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Where’s the Turkey?

Celebrate holidays with new tasty traditions

By Hilary Berg

Roasted turkey with dressing — many of you call it stuffing — sweet cranberry sauce, fluffy mashed potatoes with gravy, cream cheese corn, “green stuff” marshmallow salad, bread and butter, and pumpkin pie. Growing up, the menu for Christmas never really changed, and most — O.K., all — will be served on Dec. 25 at my parents’ house; I guarantee it.   

Editor's Note

Hilary Berg has been the editor of OWP since 2006. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s in journalism. She and her husband own a seven-acre vineyard and winery called Roots.

Tradition. The holidays are all about it. Although there are so many more choices today — I don’t recall an entire aisle of cereal in the ’80s! — a lot of people don’t dare change the holiday menu.

But change can be good. Delicious, in fact. And as studies suggest, a greater number of people are renouncing cooking at all and heading out to eat for the main merry event.

But, what’s open? Most likely, Chinese-American restaurants — and a smattering of others.

According to a 2014 CNN report, Google searches for “Chinese food” peak on Christmas Day, a trend for the last decade-plus — 2004 was the earliest year data was available. These findings represent more than just the American Jewish population sipping egg drop soup and devouring plates of spicy Kung Pao chicken on Dec. 25. It’s a growing tradition among several groups.

Why not? It’s kosher. It’s inexpensive. It’s filling. It’s fast. It’s delicious. And like the cereal aisle, a bounty of choices in menu items and regionality of cuisine make the Chinese restaurant an enticing alternative to turkey, or whatever protein appears on your plate year after year.

As for me, I could go either way. I look forward to the family menu when I make it home, but I could change. I do love egg rolls, sesame chicken, chow mein, General Tso’s...

Shèng dàn kuài lè! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! 

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