Gingerbread houses in Brussels
Inspired by a few suggestions, I’m going to take the next two weeks and cook holiday dishes from around the world. Thanks to my multicultural troupe of friends, it wasn’t hard to come up with ideas.
One of my favorite shows was, and still is, Friends. I love it and some of my pals and I often revert to Friends- talk, quoting and referencing lines from the show that sometimes only we understand. We all agree that the reason it’s so special to us is that almost every instance in our real lives can be traced to some episode or situation the characters experience. The one I reference today is from Season 1, “The One where Underdog Gets Away.” In it, none of the characters can go home for Thanksgiving for various reasons and Monica attempts to cook everyone’s “must have” holiday dishes, a task that resulted in three different types of potatoes: tots for Joey, with lumps for Ross and whipped with onions and peas for Pheobe. It’s a funny and true statement of how important food can be for making a holiday complete, even if nothing else may be as it should. After a rough year, those lumpy potatoes may be the only thing that remains constant-something you can always count on. It’s also funny that, only during the holidays, would those little food imperfections be acceptable, and it’s those things that we remember with fondness and request that mom, dad or grandma make them every year, no matter how objectively awful they may really be.
Luckily, my friends are there for me and jumped at the chance to offer their family’s holiday favorites and tell their stories. Given all the suggestions from them, it was really hard to narrow it down to eight dishes, but I managed to pick a good variety from across the globe, with cuisine spanning from the U.S. all the way to Asia. I’ve really enjoyed reading their stories and I hope you do too. Happy Holidays, whatever your persuasion.
Christmas market in Strasbourg