Refreshing, parsley-loaded tabbouleh reminds me of Christmas in Tallahassee, Florida. Confused? Strange as it may seem except for just a few Christmases when I couldn’t make it home, I’ve celebrated the holiday with pita, hummus, and tabbouleh for as long as I can remember.
How did this Southern girl end up celebrating Christmas with the dishes of the Middle East? When my parents first moved to Tallahassee in the early 80s, they didn’t know anyone. My brother and I were quite young at the time and when Christmas rolled around the thought of traveling was a little too much to bear so they decided to celebrate at home. Three other families were in the same predicament and a Christmas day tradition was born.
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Tagged bulgur wheat, Christmas, christmas potluck, Food, Herbs, Iraq, parsley, Recipe, salad, tabbouleh, Vegetarian
To heck with New Year’s resolutions. I know the season of over-indulgence is over, but I won’t deny that I’ve stockpiled peppermint ice cream and have frozen Christmas cookies to make sure the season lasts just a tad bit longer. For those who are starting out the New Year with the goal of shedding those holiday pounds, I apologize. You should read no further as this recipe is not for you.
It all started earlier this morning when I had to test a recipe for cream puffs for an upcoming class. No one needs 3 dozen cream puffs lying around their house and I was brainstorming about ways to use the puffs. They freeze beautifully and I was already thinking ahead to making them into savory appetizers filled with crabmeat or chicken salad. Such thinking makes one hungry and before I knew it, I had dug out my carton of peppermint ice cream, melted some semi-sweet chocolate with a little cream, and made myself a delicious peppermint profiterole. Sure you can use vanilla ice cream, but if you are like me and in a bit of depression now that the holidays are officially over, then peppermint ice cream will make you feel much, much better.
My husband North first became obsessed in December of 2005. He was spending Christmas with me at my parent’s home in Tallahassee for the first time. While the visit itself held lots of good memories, it was his first bite of the world’s best rum cake that seems to stand out most vividly in his mind.
The world’s best rum cake, unassumingly wrapped in aluminum foil, has been given to my parents as a Christmas gift for years now. In a move which is not surprising , considering the history of this type of deceit in my father’s family (see my post on Granny Ivey’s Strawberry Roll for details), as children we were never told how delicious this cake was. In ignorance, we nibbled on sugar cookies while my father slowly savored the rum cake by himself.
Christmas has arrived! I’ve opened gifts, I’m sitting by a fire, and my belly is so full from Christmas breakfast it is hard to move. I may have eaten just a little too much, but it’s hard not to overindulge. In my family, holiday meals follow strict traditions. There is always a juicy beef tenderloin for Christmas dinner and breakfast always includes my mother’s over-the-top adaptation of Moravian sugarcake. Each part of the meal is sacred and it’s not Christmas (or Thanksgiving, or Easter) without the meals that have become so much a part of that holiday’s tradition.
So what makes up a Sawyer family Christmas breakfast? There is lots of strong coffee and tart Texas ruby-red grapefruits (a wonderful gift from the in-laws!). Scrambled eggs are loaded with cheddar cheese, creamy grits with milk and butter, and there is plenty of Moravian sugarcake and country ham with red-eye gravy.