My favorite thing to do this time of year is to count how many times people say “I love Christmas.” I think at this point in our lives and in our society, we can all just assume that most people love Christmas. It’s like saying, “I like pizza” or “I prefer cotton underwear.” Everyone likes pizza, prefers cotton underwear and generally loves Christmas.
Christmas in my house is a day-long hors d'oeuvres fest. Some families do a brunch or a traditional sit down dinner with a turkey or a ham or a roast beast, but in the Ditzel household we do apps! There are some standards: shrimp dip, cheese plates, crudités, various dips, my grandmother’s spicy cheese crackers, etc. But we also do a few new items every year, which are mainly self-serving since we find it on Pinterest and then want to eat it. Past choices include stuffing balls, cheddar gougeres, chorizo cups and some pretty boring caprese skewers. No offense to my mom, but I’m just not into something I’d be forced to eat at a networking event or book signing. I don’t know why they bother me so much, but little tomatoes, mozzarella balls and strips of basil are just not special enough! Maybe it’s because I’ve had too much burrata? Now I want burrata.
The one item that everyone goes pretty ape for year after bloody year is the classic cocktail weenies in grape jelly sauce. Seriously. That’s my brother’s favorite and typically the crockpot is the best place to force him into a conversation. I don’t know why these little nuggets in the special sauce do it for us so well. For real, if our family could just screw all the other items and just have the weenies, we’d be fine with that. Is that weird?
It got me thinking about nostalgia and holidays and food and what that means. I asked a few friends what their favorite food at the holidays is. Here were the responses I got:
- Yams with Marshmallows
- Chocolate Mousse Pie
- Green Gook
- Mac & Cheese
- Red Borscht
What are all these things?! I don’t even know, but it makes me excited to go home and eat up all my favorites. Maybe everyone loves Christmas so much because we’re just eating all this junk we don’t eat any other time of the year. It makes them that much more special when you only get them once a year, right? I think every dish you make specifically for a holiday should be titled in the following formula:
(Your family’s name) + (a random number) + “Annual” + (name of the dish)
The Ditzel’s 43rd Annual Cocktail Weenies!
So on that beautiful note, here is the (very easy) recipe for my favorite Christmas treat using veggie meatballs (Trader Joe's brand is killer) and a dash of liquor. You might want to throw some flour on your face to make it look more complicated. Hope you like it!*
*If you were looking for a “fancy” recipe… umm, wrong post!
Cocktail Weenies (or meatballs)
- Jar of grape jelly
- Bottle of chili Sauce
- A dash of bourbon
- Cocktail weenies, meatballs or veggie meatballs
Throw ‘em in a crockpot on high for a couple of hours and then EAT ‘EM UP.
You are so welcome. Happy Holidays.
For hors d'oeuvres ideas that require more cooking than this one, check out The Chopping Block's Winter Cocktails and Appetizer cooking class coming up next month.