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  Category: Articles » Home & Family » Article

Christmas Dinner Made Memorable

By Jeremy White

Christmas dinner. Is any other meal of the entire year, save the requisite Thanksgiving feast, more anticipated? In industrialized nations, food has evolved from being simple sustenance. It's now a celebration; eating is an important part of our social fabric. Gathering around a bountiful table with friends and family is part of what makes the holiday season so special.

No wonder we dutifully plan our Christmas meals and decorate the dining room with festive frivolity. We hang mistletoe in the doorway and slowly but surely migrate to the kitchen well before the cook is ready for our presence. The smell of warm Christmas cookies and glazed ham is difficult to resist! So, if you're planning the perfect Yuletide feast, what items are menu must-haves?

Start with a honey glazed ham. While turkey and roast beef are popular options as well, leave the turkey to Thanksgiving and the roast beef to Arby's. Ham is the Christmas entree of choice.

When it comes to side dishes, the choices are overwhelming, but a feast shouldn't be any other way. Scalloped potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes and baked sweet potatoes are all succulent options. Green beans are a necessity, as are homemade yeast rolls, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce.

For lunch, consider keeping a pot of chili on the stove that your family and visitors can eat throughout the day. This will keep them both warm and out of your other dishes as you put the finishing touches on your ham!

For dessert, Christmas cookies are an absolute must. Plum pudding is a Victorian Christmas tradition, and peanut butter fudge, chocolate fudge, fruit pies, fruitcake and persimmon pudding are staples in various parts of the U.S. as well.

Of course, don't forget the eggnog, peppermint flavored hot chocolate and hot apple cider, because no all-day Christmas celebration is complete without them!

If you're the cook in the household, don't forget to take time to enjoy the day yourself. To avoid missing all the fun, make some dishes the day before to ease your burden on Christmas. All the desserts can be made ahead of time (don't forget: the cookies must be made early ... what will Santa snack on when he drops in to deliver gifts in the middle of the night if there are no cookies and milk out for him?).

Many of the vegetables can be made ahead as well. In a press release from Purdue University, chef instructor Carl A. Behnke recommends blanching fresh vegetables the day before the meal. Then, on Christmas day, he advises to saute them or microwave them immediately before the meal.

If you don't have a stash of Yuletide recipes handy there are many great resources on the Web. Simply visit Google and type in "Christmas recipes" and you'll have more than you need at your fingertips!

About the Author
Brought to you by Imaginary Greetings, focused on how families get by in this wonderful world of ours. To help create the perfect family holiday scene in your home and for the best selection of GKI/ Bethlehem Lighting visit

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