Recently, we asked readers of The Takeout to share their annual holiday food traditions, whether it’s eating Chinese takeout on Christmas or adding a hearty lasagna to the Thanksgiving spread. As we gather with family and friends, all of us have nostalgia-packed meals we enjoy this time of year. And some of the traditions cited by readers left us so inspired (or just plain delighted) that we would be remiss not to share them with you here. Maybe you’ll want to adopt some of these yearly rituals yourselves.
“Beer pong on Thanksgiving. Started back when I was in college (20 years ago?). My dad is really good.” –highlikeaneagle
“We make mason jar butter for Thanksgiving. About 15 minutes before dinner is served, someone fills a mason jar halfway with heavy cream and a bit of salt, then we pass it around and everyone takes a turn shaking it. By the time dinner is ready, we have fresh butter for the rolls.” —emchammered
“Cuban Thanksgiving. For many, many years, my family had essentially a second Thanksgiving where the day after we’d go to my abuela’s tiny apartment in Jersey City and she would bang out a full court press of Cuban classics: arroz con gris, yuca con mojo, tostones and maduros, avocado salad, croquetas de jamon. The centerpiece of this feast was turkey, cooked in the style of lechon - marinated in mojo, wrapped in bacon. A moist, flavorful showstopper every time.” —brickhardmeat
“My oldest didn’t like Thanksgiving food in the early years, so I started making the kids the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving meal: toast, popcorn, jelly beans, & pretzels. They still like it, even though they will eat some turkey now.” —yllehs
“My parents got sick of doing turkey for Thanksgiving AND Christmas so we started doing Pizza Christmas. We each make a batch of cookies to bring along with our booze of choice and one of us makes dough and sauce. We all chip in for toppings and spend most of the day gorging on cookies and getting kind of drunk while playing Rock Band, Jackbox, or Spaceteam. Once dinner rolls around we bang our four or five pizzas.”—leonthotsky
“Well, there’s the fighting.” —poodlesromanov