Keeping family traditions of foods alive by handing them on to the next generation. Here are 4 food tips for building your holiday tradition to get you started.
Before you sink into the tiredness of the holiday season, take a deep breath and enjoy it today. Enjoy some of the simple moments you make for yourself, whether it’s sipping on an aromatic cup of orange and cinnamon tea or taking the time to decorate birthday cakes with your preschooler. One of the best things about the holiday season is to reflect on and renew family traditions from years past. Maybe you remember your grandmother’s gift of mandarin oranges, your mom’s fruit-nut cake, or your dad’s wicked hot chocolate. We all have holiday traditions that stretch back to faraway times and places. It’s important to keep these family food traditions alive by handing them on to the next generation, especially during this special time of year. It’s also a great (BYO) time to build your own new holiday food traditions that are unique—a statement of where you are at this moment in time. Pass them on to the next generation of sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, students and friends. Maybe twenty years from now they’ll remember those traditions with a wistful smile, too. You have some time to create a new food tradition. What will happen? Here are our top 4 BYO food tips for building your own holiday traditions.
4 tips for building your own holiday food traditions
1. Build a food tradition around the place.
Like many people in this country, you may not live where you grew up. I was born in Seattle, but have lived in Southern California for 25 years. One new plant-powered holiday tradition involves trips to the farmers’ market year-round to buy seasonal winter produce, like chard, citrus, avocado, apples, and pomegranates to feature in Mediterranean dishes. What is your niche and how does it affect your holiday kitchen?
2. Building a food tradition based on food at its source.
Holidays are all about enjoying delicious food. But what if you dig a little deeper and celebrate food at its source – the soil. Instead of enjoying party buffet dishes and tubs of candy, how about enjoying the simple beauty of natural foods! Think a basket of harvest nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios) on the coffee table, chestnuts roasting over an open fire, and a bowl of winter citrus fruits—grapefruits, blood oranges, and tangerines—to brighten the breakfast table.
3. Building a food tradition with a nod to the past.
Even the brand can take a look at the striking new tradition—even with a modern, plant-based translation. My husband’s childhood in Sweden is the perfect backdrop for new favorite dishes, such as Swedish pea soup (Without the ham!) On a noisy and beautiful night, Open-faced beetroot sandwiches (with chickpeas!) for a light lunch.
4. Build a food tradition that makes you smile.
What with the hustle and bustle of the season, the last thing you need is another chore, like creating a new food tradition, right? But it doesn’t have to be a big deal. And it doesn’t have to be stressful. Consider this: In some cultures, cooking is cherished as an honor, because it means you’re lucky enough to have access to food to cook a healthy, nutritious, and delicious meal for your family. It serves as a precious meditation, as the worries of the day melt away as onions begin to caramelize in the skillet and spices heat the kitchen. What if you took the time for one night this whole month and made an inspiring meal that was a labor of love for you. It doesn’t have to be a work of gourmet art! Maybe Tofu fu vegetables (One of my family’s favorites!) Share it together at the table – each one builds it however they like. Or maybe it’s Sunday dinner with a slow cooker full of b Delicious vegetable stew and rustic, homemade rye bread in the oven. Probably a great pear crispy (my favorite recipe out there Vegetarian diet), with several tiled hands to cut the fruit, and then everyone enjoys those sweet aromas while sipping cups of coffee in the kitchen. Whatever your new plant-based food tradition, I hope you’re smiling!
Please share your plant-based food traditions by tagging @SharonPalmerRD me on Instagram or Twitter.
I wish each of you the most joyful holidays.
eat and live well,
For other holiday inspiration, check out:
picture: Cranberry and vegan orange cookiesSharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN