #14 - December 15th, 2004, 8:35 pm
    Choey wrote:... The eel and baccala initially scare the white people, but I've made plenty of converts, too. ...[/qupte]


    Pe sta gente i' aggio sempe dicetto "a carne janca"


    I've been trying to figure out how to make good pasta cu li sarde (bucatini with a sauce of fennel, sardines, onion, sultanas...) instead of the zuppa di pesce, but I'm not ready for prime time yet. If any one has suggestions....



    I've only done this once and wasn't satisfied with the results. It's an interesting recipe that I'm sure can be sublime when executed by a master.

    a cchiu tarde,
    Andogne
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #15 - December 24th, 2004, 10:25 pm
    Post #15 - December 24th, 2004, 10:25 pm Post #15 - December 24th, 2004, 10:25 pm
    Spent today with my brother's family in McHenry.Thought of all of you everytime I saw a place mentioned here.Took Milwaukee Ave. out and passed Burt's Deli which I really want to try.Thanks for mentioning it.Seasons Greetings.
  • Post #16 - December 25th, 2004, 1:06 pm
    Post #16 - December 25th, 2004, 1:06 pm Post #16 - December 25th, 2004, 1:06 pm
    The four of us lunched at the Skokie location of Pita Inn today.I ordered the lamb kabob entree.I don't recall ever having lamb.This was ground lamb spiced and formed into patties.Tasted like beef to me.Accompanied by pita,salad and rice.I liked everything but the lettuce.It was pale lettuce and tasted bitter in a bad way.Washed down with tamarind juice.The others had chicken dishes with soda or coffee.I tried the coffee and thought it was average.I think we are starting a family tradition.
  • Post #17 - December 26th, 2004, 12:13 am
    Post #17 - December 26th, 2004, 12:13 am Post #17 - December 26th, 2004, 12:13 am
    Christmas seems to vary from year to year for me - but that's probably just a factor of the point that I'm at in life. The one pretty consistent factor is that I always spend Christmas Day with my immediate family.

    This year the "Pre-Christmas" Christmas celebrations actually took place on Wednesday with the close friends that comprise the cobbled together family that I share my day-to-day life with. We did a full gift exchange after a dinner of steaming bowls of pho from... some place on Clark, just north of Belmont, if memory serves. We also had a delightful Laurent Perrier Cuvee Rose Brut purchased that evening from Randolph Cellars because.... well, because I was just in the mood for a decent bottle of champagne that night. Did you know that a 1980's vintage Fry Daddy makes an excellent ice bucket in a pinch? Neither did we, but it certainly does.

    Christmas Day dinner with the family today paid homage to our Lugan roots. Lithuanian Kielbasa and pierogis from Bobak's, homemade kugeli made using my great-grandmother's recipe, and bacon buns from The Bridgeport Bakery (after Joe and Franks refused to take a pre-order) - thanks to ReneG for mentioning them in the past. The more I sample the wares from Bobak's, the more I want to go back there.

    Merry Christmas!
    -Pete
  • Post #18 - January 3rd, 2011, 11:58 pm
    Post #18 - January 3rd, 2011, 11:58 pm Post #18 - January 3rd, 2011, 11:58 pm
    HI,

    Orthodox Christmas is this weekend. Are there restaurants who offer a special Christmas dinner for Orthodox observers? Likely candidates are Greek, Russian, Roumanian, Serbian as well as many others. Anything unique from food to how the table is arranged?

    I was in Johnsburg, PA earlier today reading the local paper while eating breakfast. The Orthodox traditions mentioned in the article strongly paralleled those I know from Polish Christmas Eve Wigalia: white tablecloth suggesting baby Jesus clothing, straw tucked under the tablecloth suggesting the manger. I don't have the article in front of me to reference this moment.

    Thanks and Happy New Year!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #19 - December 19th, 2017, 2:33 pm
    Post #19 - December 19th, 2017, 2:33 pm Post #19 - December 19th, 2017, 2:33 pm
    Hi!,

    Mom2 is now 95. Along with Mom1, we will celebrate Wigilia, a traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner.

    I will be cooking Christmas dinner the next day, I decided to buy a prepared meal package for Wigilia from Shop and Save.

    I ordered:
    Breaded fish, I chose the white fish option over carp.

    Red borscht with mushroom dumplings, though there was an option for pastry. Another soup offered was mushroom soup with square noodles.

    Cabbage rolls with mushrooms

    Kraut with mushrooms, though you may have kraut with yellow peas.

    Pierogi with kraut and mushrooms, which happens to be my favorite. Mom2 prefers potato and cheese, which I will buy at the same time.

    Dessert is square noodles with poppy seed, honey and raisins. There is an option for sweet grain pudding called 'Kutia,' which meant nothing to Mom2.

    I will add some sour cream, butter and homemade cookies to round off the meal.

    At $19.99 per person, it seems like a good way to celebrate Wigilia.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #20 - December 19th, 2017, 8:40 pm
    Post #20 - December 19th, 2017, 8:40 pm Post #20 - December 19th, 2017, 8:40 pm
    What a coincidence --- I just learned yesterday from a Polish neighbor about the importance of the Christmas Eve dinner in Polish tradition, and now I know what it's called.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #21 - December 28th, 2017, 8:42 pm
    Post #21 - December 28th, 2017, 8:42 pm Post #21 - December 28th, 2017, 8:42 pm
    Hi,

    The Shop and Save Wigilia package was a success.

    I made one wee mistake in my favor: I ordered the food to be ready on Saturday instead of Christmas Eve. I think I dodged a bullet by going to the store when it was not hectic as Sunday.

    I was not quite sure how food was served for this meal. Fortunately, Cookie Monster returned my phone call to fill in the blanks.

    First course was the beet broth with the thumb sized mushroom filled dumplings. For our order for two people, they provided 3.5 cups of beet broth and 21 dumplings.

    Second course was breaded and fried white fish. Two generous pieces weighing eight ounces each. According to Cookie Monster, they are served with no sauce.

    Third course were mushroom and rice stuffed cabbages with the kraut and mushrooms. Cookie Monster advised these are served on their own plate and not on the recently finished fish plate. There were three cabbage rolls with a combined weight of 30 ounces.

    Fourth course was six sauerkraut and mushroom pierogi. I had six potato pierogi from the Ukrainian church on Army Trail Road. At Cookie Monster's advice, these were served with caramelized onions on top. Per my custom, I added sour cream, too.

    Fifth course was the noodles and poppy seeds. This was 'European sweet,' which is not very sweet in my opinion. Cookie Monster reminded the Polish serve a fruit compote for dessert. I recalled this the moment she said it, but it was too late to make one on short notice.

    This meal for two could feed two people with very strong appetites and four people with relatively lighter appetites.

    If I do this again next year, I would make one change to the order: Instead of mushroom dumplings, I would order the pastry. I had hoped there would be extra pastry to purchase separately. I learned they are made only to accompany this package meal. The mushroom dumplings are easily available in the refrigerated to-go food section.

    I will make Mom2's compote with dried cherries I can taste in my memory.

    The two Moms and I could not have been any happier.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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