What are you cooking for Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day?

For most of us, Christmas is the first or second biggest family event of the year, especially in the cooking and baking department.

Some people prefer turkey, some prefer ham, and others (like me) prefer beef.

This year, I will be assisting with dinner rather than planning and executing, since I will be celebrating Christmas at my daughter’s home. I don’t know if they will have the big event on Christmas Eve, or on Christmas Day, but I’m sure it will be a good one! Everyone in that family can cook, and my younger grandson is working in a restaurant and attending culinary school.

Normally, since I have a small group on Christmas Eve, I splurge and get a rib roast, and prepare a few side dishes to complement this yummy main course. There’s a special rich potato and Gruyère cheese casserole, usually a salad and a simple green vegetable, although I have added other things. 

On Christmas Day I usually don’t cook anything, other than breakfast, and munch on leftovers when I get hungry.

I know that some ethnic groups have special dishes and meals that are prepared for Christmas. For instance, Italians traditionally have a fish and seafood meal on Christmas Eve. Polish families often have dishes like fresh kielbasa, stuffed cabbage, and pierogi.

What do you (or your family) usually prepare for Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day dinner?

This entry was posted in baking, cooking, Family, Holidays, Recipes, The Culture. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to What are you cooking for Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day?

  1. Menagerie says:

    We almost always have two meats to feed our bunch, usually a combination of ham, turkey, or lamb. Since my son has gotten so good at smoking meats, sometimes he chooses to do a tri tip roast, or some other beef cut. I prefer his smoked turkey to anything else.

    I cook the ham and for years have used the recipe from a website called Sweet Tea and Cornbread. It’s just a luscious ham, but I also like it because I cook it late on Christmas Eve, then you leave it in the closed oven all night and it’s ready to come out in the morning. This frees my oven up for everything else.

    Costco has hams that are really good and cut unlike the big round ones, and I’ve never seen it elsewhere. They are flat, so when you put the glaze on the ham it stays. Cover that ham with pineapple slices to catch and hold the glaze!

    https://www.sweetteaandcornbread.net/2012/12/kentucky-bourbon-brown-sugar-ham.html

    Even though we have a much smaller bunch at Christmas than Thanksgiving, we have a half dozen good cooks including two of my sons. We will have a variety of good dishes and desserts too. One of my daughters in law has a knack for finding excellent vegetable sides. Another likes seasonal salads, so I’m hoping for something with winter squash and maybe grains.

    I’m doing a family favorite again, bacon wrapped carrots with a maple glaze. Easiest side dish I’ve ever done, and everyone loves it. Most of us are pretty meh about carrots, but we all changed our minds when we had those the first time. People went back looking for seconds and I hadn’t cooked enough.

    You wrap the carrots in thin sliced bacon (thick will not get brown enough and done), pepper it, and pour real maple syrup over it. I often use maple syrup in my cooking, and on the rare occasions that we indulge in pancakes, I want the good stuff. Found a company in Vermont called Runamok. They are a little pricey but sell really good syrup and honey.

    Of course, I always do the bread.

    This is a recipe for the bread I make at Christmas. I got it from a guy whose Czech grandmother made it every Christmas Eve. I have never been able to find a similar one by googling, and I have spent hours looking at Eastern European bread recipes and holiday breads out of curiosity.

    Longoushi (he was unsure of the spelling)

    makes two large loaves
    1.5 TBS granulated yeast
    1.5 TBS kosher salt
    1.5 TBS caraway seeds
    1 cup rye flour
    1 cup unbleached King Arthur white whole wheat flour (yes, the brand matters)
    4 cups unbleached King Arthur white flour
    1/2 cup potato flour
    cheese to taste on top of risen loaves. I use cheddar or swiss, like cheddar best

    Combine yeast, potato water, salt and caraway seeds. Let rest a few minutes, then add the flours (mix them together thoroughly first) without kneading, using a spoon or mixer with dough hook until well mixed. It is a sticky dough.
    Place in large plastic tub with lid (not sealed) and allow to rest for 2 hours, or until dough rises, collapses and flattens on top. Then refrigerate for three hours.

    When you want to bake, dust surface of refrigerated dough with flour and halve, place in lightly oiled bread pan, and let rest for several hours, when dough has risen. Recipe calls for a lidded bread pan, not sealed. I use foil over regular pans.

    Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven after topping with shedded cheese of your choice. Cover pans and bake for 35 minutes or until brown and firm. I usually remove the foil the last five or ten minutes. If the bread has risen above the pan, I don’t worry about covering.

    Allow to cool before slicing. That never works here.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Menagerie says:

    I’m also thinking of making these instead of the bread. I watched a number of videos on this channel yesterday, and saved several.

    I’m especially excited to try her Hungarian chicken recipe.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. 17CatsInTN says:

    I’ve been doing some catering last couple years and am preparing most of the food for a family of about 20 for Christmas evening.

    Am making 3 small roast chickens with homemade stuffing; 2 hams; 3 cheese, cream and garlic scalloped potatoes; slow cooker creamed corn with red & green pepper highlights; roasted root vegetables with beets, parsnips, carrots, green beans and fresh thyme; fruit, nuts, olives, cheese & crackers charcuterie board; homemade yeast rolls; decorated Christmas tree favors made with Reeses peanut butter cups & Hershey Kisses; and an apple spice cake and blueberry cobbler for dessert. That oughta do it!

    Most of the meal is based on individual family favorites and Memaw, who is hosting, is not giving any hints other than the charcuterie board which no one except 1 daughter has heard of, can’t pronounce and are having a lot of fun with it!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. czarina33 says:

    We’re eating halfway across Louisiana, in Satsuma (just east of Baton Rouge) at a friend’s potluck buffet on Christmas Eve. I’ve been asked to bring 3 bean salad. They usually have gumbo, Jambalaya, sometimes deer; and a real variety of people attend.

    Used to have friends whose mom made chicken ala king over cornbread for Christmas Eve dinner.

    My family had the big dinner on Christmas Eve, usually turkey or ham. Leftovers to pick through on Christmas while reading new books, or watching football on tv.

    Liked by 3 people

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