Holidays Around the World: Take Two

I had another recipe from Korea for you.  It was a cucumber salad. It was pretty boring. Not noteworthy at all.  So…I’m not going to do it.  Plus, I forgot to take a picture of it.

Oops.

Therefore, we’re moving forward with Holidays Around the World, Part Two.

Last year’s two week trip into the homes of my international palate of friends was one of my favorite parts of the year.  This year, I’m working the same idea but going the religion angle:  Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa.  All followed by a nice little dish for New Years.  And maybe a little something extra special from the Buddha family table.

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Sound good?  That’s what I thought.

I’m excited about Christmas this year. Partly because I am not the one traveling-Mama and Little Buddha are coming to Chicago. We’ll be staying downtown a few nights, in my apartment a few nights and actually going out for Christmas dinner.

Say what?! Gasp!

You may be thinking, “You’re a fraud! You’re a fraud!

Hardly. Let me explain. Three years ago, the Big Buddha left us and my family of three migrated from Dixie to these Midwestern parts, leaving my extended family behind.  In that migration, we also left behind a few traditions that no longer seemed to fit our family of three.  Navigating the holidays without one of our own was tough that first year; Mama Buddha wasn’t into cooking, and the two of us weren’t arguing about it. We opted to eat Christmas dinner out and for the first time in a long time, Mama Buddha got to actually enjoy the meal, seeing how as she didn’t spend 5 hours cooking it.  The other thing we ditched is the gifts; not completely, but now we exchange only a few apiece. To be honest, while there isn’t all the hoopla around our tree that there used to be, it has admittedly become a lot less stressful: no running around for gifts at the last minute, no worrying about what to cook, and more togetherness timeIsn’t that what the holidays are all about anyway?

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That being said, there will be food. Good food. This food.

Baked Sweet Potatoes Latkas

Snapper with Fennel Risotto

Benne Wafers

Sweet Potato Pie

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Grape Sauce

Coquito (coconut-rum eggnog)

P.S.:  I’m also excited about re-making some of my favorites from the past year. I baked the Rich Cake today, and could not wait to dig into it (simply fabulous).  Plus, my FAVORITE Cassoulet for dinner tomorrow and Cape Brandy Pudding for dessert on Christmas Eve.  And probably some Poppyseed  Roll, just because Mama Buddha loves me.   

NYC

Look Where I Am!  Can you guess?

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