Growing up it was always about the food with the holiday...not necessarily the holiday itself. Easter was spring, rebirth, fresh.....nuthin' religious. It meant chocolate eggs and lots of egg salad sandwiches.....weirdly green mint jelly with meat.....asparagus, green beans.....artichokes.....in our house the meal was the way we Halls celebrated the holidays ....
Starting with Thanksgiving, growing up we had the ubiquitous roasted fowl, the predictable sides and giblet gravy. A highlight for me and my brother was trying to sip the Cab Sav and not shiver with disgust while my dad's place setting would include not only his wine glass, water glass but also a nice frosty Dewar's on the rocks. We would also watch with delight as he'd make a nice above-ground pool of mashed potatoes filled to the brim (but never overflowing) with the gravy. And we'd always try to copy him.
The Yuletide food traditions were more unique. The meal served at Christmas Eve was a weird combination of oyster stew, grilled cheddar cheese on pumpernickel sandwiches and a side of pickles. You were not allowed to be excused unless you downed an oyster. For a kid, not so bad if you think of it as chewing a rubber band. I think my dad was giving a heavy nod to our English ancestry. And year after year until he died we would have this on Christmas Eve.Christmas day included the following artery-clogging delight:
Breakfast we dined on Eggs Benedict, skip lunch (because you're still to loaded) and then move directly into an early evening meal of Roast Beef.
And then New Year's Day we were back to square one with roasted turkey.
And now it's Easter......which means trying to add a little creativity to meal of roasted lamb, potatoes and asparagus. This year I'm thinking of trying something new....maybe to start,
Oven-Roast Lamb Chops with Mint Chimichurri
Served with Crisp Herb-Roasted Fingerlings with Scallions
a Cannellini and green bean salad
finally, Lemon Upside Down Cake
(all these tasty recipes can be found on foodandwine.com)