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what are everybody's favorite traditional winter holiday foods?<br><br>
do you make exceptions for certain holiday foods? (i'll admit i do)<br><br>
do you revamp conventional recipes to be healthier?<br><br>
what truly traditional holiday foods do you enjoy year after year? (eggnog, pickled beets, etc.)<br><br>
p.s. i'd love recipes!
 

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I'm in Massachusetts, so turkey/mashed potatoes/cranberry sauce are definitely traditional here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> As I type, I'm eating my locally sourced turkey, mashed potatoes (even the milk I used in it is local), and cranberries.<br><br>
I did buy Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">:<br><br>
I had my Thanksgiving yesterday and already eating leftovers <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Made broth with the carcass overnight and am now in the process of freezing chunks in a muffin pan. I have over a gallon of broth, score!!<br><br>
I cooked the liver and heart yesterday and I'm thinking of giving them a nibble at least. Never tried it before. (This is the first turkey I've ever cooked, too).<br><br>
Oh, I forgot the pumpkin pie, also from a local pumpkin.<br><br>
Yum <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I just realized this thread is probably about Thanksgiving, but I immediately thought Christmas because that is the big eating holiday here in Finland. Lucky for me most Finnish Christmas food is pretty TF already since it is about the only time of year Finns eat really traditional food. So there's lots of root casseroles, liver casserole, a big ham (that some people including MIL still use to make broth and soup after the holidays), pickled beets, pickled herring (both of these would have been lacto-fermented in the old days but seldom are anymore), lipeäkala (lutefisk I think is the Swedish equivalent), gingerbread cookies made with molasses (I'm pretty sure you leave the dough overnight in the fridge, which even makes them soaked). I like them all! The only really non-TF thing is the white rice and milk porridge with lots of white sugar. But that could be fixed by using barley or brown rice and rapadura.
 

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The cranberry sauce my grandmother and now my aunt makes. It's just ground cranberries, oranges, and sugar... how to make the cane sugar more "traditional"....<br><br>
Sweet potato casserole. I'm making it from scratch this year. My mother always used marshmallows (not using those) and used the canned "yams" that are slathered in corn syrup. Ours will have palm shortening (I'd use butter if we could have dairy, believe me), maple syrup, walnuts, and sweet potatoes.<br><br>
I'm also going to try to make a green bean casserole by making a white sauce with sauteed mushrooms, to avoid the "cream of mushroom" soup.<br><br>
In my family, we've always had the same thing for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so they're not much different for us. I'm just doing a plain fruit salad (my grandmother always made it with whipped cream, fruit cocktail, and pastel-colored mini marshmallows). So I sort of have the same "tastes" but a little more natural and a little less processed.
 

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It's not Thanksgiving without my rummy sweet potatoes! I've been making them for years. They are not health food but once a year won't killya. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
RUMMY SWEET POTATOES<br><br>
Peel 3 or 4 large sweet potatoes and cut them into chunks. Boil until they're soft enough to cut with a fork. Drain them, put them in a large bowl, and mash. Alternately, you can bake them. I like to use the hand mixer to mash them because it only takes a minute to get them completely smooth. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C).<br><br>
Mix in the following (one at a time):<br>
1/2 cup sugar<br>
2 eggs, beaten<br>
1/3 cup milk<br>
1 Tbsp vanilla<br>
1/2 cup melted butter<br>
1/3 cup dark rum (for a variation I like to use Captain Morgan spiced rum)<br><br>
Pour into 9x9 baking dish.<br><br>
In another bowl, mix the streusel topping:<br>
2 cups brown sugar<br>
2/3 cup flour<br>
2/3 cup melted butter<br>
1 cup finely chopped pecans or hazelnuts (optional, it's fine without nuts)<br><br>
Carefully spread the topping over the sweet potato mixture, covering as much of it as possible. Bake uncovered 30-45 minutes or until streusel topping is lightly browned. Let stand at least 20 minutes before serving; it can stand for hours if necessary, and is actually better that way. It's perfectly good at room temperature so it's great for bringing to parties.
 

