Posted by: literallydelicious | July 6, 2010

July 4th Food

Is it just my family, or does everyone’s holidays revolve around food?

Our July 4ths were always traditional: burgers and hot dogs on the grill, potato salad, cole slaw, watermelon, strawberries, cans of pop fished out of coolers filled with ice and water. Even though circumstances prevented the family from getting together this year (first time in memory!), it was still just second nature to grill burgers and fix slaw for lunch today, even if it was just two of us.

It’s tradition. The older I get, the more I value it. And, yeah, for our family at least, food is a big part of it. Every Saturday, my immediate family meets for lunch. Mom started the routine when my #1 niece was tiny, and now she’s bringing her own 13-month-old son. It’s only a few hours every weekend, but it means a lot to all of us. (This past Saturday, when my sister told the hostess at Rib Crib that there were fifteen of us, she was asked if they could break us into four groups and seat us separately around the restaurant. What’s the use, my sister asked, of going to lunch together if we can’t sit together?)

Our holidays are even more traditional with regards to food. Ham on Easter, turkey and the fixings at Thanksgiving and Christmas, a shrimp and crab legs feast on New Year’s Eve. When we were a young military family and couldn’t go home for Christmas for the first time, we broke tradition completely and had seafood for Christmas dinner. No dressing, no pumpkin or pecan pie, no yams. Now, even though we’re rarely home on Christmas Day and we always bring home leftovers, we still buy our own turkey, make our own dressing, have our own desserts.

You just don’t mess with tradition.



  1. Yep, you don’t mess with tradition as that is how the past is carried forward.

    • And it’s important for the past to be carried forward. The older I get, the more I see that.

      We’ve got two brand new baby traditions involving the grandson: every time he comes over, we walk down to the neighbors’ to see their emus, and we bake chocolate chip cookies. The last time rain kept us from the emus (not because we mind getting wet but he had only one set of clothes and shoes), but we baked the cookies, then gobbled ’em down while watching “Shrek.” It was a great afternoon.

  2. Amen.
    Although we sometimes change tradition (we have prime rib on Christmas Eve instead of turkey on Christmas Day like Mama did) we love keeping them.

    We do ham on Easter, fried chicken on the 4th of July, turkey on Thanksgiving, and for New Years we have dips and finger foods–our nod to the parties we won’t be going to.

    I wonder how many different foods are traditionally served for those holidays. It would be interesting to see how many readers are alike and how many are different.

    • No black-eyed peas for NY’s Day? A bunch of Mom’s family kept that tradition, but Mom never liked them, so she tossed it. I don’t like them, either, so I’m glad. 😉

      I know a number of Italian/Americans who serve pasta on Christmas Eve.

      And in the last few years, we’ve added chicken and noodles to our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. My bil’s parents join our family, and that’s a tradition from their family.

      And my dil’s family always has a big fish fry for the Fourth. Her grandpa catches all the fish, freezes ’em, and they cook ’em for the holiday.

      It would be interesting to see what everyone else’s tradition includes.

  3. My family had the usual holiday meals, but for Christmas, my folks always had an open house birthday party for Jesus…complete with birthday cake.

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