In my family, we don’t really have cultural ties to foods, but we do have a lot of traditions. I don’t know the origin of most of these traditions only that they’ve been around for I guess forever. I do know though that all our traditions revolve around holidays or family gatherings, our day-to-day meals have no rhyme or reason to them. So my random brain decided to make our families perfect holiday meal.
My appetizer would consist of two items, a salad with smoked bacon along with chips and salsa. Very random I know, but they make sense in my family. At my grandparent’s we always have chips and salsa, no matter the holiday. This came from when we had Mexican food one Christmas about four years ago and it was the only element that has stood the test of time. The salad comes from my mom’s side, we have a salad at every meal, it’s just a given.
The main dish would be smoked brisket and pork butt with a side of Mac n Cheese, and my dad’s homemade bread. All our proteins at holiday meals are smoked mostly because five years ago my dad found out that he was really good a smoking meats. The family’s favorite has become pork butt and biscuit. The Mac n Cheese is a very specific one that we call, Granny B’s Mac n Cheese. It really isn’t that fancy but we’ve had it at every family meal since my grandma was born and it holds a lot of emotional value for my family.
Rounding out our family meal we have a dessert buffet. Yes, I know this is kinda a cop-out but, you do not understand the number of deserts our family has at gatherings. It would start with my aunt beck’s iced Christmas cookies, include oatmeal Carmelites made by my Grandma Korb, along with her famous snickers pie, my Grandma Lou would bring her chocolate-covered almonds and classic fudge, and I would round out the buffet with a pazzoki. (For anyone wondering a pazzoki is a chocolate chip cookie cooked in a cast-iron skillet.)
I think this menu says a lot about my family, mostly it points out how odd our eating patterns are. We have so many traditions and we all love cooking enough that no element ever goes without being made. This honestly very closely resembles a Christmas meal at my grandparent’s house, I think minus the dessert buffet it’s spot on.