Mind you, I am not inflexible; if I'm not with my family for a holiday, for example, I can go with the flow and have a burger on the Fourth of July. But we have our traditions, and we adhere to them when we can, some more rigidly than others.
So, then, in case you are by now desperate to know what I eat on the Fourth of July if not a burger:
- Mixed nuts
- Celery sticks with peanut butter and mayonnaise and raisins
- Little glasses of cranberry juice and lemon sherbet
- Mashed potatoes
- Stuffing (in the bird for regular people, and out of the bird for my cousin, who finds the in-bird stuff gross)
- Acorn squash
- Creamed onions
- Pecan pie
- Apple pie
- Mince pie
- Pumpkin pie
- Whipped cream for pie
- Cheddar cheese
- Coffee (also with whipped cream, for those who desire it)
- After Eights mints
- Pie for breakfast (and, therefore discussion of who will eat which pie, as my sister dislikes apple, and some people think mince isn't for breakfast)
- Soup and/or sandwich for lunch, at the Monadnock Music craft fair
- Some kind of baked good, and some kind of hot beverage*
- Brussels sprouts
- Mashed potatoes
- Roast beef (if my uncle is there)
- Yorkshire pudding (if my uncle is there to make it)
- Plum pudding, lit (for those who don't mind dessert made of beef fat and dried fruit and liquor)
- Chocolate cake (for those who do)
- Leftover goose, in hunks, with fingers**
- Cheddar cheese, ditto**
- Water crackers with cream cheese and caviar
- Black-eyed peas***
- Hot cross buns for breakfast (not homemade)
- Ice cream (midday, at the ice cream social in town)
- Strawberries (generally in shortcake)
- Sara Lee black forest cake for dessert*****
So, what about you? Any inviolable holiday traditions? Any of mine you Just. Can't. Believe?!?!?
*Served by me to whoever else is in the house, in bed, wearing some variation of white dress, red sash, wreath of lighted candles on my head.
** These and other snacks historically consumed in the car, on the way to Washington, D.C.
*** I am actually the only member of my family who does this, and I have only been doing it since 1994, when I lived with a bunch of Southerners.
**** Due to the fact that my parents are clergy, and therefore exhausted by Easter, and due to the fact that I didn't eat red meat for 17 years, there have been many Easters when we went out to dinner. Nonetheless, those who could often ate lamb, and when we do cook at home, it's always lamb.
***** This has nothing to do with Halloween. It has to do with October 31 being my baptismal anniversary, and me therefore getting to choose dessert. And Sara Lee hasn't made black forest cake in about 25 years, but when they did, that is what I chose, invariably.