Celebrating Food Traditions

Little girl helps her mother in mixing ingredients for a thanksgiving dish

Celebrating Food Traditions

For many families, there are certain foods that just go with the holidays. For me, that food is potato rolls, or “Ice Box Rolls” as the original, now crusty recipe card labels them, but my family has never called them that. Just like crackling fires, cozy blankets and smells of evergreen can take us down memory lane, particular dishes have a way of transporting us to special times in our lives. Involving your child in these special recipes this season is a great way to celebrate your family’s food traditions and spend meaningful time together in the kitchen. 

My extended family always gathers around holidays for a large meal. There are certain foods, like potato rolls, that I can always count on to be on the buffet table. When I was young, my mother became the designated “potato roll maker” in the family. There was always a cloud of flour in our kitchen wrapped around the smell of melted butter as my mom made several batches. I loved watching and helping her as she made the potato rolls year after year, and when I was old enough she taught me how to make them.

My first time making potato rolls by myself, I was living away from my family in another state. I was unable to come home for the holidays, but the rolls were a little piece of home that I could have with me even though I wasn’t with my family. It was a little trickier making the rolls on my own, but I still managed to pull off a close replica of our iconic family roll and share it with new friends. It was a great way to share a part of my family with others and create new memories around one of my favorite food traditions. I’ve since given the recipe for potato rolls a little makeover to make it healthier, and my family loves it just the same.

For many families, food traditions pay homage to our ancestors and connect us with our roots. They can be a great way to teach your child about her heritage. But even if your food traditions simply bring comfort and joy – and full tummies – they are a wonderful way for parents and children to spend time together during the holidays creating nourishing foods and lasting memories.

What are your favorite family food traditions?




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