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Archive for the ‘Holiday dishes’ Category

Hoppin' John 1

Hoppin’ John is a Southern dish of black-eyed peas and rice traditionally served on New Year’s Day.

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Walnutbread

 

Cranberry walnut bread is one of those holiday recipe staples – bring a loaf to a festive gathering, offer as a gift wrapped in aluminum foil with a bow, or just keep on hand for a household overflowing with hungry guests.

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ThanksgivingTable

You’ve probably already had enough turkey by now but tuck this recipe away for the next time you crave it but just don’t want to roast a whole bird. Especially after Thanksgiving, some stores offer big sales on “turkey parts,” which you can store in the freezer until you are ready. Braising dark turkey meat in cider will give you a fall-off-bone tender morsels.

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rwbsalsa

Red, white, and blue dishes make a Fourth of July picnic feel festive. Combine strawberries, jicama, and blueberries into a salsa for blue tortilla chips or as a topping for grilled chicken or fish.

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saffronbuns1

In Sweden, Dec. 13 marks St. Lucia Day, a day traditionally when the oldest daughter of the family wears a white robe, a red sash, and a wreath of lit candles on her head as she delivers coffee and saffron buns to the rest of the family still huddled in bed against the cold and dark morning.

St. Lucia is one of the very few saints honored by Lutheran Scandinavians (Swedes, Norwegians, Finns, and Danes) and in some parts of Italy. I’m not exactly clear who St. Lucia was, except that she did some self-sacrificing behavior for the good of others. The legends and stories differ depending on the region of the world.

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stew1

You may have vague memories of learning about the origins of Thanksgiving Dinner in elementary school as you cut out Pilgrim hats and turkeys from construction paper. You probably learned that the first feast of gratitude occurred between the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock and some friendly “Indians” or native Americans who showed up with corn to go along with the prepared turkey. Or something like that.

According to the historic records at Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts, there is only one written record of that meal in 1621 and it is, at best, a passing reference to the feast that occurred sometime between September 21 and November 9, which was the time of harvest observed by the native Wampanoag People. The English town called Plymouth was right smack in the middle of the Wampanoag homeland. (And let’s not call them Pilgrims, since they didn’t use that term themselves until much later. They were “Separatists” who had separated from the Church of England. You can find the difference between Puritans and Pilgrims here.)

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SalmonPotatoes

When most people hear the words “New England dinner” their first thoughts usually run toward a lobster dinner, a clambake, or an oyster shuck. But there is another kind of seafood that has a long association with the Fourth of July, and that is poached salmon with egg sauce.

The legend has it that Abigail Adams served Atlantic salmon, fresh garden peas, and new potatoes to John Adams on the first Fourth of July in 1776. And while many New Englanders admit to eating salmon on the Fourth of July, finding strong ties to Abigail Adams remains, well, fishy.

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