HOLIDAY FOODS

Turkey or ham for Christmas?

Brisket or roast chicken for Passover?

Holiday foods are the glue that keeps our family together. But, when our millennial daughter and her husband of 4 months joined us last year for Thanksgiving, I quickly realized that traditions change as my family grows. Jon was raised with the wisdom that a cooked vegetable should accompany every meal, so he made baked asparagus. OH MY: what a delight!

As our millennial house guests watched the calendar turn from June to July, they saw their summer in “paradise” begin to slip away and shock set in: Amy needed to make lesson plans for her summer teaching gig and Jon needed to start experimenting with liquid fiberglass to find the perfect product to coat the blades of his wind turbine that had taken up residence in our garage. Thus July 4th was declared a day of work. As morning turned to afternoon, the ever popular topic of food came up. Being July 4th, I ASSUMED burgers would be the obvious choice. “Not so fast” ye of the younger set and lovers of Artesian fare said, “we are making bison burgers on homemade brioche rolls, a traditional July 4th meal!” After my eye-roll, I casually mentioned that I now knew what that odd object was that had been living in my freezer. Then started the discussion of how to quick thaw 2 pounds of frozen ground bison at which point my “light bulb moment” occurred – this generation missed the memo on planning ahead!

Amy’s job was to make the brioche dough which became a 4 hour adventure in timing, checking, kneading and watching the dough as it began it’s assent to the top of the bowl it was growing in. My silent prayer of, “please don’t rise so high that you end up on my counter” had been answered when the dough reached the edge of the bowl and miraculously stopped growing. Once the millennial chefs declared the dough was ready, they formed large dough balls, plopped them onto a cookie sheet and into the oven it went. We watched again as the balls began to rise, ( yes, we did a lot of watching of dough on the watching of fireworks day ). The timer went off, the cookie sheet came out, “oh no”, the dough balls had become a bread blob! Sous chef to the rescue, fancy knife in tow, Jon began carving out 4 bun shaped objects and proudly declared, “this will do.” Add to this the grilled bison burgers and a new July 4th meal had been born!

Our second family Thanksgiving has just finished and our millennial chefs did not disappoint. Jon made a fabulous sweet potato souffle, ( again with the cooked vegetable theme ), and Amy made the most delicious Baklava for desert. As our millennial daughter and her husband spend their vacations with us, our family traditions become enriched by all the love they bring into our lives, unique as they are.