Our life has a lot of history repeating itself. We travel to the same places that our families had gone. Snake and I renewed our wedding vows as my parents had done. Different method, but the same idea.
We have foods that each of us grew up with that have been slightly adjusted for our own family.
I guess the one thing that comes to my mind is a family smorgasbord. This started in my family after we had lived in Sweden for six months when I was very little.
My dad made friends with others who both lived in Stockholm and were temporarily living there as we were. When parties were held, everyone brought food.
Yes, very similar to a potluck here in the U.S. But, the food wasn’t the same as we were used to having people bring.
Instead of the baked beans and salads and usual fare, there were Swedish meatballs (yes) and cheeses and meats and fish and desserts that were all finger food. Since they had both grown up with huge families, dinners were sit down affairs even if they were casual. This was totally new to them.
Coming home to Colorado, my dad wanted to recreate this easy drop-in type of party. He loved to cook appetizers and got very imaginative and quite good. My mom cooked most meals and she was happy to let him spend days figuring out exactly what he wanted to make and prep all of the meal. They started doing it on Christmas Day so friends could just drop in for a drink and have a little snack before they went off on their own celebrations.
It was always a big hit and we usually had 40-50 people who would drop by over the course of the day. After we moved to Tucson, they switched to doing it as just a family thing. It would usually still happen on Christmas Day and it was such a fun way to spend the day.
As things got busier after Snake and I got married, the day sometimes wasn’t Christmas. If we were going to be at his parent’s house for the day, it might be Christmas Eve. Or somewhere else between Christmas and New Year’s. The food also changed a bit as my dad found new things that Snake absolutely loved and he would make adjustments to the menu.
There were always certain things on the menu. Swedish meatballs. Teriyaki chicken wings. Stuffed mushrooms. Bacon-wrapped water chestnuts marinated in teriyaki sauce–these originally had chicken livers, but nope. We don’t do chicken liver. Escargot that was a special treat for me. Stuffed tomatoes. Deviled eggs. And all sorts of other things that used to be our lunches for at least another 3 or 4 days after.
Now that they are gone, the feast has moved to being ours to do. Some of the same things are on my menu too. And some are different. We still have the water chestnuts, except I make twice as many and they still go away. Shrimp and sauce. Empanadas. Pizza dip which was a recipe from Snake’s mom. Beer dip and pretzels. Cheeses and crackers and chips and salsa and so much more.
And the date of ours has changed. It is now New Year’s Day to celebrate the start of a fresh new year. But, the history is still there…