I have fond memories of Christmas dinners as a child. It was the one meal where everyone fought over the catsup bottle, but not to disguise the taste of the food, just to enhance it. I smile when I remember my aunt, uncle, cousins, grandparents, parents and siblings passing around the bottle, and in later years, the 6 lb. can that someone was so thoughtful to bring.
Some foods just pair well together: salt & pepper, macaroni & cheese, eggs & bacon, peanut butter & jelly...and catsup with Pig-in-the-Blanket. Pig-in-the-Blanket is not the official name of this dish, some may even know it as "Cabbage Rolls", but in my family, cabbage did not evoke a positive response. At least, not with the children. So, Cabbage Rolls were given the kid-pleasing moniker of "Pigs-in-the-Blanket". And it stuck. Just as it's catsup counterpart did.
Our special Christmas meal was always prepared by my grandparents. It was a long process that began with the harvesting of 10 lb. heads of cabbage in the fall. Grandma would make lacto-fermented sauerkraut, before the fancy name, and leave it to ferment in the carport in huge crocks covered with grape leaves. She didn't shred all of the cabbage though, first she would remove the largest leaves, then steam them before placing them inside zip-lock bags and freezing them. When Christmas rolled around, the sauerkraut was ready, and it was just a matter of putting the rolls together. None of us kids were privy to the recipe until recently. Grandma is now 90 years old and can no longer stand in the kitchen long enough to make these cabbage rolls, so each of the kids got her long-guarded secret recipe. And just as her German mother did before, we now have the pleasure of sharing this family recipe with our children. A tradition that will hopefully continue on, long after I'm gone.
Including the 6 pound can of catsup.
This week, besides the Pigs-in-the-Blanket, I'll be making Cinnamon Rolls for Christmas morning. Along with my kids, we'll be making some favorite holiday cookies and candies before finishing off the week with several Christmas desserts. I would love to give you the names of these special treats, but we haven't narrowed down the list yet. Right now, we're at 20.
I love Christmas goodies, but 20 is overkill, even for a dessert aficionado such as myself.
Unless someone else is making them.
Then 20 different goodies is a perfect number.
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Here's what else is cookin' this week...
Salmon patties, Macaroni & Cheese, roasted brussel sprouts, steamed Swiss chard
Banana Muffins w/ yogurt cream cheese
Ravioli Soup, Sourdough bread
Fried eggs, toast
Soft shell tacos, homemade tortilla chips, salsa
Clam Chowder, Sourdough bread
Roasted Turkey, Pigs-in-the-Blanket, Fondue, Green Bean Casserole, Potatoes au Gratin, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Spinach/Cranberry/Almond Salad, Southern Ambrosia, Rolls, Smoked Salmon & Chive Cheeseball w/ Salmon Roe, desserts to be determined...
And don't forget the catsup.
For more meal planning ideas, visit The Organizing Junkie for Menu Mondays.