Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Advent Calendar: Day 23 - Holiday Food

On the 23rd Day of Christmas,
My Angel Linda gives to me
Turkey, mashed potatoes, and peas.


1) Did your family have any traditional dishes for the holidays?

Our Christmas dinner (sometimes on Christmas Eve, sometimes on Christmas Day) in San Diego was always turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, peas, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and mince pie. I doubt that I had anything else when I was a child and young adult, at least at my parents or grandparents homes.

After I was married and we visited San Francisco, Linda's parents had one more item - creamed onions.

When my family has Christmas dinner now (us, my brothers, our kids and grandkids), we have - guess what - turkey, mashed potatoes, peas, dressing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. It rarely changes!

2) Was there one dish that you thought was unusual?

For me, it was the creamed onions in San Francisco.

3) Not on Tom's question list, but ... I just have to share it, because it was associated so closely with the dinner.

The absolute highlight of the Christmas dinner was the family competition that followed the meal, but before the dessert. The game was "toss the pea into the glass." In the beginning, it was just my dad and the three boys. There were always leftover peas, so one of us would commandeer the pea bowl and pass peas to the other contestants. Then we would spread out around the table and set up our water glass at equal distances from each other.

The game was to see who could toss the most peas in the water glass opposite them. Of course, the misses weren't contained on top of the table. And the misses were greeted by howls of laughter and derision. Those who put their pea in the glass, shouted out the number of peas they had made so far.

My mother, my wife and the other females would withdraw and not watch, but often commented about "boys being boys." My mother really didn't like this game, and I think she intentionally made fewer peas each year.

To try to assuage her anger and keep family peace, the game has devolved to throwing wadded up paper napkins into the glass or cup. My competitive daughters, and now my sons-in-law (and I'm sure it won't be long before the grandchildren) all participate in the Betty Seaver Memorial Pea Toss - but using napkins in deference to her wishes.

This post was originally published on 3 December 2007.

2 comments:

Joan said...

I am so glad you added the Pea Toss. It might catch on and be a national post Christmas dinner phenomenon.

genealogygal said...

I posted our family game/activity traditions on my blog at:
http://gsgenealogy.blogspot.com/
I did not talk about food though, its too close to lunch. grin.