Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Thursday Three

As we get deeper and deeper into the holidays it starts getting more and more about the food. So how about this week we talk about

Favorite Holiday Foods

This could be something you only think of or eat this time of year, or it could be something that brings back really strong memories of someone or something. Maybe it's a food that is on your table year round but assumes a special significance around December. Whatever it is, we want to hear about it.

#1. Trader Joe's Pfefferneuse. The best pfefferneuse cookies in the world, bar none. And they only sell them from Thanksgiving until right after New Years. My mom sends us boxes full which we devour, leaving powdered sugar trails all through the house.

When the box arrives you'd think our lottery check had gotten here. I don't know why these are so different tasting, but they are. I don't particularly care for regular pfefferneuse, but these are to die for.

#2. Chocolate covered cherries. My grandmother always had boxes of these in the house around the holidays and every time I see them I think of her. And of course they taste great, too. I go so far as to hide these from the kids. (Now that I think of it I hide pfefferneuse, too. Hmm. Bad mommy with powdered sugar lips and chocolate fingers).

Sometimes I bite into the cherry and make a big mess. Sometimes I pop the whole thing in my mouth and imagine how embarrassing it would be to choke to death on a chocolate covered cherry. Lets hope it never comes to that.

#3. Tamales. A couple of years ago the Film Geek and I tried our hand at making tamales. His grandmother was Mexican and made them for the holidays every year, so it was something that had a special significance for him. And I have to say they came out pretty darn good. We filled some with spiced beef and some with spiced chicken. Last year, for the veggie people, we made a cotija cheese and jalapeno filling that was terrific. (As an aside, we've also made stuffed grape leaves and have been fascinated with how similar the whole process it. You even roll them the same way).

Last year we thought we'd try something new and we made tempura for Christmas dinner. It was wonderful, but I was a little aggravated at how much time in the kitchen it took. Three guesses what everyone wants again this year.

Who cares about dinner? Just pass me the cherries.


Altaglow said...

Pfefferneuse box is on the way. FedEx should deliver it on Friday. Have fun!!

Kaycie said...

I think this is the first time we haven't had at least something in common on one of these. Mine are:

1. Pecan Divinity, homemade, which reminds me of Aunt Deane.

2. Homemade rolls, preferably my grandmother's.

3. Pecan Sandies, the best cookies on earth. Homemade, of course.

Willowtree said...

That's why Tempura is always one of the most expensive dishes in a Japanese restaurant, even though it's only deep fried vegetables and a shrimp or two.

I love those cherries. I'm not sure if those cookies are what I've had, the ones I've had are kind of gingery.

Kimberly said...

I really shouldn't have read this right before bed. I'm huuuuungry now!

ped crossing said...

I shall have to run to Trader Joe's and pick up a box to try.

Can't agree on the cherries, it is hard to like something that can kill you.

I simply must have my cranberry salad. And I make an amazing gingerbread man cookie. Even people who don't like gingerbread like it. Plus it has an awesome chemical reaction that the boys love to watch.

Eileen said...

Sigh, I wish we had a Trader Joes near us. When we were in Washington DC for Thanksgiving, I was in pure bliss!

As for the chocolate covered cherries, they were my Grandmother's favorite!! We always knew what to get her, with her other gifts. She LOVED them and was so cute eating them.

My family use to make homemade polish foods like pierogis and Bapka bread and guipmkis (can't spell em, but I can sure taste them). I never took on my mom's tradtion, cause I hate to cook. My great uncle always stops by with those treats, and what treats they are.

My favorite ones now are Hannah's baked goods. She tried new creations and they are amazing. I think I found my chef in this family, finally. Too bad she is only 12, but she'll grow.


Flowerpot said...

havent had tempura since about 1980 something with a boyfriend in London - loved teh stuff...

Potty Mummy said...

My favourite Christmas food... that's a hard one (and maybe even worth a post if I ever get to stop writing cards). My mum is a great cook, so can make even ordinary turkey taste amazing (and that's saying something, as I won't touch it the rest of the year).

But proper Christmas-linked food for me is the glazed ham she makes for Christmas Eve dinner (this year we are with Husband's family so I'm going to miss it, damn it), the beef & oyster pie she serves on Boxing Day, and for the rest you'll just have to check out my blog when I get over my envelope tongue...

laurie said...

pickled herring

spritz cookies

and pickled herring

(when i was little, my grandfather and i were the only ones who would eat it. now, i'm the only one.)

PixelPi said...

1. The smell of oranges and cloves makes my Christmas neurons fire like crazy.

2. Black eyed peas on New Year's Day. It's a Southern thing.

3. Homemade fudge. The old fashioned way (meaning no marshmallow fluff but a candy thermometer instead). Actually, I'd be embarrassed to die in the ER from choking on a piece of my Granny's fudge.

auntie barbie said...

There are so many for me but here I three right off the top of my head.
1. Homemade yorkshire pudding right out of the oven covered in butter.

2. Butter tarts, Jen's Granny made the best.

3. Pierogis, the husband has a polish background and we make them every year between Xmas & New Years.

Kaycie said...

Pixelpi, I didn't even think about black-eyed peas. We have them every year. I make a sort of salsa with them and serve them with chips to get the kids to eat them.

I serve that on New Year's Eve, though. My mother always told us the black eyed peas have to be the first thing you eat for luck, so we eat them just after midnight.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I could eat chocolate covered cherries till they they coming out of my ears.

The one food that always reminds me of Christmas and has done since i was a little girl is satsumas.

