Geneabloggers is once again hosting the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories encouraging family historians to write about their holiday traditions.
I started to skip this topic because I couldn’t think of anything special about our Christmas food. We have no strong ethnic food connection. No OLD recipes handed down from generation to generation. All I could remember was Christmas food seemed just like Thanksgiving food. Then my sister rattled off a fine list of our food traditions. (She should be writing this!)
#1 – A Smithfield Ham – duh! I’m a Virginian. How could I have forgotten that scrumptious salty ham that no Christmas dinner is complete without. Momma soaked it for a day, at least, to remove some of the salt. Ham for Christmas dinner. Ham sandwiches for days afterwards. Mmmmmm. I’m getting thirsty just thinking about it.
#2 – With ham we always had to have potato salad. But not just any potato salad would do. Grandma Davis’s and Momma’s recipe is the BEST. You won’t catch us buying potato salad in a plastic carton or even from a deli. We admit it proudly – we are potato salad snobs.
#3 – Typically some sort of seafood was part of our Christmas dinner. Sometimes we had fried oysters or scalloped oysters. (Bleh) If things were going my way, we had crab imperial.
#4 – Collards. They’re best when harvested AFTER a frost, so we always have collards Thanksgiving and Christmas. It doesn’t matter what else is on the menu. It doesn’t matter whether collards go with the main dish. There WILL be collards or somebody’s gonna get hurt.
#5 – Coconut cake. Grandma Davis always made one for Christmas. I’m not sure why. Maybe to make up for the fruitcake that she also made. Nice to have a choice.