Holiday Traditions and Treats
The holiday season is one where families come together and traditions come alive. Whether it’s Grandma’s best recipes or a funny tradition that your family celebrates, the holiday season is full of joy and love for all who join in its wonderful celebrations.
Casey Abrams, a math teacher at KHS, celebrates the holidays with his family with a tradition called “Cousins Christmas”.
“My dad has a lot of siblings, and so there are so many of us cousins hanging out during the holidays,” said Abrams. “Since there are so many of us, we thought it would be fun to dress up every year. Last year we all dressed up as a character from Christmas Vacation.”
This original holiday tradition in Abrams’ family started when he was young, and will continue in future years.“As we get older and have our own families, it gets harder to come together as a family around Christmas, so when we do, we have fun with it.” Abrams looks forward to this year’s celebration of dressing up for the holidays, and being voted for having the best costume.
Tracy Goldie, a math teacher at KHS, remembers a fun tradition she and her family enjoyed when she was young.
“Since I was a small child, my entire family has celebrated ‘Trim the Tree’,” says Goldie. For Goldie,“Trim the Tree” starts every year on the first Saturday of December at her aunt’s house, where everyone enjoys a delicious breakfast with hot chocolate. After breakfast, the tree is decorated by the kids, and the family would be on their way to the next few houses chosen to hold holiday celebrations.
“At each house, we would have a different snack, drink, or dessert, decorate the tree, and then move on to the next house,” said Goldie.
By the end of the day, after the trees at various family members’ houses are decorated , a last meal would be eaten, and a last tree ready to be trimmed at Grandma’s house.
“By the end of the day, we kids were bored of decorating trees, but we wanted to get it done for Grandma Shirley,” added Goldie. “I really enjoy this tradition, especially when I was younger, and I would love to continue it for years to come.”
How about some treats?
Spanish teacher Jorge Gonzalez has a perfect recipe for a side dish to be served with a holiday feast. From Puerto Rico, Gonzalez brings a recipe for “Arroz con Grandules”, which translates to “Green Pigeon Peas and Rice”. This dish is often served at holiday meals and special events, and will add flavor to your holiday dinner this year.
Arroz con Gandules – Rice & Pigeon Peas
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ lb. country ham, cubed
½ green bell pepper, chopped (about ½ cup)
½ yellow onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
2 packets Sazón with Coriander and Annatto
1 tbsp. Minced Garlic
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. Oregano
1½ cups Medium Grain Rice
1 can (15 oz.) Green Pigeon Peas
4 oz. Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup Manzanillas Olives Stuffed with Minced Pimientos, sliced
1. Heat oil in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ham to pan; cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in peppers and onions; cook, stirring occasionally, scraping up brown bits from bottom, until vegetables are soft and translucent, 10 minutes. Add sazón, garlic, cilantro and oregano. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2. Add rice to pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until coated in oil and toasted, about
1 minute. Stir in pigeon peas, tomato sauce, olives and 1½ cups water; using a wooden spoon, stir once and bring rice mixture to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until water is evaporated, about 10 minutes. Gently stir rice from bottom up.
3. Lower heat to medium low and cook, covered, until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat. Gently fluff rice with fork. Cover pan
and let stand 5 minutes.
Grandma Guilfoyle’s Christmas Cookies
There’s nothing like Grandma’s classic cookies to enjoy during the holidays, and history teacher, Tim Guilfoyle, recalls his favorite cookie recipe to share for this year’s season. Grandma Guilfoyle’s Christmas Cookies will make delicious additions to your table and dessert list for years to come.
1 Package of crushed Graham Crackers
1/2 Cup of chopped Walnuts (optional)
1/s cup of Chocolate Chips (add or remove to liking)
1/2 of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together condensed milk and butter. Next, add salt, baking powder, and the flour, and mix until combined (do not over-mix). Stir in the chocolate chips, graham crackers, and walnuts. Roll dough into one-inch balls and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. While the cookies are still warm, lightly cover them with powdered sugar and enjoy!