Why Traditional Holiday Meals are Overrated

Why Traditional Holiday Meals are Overrated

We’ve all heard of the traditional meal around the holidays, from the giant turkey in the middle of the table to the classic sides of mashed potatoes and string bean casseroles. However, instead of limiting one’s self to traditional meals, why not change up next year’s holiday meal with something out of box to impress both friends and family alike?

Traditional  meals are boring and bland because they’ve been made so many times already. Everyone already knows that Thanksgiving dinner includes turkey and stuffing, a Christmas feast with potatoes and fruitcake. It’s always expected, so changing it adds an element of surprise and mystery to your guests. It’s repetitive, and making the same thing every year doesn’t even make cooking fun anymore.

Instead of the traditional American meal and the like, why not make a feast that has different types of food from across the globe? Instead of turkey, one could try fish or ham for the centerpiece of the meal. You could swap out mashed potatoes for a side of curry or noodles. After all, 33% of Americans incorporate non-traditional sides into the meal; not enough people are going out to try new foods for their holiday meals.  With some outside the box thinking, a regular meal could become the talk of the town. You could even try to use the food in your fridge instead of buying loads of potatoes and string beans from the grocery store. It’s a fun subversion of expectations by showing your guests that this year’s meal is going to be a tour of the different foods around the world.

Another reason why someone should skip the traditional meal is because some of the meals are excruciatingly hard to make. Mainly the turkey, since it’s made up of both white and dark meat, that means the cooking times for both parts are differ from each other. It’s why most turkeys come out dry and over cooked: the white meat finishes cooking first, which leaves it tasting like cardboard. So instead of having to babysit an oven to even get a chance of a well done beef wellington, people should use other proteins as the stars of their meal. One choice is defrosting a ham, the cook only having to put it in the oven until warmed through and slice it up. Another option would be fish or maybe even a vegetarian option like stuffed mushrooms, both much easier to cook and prepare. This also adds a small amount of surprise as your friends and family realize that  the traditional king of the meal is replaced with something equally as tasty.

However, all these ingredients cost more than your regular holiday meal, with many of the ingredients being expensive to find at your local grocery store. However,  you don’t need to use expensive or fancy ingredients to make a meal to remember. There are plenty of cheaper proteins that you could use as the star of the meal, and if fresh vegetables aren’t available, frozen vegetables are easy and cheap to come by, and a little seasoning can go a long way. It’s also a fun and challenging way to reimagine your traditional meal, which may shock your guests as they learn that a delicious meal can come from cheap ingredients.

While tradition is valued highly in many households, people shouldn’t be afraid to switch up the menu for their next holiday feast. It would bring surprise and awe to your guests as you unveil a delicious dinner that becomes the talk of both friends and family alike.


Photo courtesy of FLICKR.COM

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