This morning as I was shaping the rolls for our family Easter meal I started to think about the traditional foods that we have for each holiday celebration. Easter for us always includes ham, rolls, potatoes, and a few other sides. As Americans we don’t have as strong a food heritage as a lot of other cultures, perhaps that comes from our country being made up of so many different cultures. Nonetheless, it’s important for us to establish and keep these traditions with our families.

Our Easter meal is not much different than Christmas, though these past few years we’ve been trying to make our sides more seasonal (like brussels sprouts at Christmas instead of green beans). Perhaps next year I’ll see about finding lamb from a local farm for Easter to try to give this holiday it’s own identity. Seasonal sides could be: asparagus, wild greens, sweet overwintered carrots, early spring lettuce, peas if you’re lucky, and who could resist cream of ramp soup as a side? What could be more wonderful than aligning your holiday meals with the seasons they inhabit and giving them each an identity of their own.

What traditionally graces your table for various holidays? Do any of your holiday meals include seasonal food?

Head on over to this post for my roll recipe, which my nieces & nephew call “Auntie Susy’s FAMOUS Rolls”.

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7 Responses to Holiday Meals

  1. Without fail we have a ham. This year thought it is a little special as the ham came from our dear Pork ‘n Beans (the hogs we raised for slaughter). That means so much more to us because we know what is going and what has gone on in order to provide such a beautiful dish. We are also going to have some potatoes which we harvest in the fall, some okra we harvested last year, and some corn that we harvested last year. In fact, save the iced tea I think everything we are having is from our own toils. I take that back. I can smell a cheesecake being prepared and I am quite certain I had nothing to do with the graham crackers or the cream cheese! HAHAHAHHA. No reason for any less enjoyment or blessings though! Happy Easter to the ‘outside the bag’ family.

  2. Leg of (one of our) lamb for Easter, obviously. Thanksgiving tends to be almost entirely local, since everyone in the MiL’s family has a garden. If we have venison or a fall salmon around then, we’ll usually serve that at Thanksgiving, too, for those who aren’t too keen on turkey (hi!).

  3. Beverly says:

    I just found your blog, and love your style of cooking snd your philsophy of using natural and local products. One of the things I noticed is that you almost exclusively use cast iron pans. I have a few cast iron skillets, but find them difficult to cook with. I find that food sticks to the bottom of them often, and even though I know not to use soap to clean them, I feel compelled to do so because of the caked on food. Could you please share some tips on using and cleaning cast iron cookware?

    • Susy says:

      Thanks Beverly. I do almost exclusively use cast iron. I’ve actually been wanting to write an article about caring for cast iron. I’ll expound on the tips below in my article, hopefully I can get it done in the next few weeks.

      Here are a few things I’ve found to help with food sticking in cast iron:
      Don’t use olive oil, use only non hydrogenated saturated fats with a high smoking point like bacon grease (cured without sugar), expeller pressed coconut oil, tallow, lard, palm oil.
      I use soap on my pans, but only castile soap from Mt Rose Herbs, it isn’t as harsh and doesn’t ruin the finish. I also use a Stainless Steel Scouring Pad or Copper Mesh Scrubber to give them a quick scrub.
      Use organic flax oil to reseason your pans periodically will build a stronger finish than any other kind of oil.

  4. Beverly says:

    Thanks for the tips Susy. I will defintely re-season my pans, and start to put them into rotation more. I was almost exclusively using olive oil (or butter) on them, but now I’ll switch to coconut oil. I look forward to your post about cooking with cast iron. Have a good weekend!

  5. KimH says:

    Those rolls look pretty famous to me too! 🙂

    I made a few of the same ol same ol sides at our holiday meals but I do try to switch it up a little bit..

    For Easter dinner this year, we had carrot salad,fresh salad with lots of veggies, asparagus, and homemade cheesecake with fresh strawberries as a nod to Spring.

    I made tator-tot casserole instead of mashed potatoes and I thought my step-son was gonna die.. He lived & liked it even. 😉

    It was good and everyone enjoyed the variation I think. 🙂

  6. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. From the beautiful photos, it looks like you had a wonderful holiday.

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