My family has a lot of traditions around Christmas, but this year we decided to change it up. Instead of a buffet dinner comprising of Crab Casserole and Sauerkraut, we are doing appetizers. That’s right! All Appetizers!
I think I’ve had posts in the past of our family traditions. Most of our traditions started from the Polish side of the family, and then morphed through time:
- Always have an odd number of dishes on the dinner table (no idea the origin of this)
- Always have fish and no meat — we used to do the no meat thing, but my grandpa didn’t like most fish. So, you’ll see the next item was for him. For this tradition, my dad’s heritage came through and instead of whole or filet’s of fish, we always did Crab Casserole.
- Sauerkraut with pork — originally, the polish tradition was just plain sauerkraut (why? no idea). But to appease my grandfather, my grandma added pork. So then we adopted that tradition as well.
- Never have potatoes. If you have potatoes, you will be poor the next year. This may have come from my Dad’s Irish roots, I’ll have to ask. But in general, money was usually tight so no potatoes meant that there might not be enough food. So instead of potatoes, my family always served cooked mashed yellow split peas. Even when money stopped being tight, we still served the split yellow peas out of tradition.
- Eat pickled herring to bring wealth to you in the next year. This one was meant for New Years Eve, but for some reason my parents started doing this on Christmas eve. I’ve never had pickled herring. I don’t think I ever will, and I am comfortable enough with my wealth that this superstition will not get me to eat it.
Other things we did was have massive amounts of cookies and usually we had my Grandma’s Polish Nutroll, even though that was an Easter tradition, we loved it so much it became a Christmas one as well.
So this year, we decided that since we are having a small crowd (12-14 people) and we are limited in seating, that we would have an Appetizer Christmas Eve. So my sisters and I are making a bunch of different appetizers and we will just graze. Oh boy, I think this may have been a bad idea for my waistline. But I think it will be tons of fun and hopefully less stress.
Our planned appetizer menu is:
- Crab Balls, using my Grandma’s Crab Cakes Recipe
- Sauerkraut Balls – one of my sister’s recipes which is popular in Pittsburgh
- Jamaican Beef Pies, my sis is making these, not sure what her recipe is, but here is mine for Jamaican Beef Pies
- Samosas – a recipe in my arsenal that I haven’t yet posted here on Dish Ditty
- Potstickers – just buying a bag of Ling Ling and cooking them
- Proscuitto Wrapped Asparagus – we needed some greens!
- Home Smoked Polish Sausage and Cherri’s Cocktail Sauce – gotta have something from our Polish Roots!
- Brie topped with homemade jam and served with crackers or homemade rolls
- Home made rolls – I still have to post my sister’s recent rolls recipe (so soft and perfect!), but here’s a good roll recipe Texas Roadhouse Copy Cat Rolls
- Cookies lots of cookies. I’m sure we will have Peanut Butter Balls and Rolled Sugar Cookies, but we may have others as well.
CLICK HERE for an assortment of my favorite appetizers.
So, what are some of your family traditions?