This year will be more of the same, in true Christmas tradition form, and I’m thinking the theme will be “International Christmas Traditions” and involve traditional Christmas food from all over the world. I dreamed it up while doing research for an upcoming Fine Dining Lovers article. The centrepiece of the party will be a Scandinavian smorgasbord, or “Yule Table” (Joulupöytä in Finnish, if you were curious) featuring:
Gravlax, pickled “Rosolli” herring salad with boiled beets, carrots, potatoes, apples and pickled cucumber; lutefisk (another strange fish dish), potato casserole, Icelandic caramelized potatoes, mustard, tomato, cheese, Karelian pasties, and Glogg (Finnish mulled wine).
A lot of that sounds pretty simple, and a lot of it sounds pretty weird, but I’m going to gussy it all up, of course. And the nice thing about a smorgasbord is it’s really just a lot of stuff, so I’m thinking I’ll throw random snacks from other cultures onto the board and make it an intercultural Yule Table, including:
Portuguese/Newfoundland Bacalhao salt fish
Eastern European Poppy milk and poppy pastries (like almond milk, but with a whole lot of poppy seeds/mild opiates, aka just what you need at Christmas)
Cuban moros et Cristianos (rice and beans, but more interesting than a Cali version from, say, the Tessajara Cookbook…)
For hot appetizers all I’ve got so far is Japanese Kentucky Fried Chicken. Confused about that one? Turns out Japanese people often eat Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas rather than roasting a bird, so I’ll do a snack-sized version of seasoned, breaded and baked chicken à la Colonel.
So I need a few more hot appetizer ideas. Help?!
Desserts I have covered:
Jamaican Black Cake (fruitcake with a lot of rum and molasses)
France – “13 Desserts” (I haven’t really looked at the recipes for this one, and I’m not sure if it’s practical, but we’ll see…)
New Zealand pavlova
Holland Letter Cake made in the shape of the first letter of the family’s last name (W, because W has a V in it already)
Clearly this is overkill. Some things may be cut. Some things may be added, shifted, or forgotten entirely. Let me know what you think, or if there are any spectacular recipes for beets, lutefisk, rice and beans, potato casserole, or glogg that you’d highly recommend. I admit, I’m a glogg beginner. But not for much longer.