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One Christmas dish we always had at my Grandma’s house was a sweet avocado mousse, made in a O jello mould and with a cream/mayo sauce. As kids we didn’t know what it was made of but we loved it! It’s so creamy and rich. I have only seen the "family" recipe a couple of times so I don’t know it. But I found one on the net that looks very similar! Check out this link:<br><br><a href="http://www.la.clearchannel.com/avocados/mousse.html" target="_blank">http://www.la.clearchannel.com/avocados/mousse.html</a><br><br>
There are many TF friendly fats in the recipe: gelatin, avocados and sour cream/yogurt. I am not sure how the mayo sauce is made but I think it’s just mayo and cream plus a bit of lemon juice. The only downside to the recipe is trying to find decent avocados in Oregon in winter LOL<br><br>
History: when my Grandma was 16 she left Oregon and moved to LA to become a ballet dancer. She worked in wealthy homes as a maid and cook. I believe she acquired this recipe during that time.<br><br>
Rhianna
 

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To make things more TF, I generally do things like add raw cream instead of evap milk or something to pies and cakes, I cook everything with butter (including the turkey- nothing like a roasted turkey that you've literally slathered with an entire stick of softened butter before cooking). We also use pastured eggs and shell out for a pastured turkey. I use bone broth for stuffing (which is from gluten free breadcrumbs, so not entirely TF), gravy, etc.<br><br>
I'm going to soak/sprout the pecans we use for stuffing and that sort of thing this year too. I freely admit to using sugar for Thanksgiving, but I make sure it's cane (so not GMO beet sugar) and since we have a few people who are addicted to pecan pie, I'll be subbing sugar for corn syrup.<br><br>
We eat the same stuff year after year- turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, a veggie (this year, brussels sprouts roasted with bacon), sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, pie, and flourless chocolate cake. So I've just been working within those parameters to make healthier options. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Wow that avocado mousse looks really good. I bet homemade yogurt drained to thicken it a bit would be a good sub for the sour cream.<br><br>
I always eat some of my mom's fudge, with its marshmallow creme and all. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I have no problem passing over some of the more processed offerings like jello dishes. But when with family I don't fuss much over food except to keep the kids off of food coloring.<br><br>
The one holiday food I really love is pumpkin pie. I have organic local pumpkin in the freezer that I'll be using to make a pie, adapting the Cook's Illustrated recipe a little bit. I will probably not fuss with making a true TF crust but use part whole grain and let it sit overnight to soak.
 

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velcromom, it will turn out great! I find pumpkin pie to be utterly forgiving. I really think you can do nearly anything to it!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>blueridgewoman</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14717551"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">and since we have a few people who are addicted to pecan pie, I'll be subbing sugar for corn syrup.<br></div>
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I've started substituting maple syrup for corn syrup in pecan pies, and it turns out great. Yeah, it's still a lot of sugar, but at least it's not refined and should have some good trace minerals in it. We're lucky that we can get local syrup made by our neighbors here in VT, too.
 

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That is a GREAT idea! Maybe I'll do that instead of sugar- thanks!!!!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ursusarctos</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14715987"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I just realized this thread is probably about Thanksgiving, but I immediately thought Christmas because that is the big eating holiday here in Finland. Lucky for me most Finnish Christmas food is pretty TF already since it is about the only time of year Finns eat really traditional food. So there's lots of root casseroles, liver casserole, a big ham (that some people including MIL still use to make broth and soup after the holidays), pickled beets, pickled herring (both of these would have been lacto-fermented in the old days but seldom are anymore), lipeäkala (lutefisk I think is the Swedish equivalent), gingerbread cookies made with molasses (I'm pretty sure you leave the dough overnight in the fridge, which even makes them soaked). I like them all! The only really non-TF thing is the white rice and milk porridge with lots of white sugar. But that could be fixed by using barley or brown rice and rapadura.</div>
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My husband is from Iceland and some of the Christmas foods are similar. We always have roast chicken (which is a tradition in his family but not necessarily an Icelandic tradition). This year we are lucky to be having a smoked lamb leg which is very traditional. Gingerbread cookies. We have rice pudding too, although usually they sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top with sugary fruit sauce, but I made a fruit sauce with maple syrup last year to make it more TF-friendly.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>motherbirth</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14722211"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My husband is from Iceland and some of the Christmas foods are similar. We always have roast chicken (which is a tradition in his family but not necessarily an Icelandic tradition). This year we are lucky to be having a smoked lamb leg which is very traditional. Gingerbread cookies. We have rice pudding too, although usually they sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top with sugary fruit sauce, but I made a fruit sauce with maple syrup last year to make it more TF-friendly.</div>
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Oh interesting! Yeah, they usually sprinkle cinnamon sugar or that sugary fruit sauce on top here too. Great that you figured out how to make it better! I think traditionally here it would be stewed prunes (MIL made this last xmas) or then berry preserves from earlier in the year, though now they all use the sugary sauce instead of the traditional preserves. They used to do it so that you would mash blueberries or lingonberries up so the juice covers them and then store them in jars. They're sort of juicy and saucy and you can use them in porridge. I did it with lingonberries this year and they're delicious, they get much sweeter after they've been sitting for a couple months!
 
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