Holiday celebrations often include special meals and foods. ( photo)

Holiday celebrations often include special meals and foods. ( photo)

COLUMN: Food a part of many holiday traditions

Delicious meals showcased during the festive season

Every family has holiday traditions, and my family is no exception.

I believe that the reason I love the holidays so much is because of the ritualistic events that take place every Dec. 24 and 25 ever since I was a child.

Of course, many of these traditions involve food which could be another reason why I hold the holidays so near and dear to my heart.

The food dishes we eat are ones that we don’t treat ourselves to any other time of the year, so it makes it extra special and extra delicious.

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On Christmas Eve, my family gets together for a meal of delicious tourtière, a traditional French-Canadian meat pie made with ground pork, ham, Swiss cheese and fresh herbs and spices. Usually, it is made in a pie shell, but over the years my mom has tweaked the recipe and modernized it by wrapping the filling with puff pastry, which adds the greatest golden crunch.

If meat pies are your kind of thing, make sure you take a look at Dinner Pies by Ken Haedrich in the library catalogue.

We end the evening by taking a drive through Summerland, looking at all the Christmas lights.

A personal favourite from my childhood was Lois Hooper’s (aka Granny Pie) house who turned her hay barn into a gorgeous nativity scene.

Christmas mor-ning begins with the opening of stockings. Instead of a frenzy of tissue paper and excitement, my family opts to take turns opening gifts so we can each enjoy what one another have received.

We usually rotate from youngest to oldest, meaning that much to my delight, I get to go first.

Once stockings are finished, we meet at the kitchen table to enjoy fresh baked cinnamon buns, with gooey cream cheese frosting along with a fresh fruit salad and a glass of orange juice. The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum has a great cinnamon bun recipe, although I cannot guarantee it is as good as my mom’s.

After we have indulged in sugary goodness, it is back to the living room to open the gifts wrapped up under the tree. We once again take turns, stretching the celebration out and about halfway through, it’s back up to the kitchen.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a second breakfast!

This time it’s a breakfast casserole made of eggs, bread, cheese, and cornflakes aptly named Christmas Morning Wife Saver which can be found in Best of Bridge Holiday Classics: 225 Recipes for Holiday Occasions.

The rest of the day is spent relaxing in various positions on the couch as we let first and second breakfast digest in preparation for the holy grail – Christmas dinner.

My mom pulls out all the stops with perfectly browned turkey, cream cheese infused mashed potatoes, buttery corn, moist stuffing and my ultimate favourite, broccoli casserole.

I hope everyone has a happy holiday season, however you chose to spend it.

A reminder that the Summerland library’s last open day for the year will be Thursday, Dec. 23, and will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 4. During this time, no items will be due and the bookdrops will be closed.

Kayley Robb is an assistant community librarian at the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.

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