Food Bloggers Reminisce on Their Favorite Holiday Foods from Childhood

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I think we can all agree that food is one of the best parts of the holiday season. No matter the holiday, food plays a large role in all of our celebrations and ends up being closely linked to our memories of those special times. Just a whiff of cardamom and I am instantly transported back to Christmas Eve as a child!

My dad is Swedish, so our Christmas Eve festivities always centered around Swedish food and traditions. Now that I am grown and have my own children, pretty much the only time of year we have Swedish food is around the holidays, and it always brings back such fond memories, especially of my grandmother. The ham, rice pudding, gingersnaps and cardamom bread will be forever engrained in my memories. My grandma could always break the gingersnaps into three even pieces to make a wish! Even the anchovy-potato casserole my dad insisted on making every year has a fond place in my heart even if I would never touch it with my fork!

I gathered a wonderful collection of stories from bloggers of their favorite holiday foods from childhood, including pictures of everyone as wee things! I hope you’ll enjoy these stories, which I’m sure will remind you of your own favorite holiday foods!

  • Carol’s 3-Generation Cherry Pie 1 of 11
    donna kelly memory food photo

    Donna Kelly from Apron Strings shared her family's heirloom cherry pie recipe with us. From Donna: The 70′s was a decade of tacky food (see photo!). But my mom Carol bucked the trend. [Her cherry] pie is Carol on a plate classic elegance with a richness and zest for living life at its fullest. And the most important ingredient: love. A love for life, and a love for those of us lucky to be a part of Carol's life. It just wouldn't be Christmas at my house without Carol's Cherry Pie for dessert!




    Recipe from Donna Kelly of the blog Apron Strings

    Makes 2 pies


    You will need enough pie crust for two, two-crust pies




    • 3 cans (15 ounces each) tart pie cherries, undrained (as in do not drain!)
    • 3 cups sugar
    • 3/4 cup flour
    • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • A few drops of red food coloring (optional)


    Simmer the cherries, sugar, flour and cinnamon in a medium saucepan until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract and red food coloring if desired.


    Place a pie crust in each of 2 pie pans. Pour in filling. Top each pie with pie crust in lattice style.


    Place pies on baking sheets and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until crust is lightly browned.


    Let pie sit for at least 2 hours to cool and for filling to set.

    Photo source: Donna Kelly

  • Swedish Food at Christmastime 2 of 11
    jane maynard childhood photo

    Since I'm asking everyone else to share their memories, I think I should, too! Yes, that's me there on the right with the very cute bowl cut. 

    Click here for our family's bulle recipe, Swedish cardamom buns

    Photo source: Jane Maynard

  • Christmas Sugar Cookies 3 of 11
    rachel gurk childhood photo

    Rachel Gurk from Rachel Cooks, pictured in yellow and sporting the dashing goatee, shared her favorite holiday food memory: Every year my sister, my mom and I made cookies for Christmas. My favorite thing was to decorate the sugar cookies. To this day, I still do it every year and look forward to carrying on the tradition with my kids. I can only hope that they'll be as messy as I was!

    If you'd like Rachel's sugar cookie recipe, click here.

    Photo source: Rachel Gurk 

  • Monkey Bread 4 of 11
    barbara schieving childhood photo

    Barbara Schieving from Barbara Bakes shared this holiday food memory: For years my mom made Monkey Bread on Christmas morning. She put it together the night before, so it was ready to pop in the oven Christmas morning.  I was one of six kids, so it never lasted very long. We gobbled it up as soon as it was on the table. We'd eat it as a breakfast appetizer while she was busy making bacon, eggs and pancakes. She made a shortcut version with frozen bread dough. This year I decided to add caramelized apples for an Overnight Apple Fritter Monkey Bread version.

    Photo Source: Barbara Schieving

  • Baked Beans 5 of 11
    ashley blom childhood photo

    Ashley Blom from Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine shared a very sweet memory of her dad and a food he would always make for the holidays: These baked beans held a prominent spot at every family gathering [including the holidays]. My dad was a TERRIBLE cook, but the one thing he could make was these baked beans. He actually would use canned baked beans and then "doctor them up" with all sorts of goodies. This is my attempt of me trying to re-create his baked beans. He passed away a few years ago, and the dish will always remind me of him.

