This year we made a traditional Christmas dinner, with Beef Wellington as the star. This year Nikki wasn’t able to join us, which meant that for the first time we could have meat at dinner. Koen and I have a tradition of eating Beef Wellington every Christmas Eve and it seemed like a fun idea to make altogether at our place in Antwerp. For the starter Barbara made her famous pear and butternut squash soup with fried sage and bacon. Yum!
Marrying into a Dutch family means getting to celebrate Sinterklaas every December. I love how much effort goes into writing poems and creating surprises for everyone! This year we celebrated at Barbara’s place in Tilburg to exchange gifts and surprises.
For Easter this year we headed to Breda to celebrate at Sofie’s. We had a delicious brunch followed by egg painting. Not egg dying like we do back home, but really serious, detailed designs. A fun afternoon!
One of the recipes my grandmother was most excited to pass down to me is her recipe for Brunswick Stew. I think every Southern family has their own version, and this is ours (although the exact steps I won’t tell!). To accompany the stew, Koen grilled a piece of brisket on the Green Egg and made biscuits!
Chicken and dumplings, butter beans, and fried okra
Learning Grandma’s chicken and dumplings was also requested by my brother. It wouldn’t okay for Grandma to make it without him also being able to enjoy the meal! So this really was a Grandma and grandchildren effort – even Edward helped!
There were a few times the whole family was together. So what better than grilling as a family? I made my favorite grilled vegetable salad, my dad grilled steaks and corn, and my mom baked a fresh loaf of sourdough bread along with potatoes – both regular and sweet.
Going back to Georgia = family time. Although technically vacation, I want to spend all of my time seeing everyone and catching up. I do my best while in Belgium with Skype, Facetime and Whatsapp, but nothing beats face to face!
For Christmas this year, we gathered in Breda for a potluck Italian dinner at Sofie’s apartment. Everyone prepared a different dish to bring for dinner. Koen made sourdough focaccia and I prepared pasta lazio, a penne dish with chicken, artichokes and sundried tomatoes.