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For several years now my Christmas Eve dinner has been to make a pot of chili and some tamales. Served up with a salad with Oklahoma dressing (ranch - here in Oklahoma almost everything is served with ranch dressing, even pizza. I refer to the stuff as Oklahoma ketchup, Often served with Oklahoma tenderloin - smoked bologna) jalapenos, chopped onions, shredded cheese and some cornbread. I look forward to this meal. Does your family have a traditional dinner they serve on the eve of Christmas? If so, what do you serve? For the beverage for this meal I try to find some Noche Bueno. Hard to find here so I often have to bootleg it in.

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Standing rib, roast carrots, baked yams, Yorkshire.   And croquembouche 2021.    The kids were able to stuff the puffs and not dot the floor; no one got burned by the caramel.   They do grow up.

When 4-year olds help construct the croquembouche...   it tends to be a little rough around the edges.

For several years now my Christmas Eve dinner has been to make a pot of chili and some tamales. Served up with a salad with Oklahoma dressing (ranch - here in Oklahoma almost everything is served wit

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You have touched a sore spot. My cousin, a smart and funny woman who I love dearly, makes a Christmas day meal where the centerpiece is lasagna. This is a curious choice. Our family is not Italian. No one else who attends the meal is Italian. To my knowledge she has never made any other Italian dish.

 

That wouldn't bother me but the lasagna isn't very good. Along with the usual ingredients of flat noodles, cheese, ground beef, and tomato sauce she includes carrots. Red disks the size of quarters and about a half inch in thickness. It is godawful.

 

The lasagna tradition is relatively new. Growing up we were usually served turkey. When my cousin began hosting Christmas 20 years ago dinner ranged from pork loin to roast beef to chicken cutlets. All of them were well made. And then, about 10 years ago, the carrot lasagna made its appearance. I have to say that the other guests at Christmas dinner don't greet its annual appearance with cries of joy. They tolerate it, much like you tolerate a boring relative who you only meet once or twice a year. You think to yourself "This will be over soon. In the meantime put a good face on things."

 

We can only choke one portion down. It doesn't taste actively bad but there's no good reason to eat it either. The hated carrots are extracted from the lasagna proper and placed in a pile on one side of the plate as a mute protest.

 

We have learned that it's easier to face the lasagna if we have a hearty lunch before arriving at the dinner. Last year it was thick pastrami sandwiches on rye slathered with brown mustard. It is better to face the dreaded carrot lasagna on a full stomach.

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My sister's in-laws are Italian American, so holidays generally include a pasta. My last venture was a baked rigatoni with pulled pork, queso, chiles, etc. They devoured it. I did a beef and bean lasagna last year which went well.

 

That sounds great. We should have you cater our Christmas meal.

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If I can just keep everyone out of my hair...the "what's for lunch", "have you seen my...", "aren't you finished yet"... In desperation, I can always just do two flat layers and call it a faux-St.Honore. :P As the flight attendant told my husband when she slopped a dish on his tray, "Eats the same."

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Tradition growing up in the UK was everyone getting very drunk in the pub on Christmas Eve, some going on to Midnight Mass. The big meal was lunch, eaten late after the Queen's speech.

 

The men in my family would also drink on Christmas morning before reeling home for lunch. That went so well that one year I was the designated driver, underage and unlicensed but comparatively sober.

 

In adulthood I rebelled and started celebrating Reveillons instead.

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Tradition growing up in the UK was everyone getting very drunk in the pub on Christmas Eve, some going on to Midnight Mass. The big meal was lunch on Christmas Day, eaten late after the Queen's speech. Always turkey (no Thanksgiving of course).

 

The men in my family would also drink on Christmas morning before reeling home for lunch. That went so well that one year I was the designated driver, underage and unlicensed but comparatively sober.

 

In adulthood I rebelled and started celebrating Reveillons instead.

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We are having turkey on Christmas Day--turkey bolognese that is. I have one sister who won't eat red meat and one who can't eat shellfish (last year she was absent travelling in Antarctica so we seized the day and had lobster) which rather limits the menu. For years we had roast chicken but roast chickens need attention so someone ends up playing kitchen maid and missing all the fun. I made a vat of bolognese on Sunday and froze it. We will start with an antipasto of salumi,cheese and incomparable roast peppers from Vito's in Hoboken. We have no Italian blood but we all love the stuff and it has been a tradition for many,many years. The pasta will be accompanied by a big green salad. And lots of wine.

 

Christmas Eve we are going out, which we usually do.

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