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Holiday Traditions – Food!

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While getting ready for an annual Christmas party at our home, I was making recipes that were my grandmother’s traditions and a couple that friends had handed down. Making the rounds to the usual area stores (Costco, Trader Joe’s, Albertsons) I wondered how many others were shopping for their traditional recipe ingredients, too. How many Long Beach holiday traditions were in the provisioning stages? I checked baskets and decided quite a few!

At Thanksgiving and Christmas I always make my Grandma Audrey’s cranberry nut bread. It’s a family expectation and one I follow to the letter, using the recipe card my grandmother lovingly wrote out for me. Although she passed in 2000, I still miss her and making the bread makes me feel close to her. This year I made her “delicious cake”, which calls for a whole can of fruit cocktail, with syrup! When is the last time anyone bought fruit cocktail? Luckily, it’s still made, and her cake was a hit. I remember my grandmother making that cake for her potlucks at St. Mary’s Hospital so many decades ago. It might just be a Long Beach tradition on its own.

A new tradition for us, from a friend’s recipe, is the inclusion of Eggnog Martinis at the party. One part eggnog, one part vodka, a little less than 1 part Amaretto: shake over ice and pour into a martini glass, then top with nutmeg or cinnamon. In a word? Yum. Tradition now.

What traditional things do you make? What kind of kitchen do you need to make them in? Do you have that kitchen now or are you looking for it? I can help you with the search for that special kitchen in a new home. I might share Grandma Audrey’s cranberry nut bread and delicious cake recipes with you, too. Maybe you already know what the first thing is you would make in that new kitchen to claim it as “yours”.

I would love to hear about your holiday traditions. How about a great latke recipe or the perfect Christmas candy? Happy 9 days before Christmas!

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