Favorite holiday treats? We could go on for hours. Here are a few from our RedThumb team.
Camellias give me ALL the holiday feels. My grandparents’ front door was flanked with full, hot-pink-almost-red camellia plants, from which they’d cut in the winter. When we showed up for dinner, they’d be floating in bowls on every table [even the kids’ table to which I was forever relegated, my dad being the fifth of five]. Every year I say I’m going to learn to propagate them as gifts for the family, though I have more of a RedThumb [dorky pun intended] than a green one.
Growing up in Northern California, we always had dungeness crab around the holidays. To this day, crab + green salad with avocado and vinaigrette + sourdough bread + an unoaked chardonnay is my favorite meal, though it’s become a rare treat due to global warming. This year the dungeness crabbing season has been delayed to protect the humpback whales forced to forage closer to the coast because of a marine heat wave.
This is a fairly new tradition but I have started making a Milk Bar cake with my boyfriend’s family during the holiday season. It’s a two-day process with a lot of active baking time and usually five separate recipes but the results are unmatched and it feels like a celebration every time I have a slice [knowing the amount of work and sheer number of dishes that went into it]. Last year was a Mint Chocolate Chip Cake [via the Milk Bar cake cookbook] and this year is looking to be a Tiramisu Layer Cake [wish me luck].
It might be cliché, but I love ordering a ton of Chinese food on Christmas Eve. All the Americanized classics—eggrolls, barbecue spare ribs, shrimp fried rice, General Tso’s chicken, pork egg foo young, etc. The general idea is to figure out how much you need to feed whoever is around, and then order twice as much. For Christmas Day, it’s a bit of a potluck of family favorites—there might be a glazed ham next to a lasagna next to a green bean casserole. There is no theme to this menu.
Being Puerto Rican-Mexican-American always lends itself to some pretty delicious food during the holiday season. I always knew it was a big day when I heard my mom listening to old-school reggaton at 7am. Our smorgasbord of dishes always includes a huge pork roast, tamales, rice and beans, some sort of starchy veggie like potato or yuca, and homemade flan. It may not be traditional, but it sure is yummy.
There is one beverage that I like to enjoy every holiday season: eggnog. Whether I’m picking some up at the local liquor shop or making a boozy batch at home, I always have some handy around the holidays.
Morning coffee? I sweeten it with eggnog.
Washing down a post-lunch pastry? Eggnog.
Sipping while making dinner? Eggnog.
There’s nothing better on a chilly holiday night than a bourbon-spiked, [cholesterol-raising] glass of eggnog.