When I was younger my family would alternate holidays with the respective sets of in-laws that lived close by. So every other year was spent with my Grandma White who was from Palestine. I don't have memories of glistening turkeys and instead of visions of seafood, eating out, ordering in. To help recreate some of that tradition I've been looking at ordering a few things in and buying some items premade. It goes against my DIY kitchen nature, but you know what? Grandma was never tired or even broke a sweat, maybe I have something to learn.
Recently I was sent some goods from the ridiculously tasty Schmaltz Deli out of Naperville, Il. I've been toying with the idea of bringing back a few of grandma's favorite dishes for the upcoming holidays as decent Jewish food is hard to find in my neck of the woods.
It's been nice to have that taste of home without the prep work that went into making it. Although grandma did have her specialties when she did roll up her sleeves in the kitchen, she wasn't the teaching kind and I never learned how to make most things she cooked up. I'd like to tie together some of the things from my youth and some from my adulthood. Nice cheeses and nuts, crackers and veggies in combination with breads, cream cheeses, lox (that I don't have to make myself this time) and this new fish spread that is a new favorite.
Although in the back of my brain I might have some guilt that I'm not making everything from scratch, the idea of having more time to focus my attention on the rest of the menu is a slight relief. Do you buy anything premade? Have you ever gone out to eat with your family as a whole for a holiday? Share your traditions in the comments below.
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Related: Five Tips for Flawless, Fabulous Cheese Plate Construction
(Image: Sarah Rae Trover)