Crystal xx

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Okay, first I'm going to bitch. My computer is totally jacked up. My entire desktop has disappeared and all of my files are messed up. I don't know what I'm going to do. The FG is trying to fix it, but with no success. So I'm a little slow on my rounds because my bloglines is messed up,too and posts my comments under my husband's account no matter how many times I sign out and relog on. Curses.

altaglow - this post was not a hint, you know. But I'm thrilled it's on the way. And what a coincidence. If it gets here tomorrow I'll be home alone and will have to taste test the pfefferneuse to make sure they're safe for the kids.

kaycie - I also love pecan sandies. I love pecan anything.

willowtree - tempura is really not expensive to make - you're right. The ingredients are pretty much normal things. But jeez they're time consuming. And oh so yummy.

kimberly - welcome to my world. I'm always hungry.

ped crossing - okay,you have me totally intrigued about these gingerbread men. A chemical reaction? Sounds like a blog post to me.

eileen - word on the street is that we're getting a Trader Joe's about thirty minutes away. I shall throw a party when that day arrives.

flowerpot - tempura is so good. It's just a pain in the tail to make.

potty mummy - I love all the traditional holiday things so much. Will keep checking your blog to see what you post about it.

laurie - I don't think I've ever had pickled herring. How do you eat it? With crackers or on something else? Spritz cookies are good, too.

pixelpi - forgot about the black eyed peas. I have the same reaction to orange and cloves. Instant Christmas. And fudge is always appropriate.

auntie barbie - yum. My mom makes yorkshire pudding and it is so good. And pierogis. Our next door neighbors in Michigan were Polish and they made these. They were wonderful!

crystal - satsumas are tangerines, right? (At least that's what I think they are). Nice to meet more chocolate covered cherry addicts!

Jo Beaufoix said...

1. We have the traditional Christmas Dinner here. Turkey, veg, stuffing, sausage meat, roasted potatoes and parsnips. Yum. I love it. I don't know why it seems nicer on Christmas Day. It just does. have veggie style chicken and veggie sausages and it's just as good.

2. Chocolate liquers. They seem kind of tacky and indulgent at other times in the year, but perfect at Christmas.

3. My third is a drink...bad Jo.
Baileys Irish Cream. On ice. Or not. I've already opened the bottle.

Ellee Seymour said...

I have never heard of tamales, they sound wonderful. It's nice to read about someone who eats tasty stuff and not just cranberries and blueberries.

Bon appetite!

laurie said...

i just dig my fingers into the jar and pull out a disgusting, pickled, dripping, slightly chewy piece of herring and eat it.

but my grandfather ate it on Saltines.

ciara said...

what exactly is pfefferneuse? chocolate covered cherries are my dad's all time favorite holiday candy. i always buy him a box...i don't really do sweets much. i eat them on a limited basis...well, ok, if there's a cake that doesn't involve carrots, veggies, or coconut, i'm so there.

Willowtree said...

I love pickled herrings, and rollmops.

PS, (it means Not Safe For Work)

my two cents said...

Mmmm. Just finished dinner and I am already having cravings from all these lists! I love chocolate covered cherries, too.

Favorite Holiday foods is so hard because I like them ALL!

I would love to have a Honeybaked ham for Christmas, but alas, I am the only one so I usually make a turkey, homemade parker house rolls, delicious potato casserole, and greenbeans with sesame oil balsamic vinegar dressing and bacon and walnuts.

Peppermint ice cream always tastes better in December, with a warm brownie underneath it, just for good measure. Santa always brings us each a small box of our favorite hand-picked See's candy, and that is dessert.

Jo, I adore Bailey's Irish Cream on ice, but about ten years ago caffeine and alcohol started giving me vertigo, so no more for me; I do miss that, and a cup of black tea.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

jo - I love Bailey's too, but almost never drink it. Grand Marnier too, always seems like the holidays (although it may be a while before alcohol passes my lips).

ellee - welcome! Tamales are a corn meal dough wrapped around meat or cheese or even fruit and steamed in a corn husk or foil (if you're too lazy to buy corn husks). They are yummy!

laurie - I'm that way with pickled okra. Just eat 'em straight out of the jar.

ciara - pfefferneuse is a German spice cookie. Most of the recipes I've ever seen are really heavy on the black pepper and anise. (I think it translates to pepper cookie)I'm not crazy about either. But the TJ's ones are more orangey and soft and they're rolled in powdered sugar. Go get some, California girl!

willowtree - what's a rollmop? (I'm just full of questions today). And thanks for the translation. I think that's pretty accurate for that video!

my two cents - I still remember those homemade chocolate covered cherries you made for a birthday (?) party years ago. Yummmmm.....

Sweet Irene said...

Goodness, you are such a connoisseur of good food and then you prepare it yourself too! Those tamales sound so good. They make my mouth water. We don't have a whole lot of Mexican food around here and I love it so much. Could you and FG send some over here?

Teresa said...

Those tamales sound scrumptious! We live in a highly diverse neighborhood and sometimes I see signs on the 'main drag' that say "se vendan tamales" and then a phone number. Someday I'm going to give it a try. There is also a tortilla factory in the neighborhood and near the holiday time they open their kitchen to the employee families for a huge tamale production line. I know this because my daughter was invited by an employee to attend. The tamales she brought home were the best I ever had!

Happy in the Abyss said...

OK. Well, this is something I can definitely voice my fat girl opinion on.

Grandma's Tamales were DA BOMB! Wow. I had a HSM moment there. Anyway, no matter how much I would love to try my hand at making them, I know that they will pale in comparison of the great brown lady's.

I LOVE EGG NOG! I don't even like it spiked, just regular egg nog.

Those Chocolate covered cherries are a food group, arent' they? I like the dark chocolate one's the very best...but any chocolate will do.