Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Dishes

Several years ago a friend gave me a set of Christmas tableware at a gift exchange. She said that everyone needed a set of Christmas dishes. The good dishes were used sparingly in the hollow and only on special occasions. I didn't know anyone that had Christmas tableware. My friend was right and it was the perfect gift. Every year since then, I've used those dishes in December.
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Back in the hollow, our tradition was always a Christmas breakfast rather than a dinner. But, the table was always set with our best silver flatware. We would fry up country ham and make red-eye gravy. Eggs, homemade buttermilk biscuits, and sometimes grits found their way to the table. Years later I would add a hash brown potato dish to the mix served up in a sculpted casserole.
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I can smell the ham frying already! This time of year, is it any wonder we're always checking out the latest in Food News? Our memories and traditions tend to revolve around kitchen tables at Christmas. Not just for the food, but for the fellowship. Traditions are passed down to little ones as those recipes are being cooked up. But, they are learning more from our actions than from the recipe. Spending time with friends and family is one of the treasures found at Christmas.
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Red-Eye Gravy
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After frying country ham, add one cup of strong black coffee to the drippings left in the skillet. Scrape the bottom of the pan for any bits of ham and stir. Pour into bowl. As the drippings settle, the red-eye forms at the bottom of the bowl. Serve over biscuits.

1 comment:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Marge, I love country ham and red-eye gravy... There's nuttin' better!!!! When we used to go to Arkansas for Christmas (when my sons were young)--we'd stop by this little meat place and buy our country ham FRESH.... Yummy!!!!!

I have a set (cheap ones--that I think we bought at the grocery store back when they sold a piece each week I think) of Christmas dishes also. I use ours all during December...

Hugs,
Betsy