Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent Calendar ~ Dec 2 - Holiday Foods

Did your family or ancestors serve traditional dishes for the holidays? Was there one dish that was unusual?

There is one special things that we always had at Christmas which I've never known anyone else to have.  As a matter of fact when I tell people one of the ingredients they usually look at me like I'm making it up!   It sounds simple enough - it's just a fruit cup with grapefruit, oranges, grapes and sugar.  It's the grapes that make it something rather unique.  For some reason, the grapes that were traditionally used were the kind that had seeds.  Before they could go into the fruit cup the grapes had to be PEELED and then cut in half and the seeds had to be removed.  It's the PEELED part that always causes the stares of disbelief!

Many years when I was a child I helped with that particular task.  I'd have to stopped multiple times and wash my hands and arms as I seemed to get sticky from about the fingertips to the elbows on both hands.  It would take forever to peel the required number of grapes!

This delicacy was particular to my Mom's side of the family.  It was always consumed right before Christmas dinner and was always, at least for the adults, served in an ornate crystal goblet.  For those of us kids who liked this concoction, we usually were served in plastic glasses!

In later years, as everyone started going to less labor intensive holidays, sometimes the person in charge of fixing this would use seedless grapes and NOT PEEL THEM!  We all agreed that peeling grapes was probably rather silly, but it just never tasted the same - or as good - unless the grapes were peeled.




This post was written for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories. Please stop over to read Christmas memories posted by other GeneaBloggers from now through Christmas Eve.

10 comments:

  1. Sounds like a super yummy treat. I don't think I'd want to be the grape peeler though. lol

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  2. We had the luxury of more time - or our mothers and grandmothers did - in those days. Sounds grand, but no grapes would be peeled here today. Kind of a pity.

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  3. Michelle - when I was younger I actually liked being the grape peeler...it was an honor! (plus I got to peel them with my dad while we watched TV)

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  4. Perhaps they put a little libations in those crystal goblets....

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  5. Ah time...well, I think it might have been that they had children with time! But I agree - it is a pity.

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  6. Claudia - with my family...entirely likely!!

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  7. What a S W E E T appetizer. I am getting very lazy as the year's progress so I don't think I'll initiate this particular tradition.

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  8. I actually think peeling the grapes may have been one of the things that made the dish so tasty - so that the grapes could absorb some of the juice of the other ingredients. It sounds like a great, healthy treat!

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  9. Geniaus - I'll admit, it's been many years since we've made this with peeled grapes!!

    Greta - it was totally the grapes that made it so tasty!! It did have a fair share of sugar in it, but it was still probably one of the healthier things we ate during the holidays :-)

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  10. One side of my family was wealthy and lived on Beacon Hill with servants and I imagined they had things such as this for Christmas. The other side of my family were servants on estates in the North Shore, and they were probably peeling the grapes! I still love driving around the fancy neighborhoods in Boston at night at Christmastime and peeking through the lace curtains to see how the other half lives.

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