    Photo source: Ashley Blom

  • Pumpkin Pie 6 of 11
    erin sellin childhood photo

    Erin Sellin from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts is pictured here helping her family make pumpkin pie! Erin shared her memory with us: Pumpkin pie has always been a tradition in my family.  We have it every Thanksgiving and then again on Christmas.  It is always up for debate whether you have it warmed or not.  My dad and I like ours warmed in the microwave before serving, but my mom and brother like it at room temperature.  Getting to help make the pie as a kid was always so much fun! 

    Get Erin's pumpkin pie recipe by clicking here!

    Photo Source: Erin Sellin 

  • Latkes 7 of 11
    susan palmer childhood photo

    Susan Palmer from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen shared the food that her family absolutely could not live without during Chanukah: latkes! (You'll notice the menorah on her birthday cake since her birthday always fell on Chanukah!) From Susan: If there was one thing that was demanded at my family table for Chanukah it was latkes.  We go crazy over them and they are gone before you blink.  My dad was always in charge of the latke making and his version was so different than the traditional shredded potato latkes in every other home, I thought this was the way they were meant to be.  He would puree the potatoes and onions and fry them into a golden brown pancake.  A 5lb pound bag of potatoes was the minimum amount needed to make enough for my family and this recipe went with us from home to celebrating Chanukah with family in Switzerland as a teenager. As an adult, I'm a little more fond of the shredded potato version but I still love dad's and even updated his version a bit with some added winter squash. 

    Click here for Susan's recipe for Squash and Potato Latkes

    Photo source: Susan Palmer

  • Christmas Baking Galore! 8 of 11
    brandy o'neill childhood photo

    Brandy O'Neill from Nutmeg Nanny shared her fond memories of baking for the holidays with her family: A few days before Christmas, my mom, Aunt, cousin and I would go over to my grandmother's and bake. When I was little I doubt I was much help, but as I got older it turned into a ritual I looked forward too. Cookies, pies and cakes...they all got made. However, my favorite part of the evening was getting to lick the beaters after my grandmother made her chocolate cake. If I was lucky I could get both beaters but most of the time I had to share with my cousin. To this day I can't help but sneak a little cake batter. 

    Photo source: Brandy O'Neill


  • Baked Christmas Wreaths 9 of 11
    marie lebaron childhood photo

    Marie LeBaron from Make and Takes and Babble always made baked Christmas wreaths with her family and continues the tradition today with her own kids. Marie would make the wreaths with her mom every year when she was a child and they would give them away to friends and loved ones. Marie loved making them and eating them! Her mom always made the dough and frosting from scratch and this memory has stuck with Marie all these years!

    Photo source: Marie LeBaron

  • Homemade Muesli 10 of 11
    allison czarnecki childhood photo

    Allison Czarnecki from Petit Elefant and Babble lives for her family's Christmas morning müesli every year. Allison's dad doesn't cook much, but he does make German müesli every Christmas and it is one of Allison's most favorite things. Her father served a mission for his church in the 1950s in Germany. It was a difficult mission and he doesn't talk about it much, but he did learn how to make müesli and it is something he has made for his family every Christmas year after year after year. 

    Click here to learn how to make the müesli.

    Photo source: Allison Czarnecki

  • Oma’s Cauliflower Cutlets 11 of 11
    hindy garfinkel childhood photo

    Hindy Garfinkel from Confident Cook Hesitant Baker shared memories of her Oma coming to their home and cooking for Passover. When her grandmother visited, she was constantly cooking. One of her grandmother's staples was cauliflower cutlets, a delicious side dish that they all loved. Hindy always knew what was coming when she would walk into the kitchen and smell that unmistakable aroma of steaming cauliflower. 

    Click here for Oma's recipe.

    Photo source: Hindy Garfinkel

Read more from Jane at This Week for DinnerKitchen Tunage and The Spoiler Alert. For more updates, follow Jane on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest!

Article Posted 3 years Ago

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