In the Mood for Some Holiday Food
Holiday food traditions can be a way to connect with family and friends, enjoy some of the extra free time during break, and, of course, eat some good food.
Many students have favorite holiday foods or holiday food traditions that they look forward to, that are ofen confined to this exciting burst of the year.
Isabel Vlahakis ’19 enjoys baking and eating sugar cookies during the holidays. She said, “They’re rolled sugar cookies made from scratch. We put sprinkles on them, and we decorate them. There are little diferent shapes, like little angels, bells, and flowers. There’s a rooster one. They are very colorful.”
Caroline Meury ’22 loves “Mashed sweet potato with marshmallow, brown sugar, and maple syrup. It’s my favorite because it’s really good. We have it every year.” Griffin Congdon ’20 also likes to eat something sweet, saying, “I like pumpkin pie because it is unique to the holidays.”
Not all holiday foods have to be sweet. Charlotte Yin ’20 said, “My dad is Chinese, so we eat hot pot every year, which is meat and vegetables and fish in chicken broth, and we’ve done that forever.” This a tradition that has been in her family for a long time; she explained, “My grandparents started it with my dad.”
Similarly, Mila Koshov ’22 has had olivier salad with her family for as long as she can remember. She said, “We have our tradition of making Russian salad. It’s Russian cold cuts, peas, carrots, pickles, cucumbers, eggs, potatoes, sometimes apples.”
Vlahakis’ ’19 tradition of baking sugar cookies has also been a part of her family for a while. The family uses a recipe from her grandma, and the tradition of baking them has “been happening since before I was born,” Vlahakis ’19 said.
Holiday cooking and baking is also an opportunity to spend time with friends and family. Nate Meyers ’22 said, “We make latkes; they’re fried potato pancakes. I help my dad. We grate potatoes and onions. We make a lot because we have to feed our entire family.” Making them with his father is not the only way he spends time with his family while enjoying them; “Usually on the frst night of Hanukkah we will do it for just our immediate family, and then whenever we have our Hanukkah party, then we make them for the entire family. We make them when we visit our grandparents in Florida as well,” he said. During the holidays, people ofen bond with their families through baking, cooking, or passing down recipes.
For Katherine Takoudes ’20, family tradition blends with Greek tradition. She said, “For as long as I can remember, my family has baked and eaten vasilopita on New Year’s Day. Vasilopita is a sweet and orangey cake without frosting, and it’s a Greek tradition to bake it with a coin inside. Then, when we cut it on New Years, the person who finds the coin in their slice has good luck for the new year.”
Holiday foods are a crucial part of winter and the holiday season for Meyers ’22. He values them because, “I love to eat holiday foods. They are a staple of the holiday season. The traditions bring the spirit of the holidays and they are something that we can all bond over.”