November 23, 2011 As an Italian-American, Amy Santoriello's celebrates Christmas Eve with the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Since her grandmother's death, she has taken over cooking the holiday meal. Preparing this meal reminds her that she is connected to many women who have handed the tradition down.
November 23, 2011 Linda Mueller's family doesn't know the correct spelling of this dish because her Grandma never wrote it on paper. Muldoshin is how it is pronounced phonetically. It is an egg pastry filled with apple slices and honey, rolled up and baked.
November 22, 2011 Every Christmas Eve Emily Farthing's grandmother pulls an old cast iron aebleskiver pan and fills the whole house with the smell of these Scandinavian pancakes. Her family eats them for dinner, and the taste, she says, reminds her of the anticipation of Christmas morning.
November 22, 2011 Orange glaze is just one reason this dish is beloved in Lisa Comforty's family. Her mother discovered sweet potato fluff in 1954 when she 23 and determined to cook her way out of her immigrant neighborhood. Sweet potato fluff was new and American. It was subversive — and delicious.
November 22, 2011 Pickled peaches are a traditional holiday dish in Kristen Burkholder's family. It's served at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sweet, spicy and tart all at once, the dish goes with both turkey and roast beef, she says.
November 22, 2011 Gruetze is like scrapple but without the cornmeal. Made of pork, liver and barley, it's fried until crispy. This recipe was passed down by Bonnie Fullerton's German family. She says her father would pick the meat from a cooked hog's head for the holiday gruetze.
November 22, 2011 Shab-e-Yalda, the night of the winter solstice, is a celebration for Iranians. Traditional peasant food is perfect for winter. Abgoosht, a lamb and vegetable stew simmered for hours, first becomes delicious broth, and for the next course, a dip for fresh bread.
November 22, 2011 Molly D'Esopo's grandmother, Ethel Grace Burgan, died at 96 in April. She presided over a large and gregarious Irish-American family. This Thanksgiving, they will miss her terribly, D'Esopo says, and will savor every bit of her famous stuffing ball dish at the meal.
November 22, 2011 It's a Norwegian Christmas pudding that cooks all day. It's the first thing Christine Bielke's mother puts on the stove for any holiday meal. It's basically a cream pudding served warm with butter, cinnamon and sugar. It sounds like a dessert but Bielke's family eats it as an appetizer.
November 22, 2011 Wyatt Gordan's grandmother is the daughter of Czech immigrants and grew up on a large farm outside Petersburg, Va., in an area called New Bohemia. She still bakes bublanina, a Czech cherry cobbler, which she shares with her family every Christmas.
November 22, 2011 Tomato Pudding? Yes, you heard right. Heather MacDonald says TP — as her family calls it — is sweet and tangy "straight-up, old-school Midwestern holiday fare." Nutritional benefits are minimal at best, she says, but who cares? You eat it only twice a year. Here, her family's TP recipe.
November 22, 2011 Turkey tamales? That's right! According to Liliana Tovar, the dish is representative of having acculturated to the best of both worlds. Thanksgiving is spent eating a traditional meal, and then the leftover turkey is shredded in preparation for making tamales on Christmas Eve.
November 22, 2011 Christmas mornings in Lauren Jabusch's family were always punctuated with making mochi, a Japanese rice treat. A traditional New Year's food made of pounded rice, it was essential for the holidays. It was a family event and everyone had a role.
November 22, 2011 This dish evokes the happy times Christina Crawford spent making it with her grandmother. "I remember smashing the saltine crackers into crumbs when I was little and enjoying each other's company as we prepared a dish she made with her own grandma back in the 1910s," she writes.
November 22, 2011 Marisa Lanning's father created this dish because he hated candied yams. Just before serving the holiday dish, she remembers, he would toss in brandy or rum, light it, and everyone would get an amazing show of blue flames licking up the sides of their food. Here is the recipe.