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Thread: How did Covid Change your Holiday dinner?

  1. #1
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    How did Covid Change your Holiday dinner?

    I'm kind of surprised nobody has asked this yet, but how different were your Covid Christmas ( or thanksgiving or New Year) dinners? Did you just scale it down and do a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey?
    I personally had to work both Christmas eve and Christmas day this last Christmas, but a friend invited himself for Christmas dinner. I told him I was working, and he said " we can do it the 26. I really didn't want to, but agreed. I totally switched it up and made it dead easy. I bought a prefab Beef Wellington and made a wine sauce with roasted some fingerling potatoes to go along with it. Brussels sprouts in the crockpot, a bagged salad and 2 slices of cake purchased at a very good local bakery. It turned out fantastic! I think it was because I really didn't care and wasn't stressing with a house full of people. We still talk about that dinner. Don't get me wrong, I'm really looking forward to a big dinner with all the trimmings, but it was nice to switch it up and relax.

  2. #2
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    We just scaled down. We were trying to keep it as normal as possible. I think the food tastes better with all the people there and a celebratory atmosphere.

    Glad you enjoyed yours so much- what a happy surprise. Do you enjoy cooking? It sounds like you do.
    The holly's up, the house is all bright, The tree is ready, the candles alight; Rejoice and be glad, all children tonight.

  3. #3
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    I enjoy cooking when I'm in the mood. I have thought about just getting everything premade from the Grocery store or Honey baked, but I just can't do it. I sort of see the dinner as a way of telling my friends I appreciate them. Unfortunately it can be a real chore trying to make everyone's favorites. It gets to be like I'm making a Vegas buffet. My neighbor said I should cut back on the food, but the first thing I suggested cutting was Mac and Cheese ( I really don't think it belongs) and she said "You have to have macaroni and cheese!", so cutting back is not a good option. I did drop the Jello because the only person who ate it sadly had a stroke and won't be joining us.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JollyElfDC View Post
    I enjoy cooking when I'm in the mood. I have thought about just getting everything premade from the Grocery store or Honey baked, but I just can't do it. I sort of see the dinner as a way of telling my friends I appreciate them. Unfortunately it can be a real chore trying to make everyone's favorites. It gets to be like I'm making a Vegas buffet. My neighbor said I should cut back on the food, but the first thing I suggested cutting was Mac and Cheese ( I really don't think it belongs) and she said "You have to have macaroni and cheese!", so cutting back is not a good option. I did drop the Jello because the only person who ate it sadly had a stroke and won't be joining us.
    That's nice of you to do for everyone. It sounds like a lot of work! Do you start a few days before? How many people do you typically have? When you first started doing these dinners, did you just make what you wanted? Or did you ask everyone what they wanted right off the bat?
    The holly's up, the house is all bright, The tree is ready, the candles alight; Rejoice and be glad, all children tonight.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistletoe View Post
    That's nice of you to do for everyone. It sounds like a lot of work! Do you start a few days before? How many people do you typically have? When you first started doing these dinners, did you just make what you wanted? Or did you ask everyone what they wanted right off the bat?
    Whatever can be made ahead is made ahead. If it can be frozen (stuffing for example) it is made well ahead. The day before I am cooking my tail off. I have a counter top roaster that I usually put the ham in. That frees up the oven for side dishes. The other sides go in crockpots ( I recently bought a triple slow cooker that I plan to use for Harvard beets, Brussels sprouts, and Balsamic onions), so on the big day I can pretty much stay out of the kitchen.
    The number of people ranges from year to year. Most people in Washington DC aren't originally from here, so I invite all the transplants without family to my house. It's been anywhere from 4 to 15. The first year I asked what everyone wanted for the main, and everyone said turkey. I really hate cooking a turkey, and I think they said it because they didn't want me spending a lot of money. Since it was only 5 of us that year, I just bought a Turkey Breast. It's grown over the years. Nobody is required to bring anything, but people are welcome to contribute. The one thing I refuse to make are Collard Greens. I have never cooked them in my life. I'm white and from the north, but they are a staple in Black and Southern Holiday meals. DC has a large black population, and many of my friends are black. I said that's the one dish they will all judge me on, so unless someone volunteers to bring them ( The friend who had the stroke used to bring them) they won't be happening. I'm pretty sure I have someone who will bring them this year. I already have someone who says they're bringing a cooked turkey, and another bringing tamales (again not a tradition for me) so there will defiantly be a variety of mains to go along with the ham I'm making.

    If everyone shows up, there will be people from Canada, the United States, The United Arab Emirates, Columbia, Haiti, Venezuela, Lebanon, and Vietnam. My one neighbor who always comes is from the American Virgin Islands. So you can see why the food is so varied. It's a United Nations Christmas.
    Last edited by JollyElfDC; 07-31-2022 at 12:11 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JollyElfDC View Post
    It's a United Nations Christmas.
    Ha! I was just going to say that!

    It sounds like a good time. I'm glad you pace yourself.

    Is there anyone who comes that doesn't normally celebrate Christmas in their culture?
    The holly's up, the house is all bright, The tree is ready, the candles alight; Rejoice and be glad, all children tonight.

  7. #7
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    My friend from Vietnam didn’t celebrate over there, but he’s been in the states for a decade and has celebrated since he moved here. I have another friend who is Muslim, but loves Christmas. I even told him I was making ham, and he said he didn’t care, he would just eat everything else. This will be his first year at my house, and someone already said they’re bringing a turkey, so it’ll work out fine for him.

  8. #8
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    For us, there was no change. We had a quiet yet wonderful Christmas dinner here at home. As much as I enjoy family gatherings, there are times when just a few make it very special...
    "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more!"

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