A week before Christmas and a day before my dad left for a cruise that wouldn’t get back til Christmas Eve, I called him to ask what in the world we were going to do about celebrating. Through a little back and forth, I ended up deciding we would have brinner (breakfast for dinner!) at our house, and also with my in laws too.

I started by cleaning the house more thoroughly than I do on a weekly basis, and added a few special touches, like fresh flowers and cinnamon scented candles scattered throughout the house. I turned off the overhead lights in the living rooms, and turned on the lamps and the radio.

Once things were looking nice, it was time to turn my attention to where they real work lay: the kitchen. The overall menu was simple: Moosewood’s quick cinnamon rolls, spinach quiche, hashbrowns with regular and sweet potatoes with goat cheese, toast and jellies, and Caw Caw Creek sausages as prepared by the husband. However, I had to make some special dishes for my dad who has discerning (read: picky, Picky, PICKY) eating habits, and refuses to eat most vegetables, especially onions. No, I have no idea how I survived being raised by him and my mom who is equally picky in her eating habits, but that’s a story for another day! This is what my stove looked like once the two main items I was making were on their way to being done:

What you see here is a regular spinach quiche, and two ramekins, one with spinach and no onions, and one that is just baked egg and cheese. I can barely qualify it as quiche, since it’s just the egg-mayonnaise-milk mixture with cheddar. On the corners are two pans of hashbrowns. On the right is the normal pan, with russet potato, sweet potato, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. On the left is my dad’s special pan with… potatoes, salt and pepper. What can I say, I am a loving daughter, though I did force him to try the sweet potatoes before he picked out “the weird orange ones” and fed them to Radar.

This is table setting I had in place. It’s not the loveliest, but we when you’ve got six people at the table, space for the actual food becomes a priority. You can also see the yummy cinnamon rolls in this pic! Mmm.

It was fun having a “non traditional” Christmas dinner- next year I’d like to branch out more, maybe even have a Jewish Christmas one year- aka Chinese food!

What interesting food traditions does your family have at the holidays?