For generations, food has been an important part of celebrations and traditions. There is a comfort in eating certain foods on certain days, cooked the same way you always remember. You probably have your favorite birthday cake or dessert, Christmas meal and cookies, and other special foods for special days. I used to think that it wasn’t THAT big of a deal, especially when the kids were little. It sometimes felt like SO much work to make the effort. And there ARE times to exchange the tradition for something less stressful if it keeps the heart of the celebration from being lost. I remember we traded our traditional home made Thanksgiving feast for one bought at Safeway because I had just had our fifth child. I was really thankful for that store bought meal, but the next year, we appreciated the home made one even more! And the older our kids get, the more they more they look forward to these traditions.
That being said, I want to share one of our favorite (and easiest) Easter and Christmas meals. We love this one because things can be made ahead of time which comes in handy especially on these particular holidays.
So here is the menu: Spiral sliced ham, Gen’s Potatoes, Grandma’s Crescent Rolls, Curried Fruit and steamed Green Beans.
A day or two before the holiday:
Grandma Gen’s Potatoes
Prepare a buttered 9×13 pan
10 medium potatoes, cooked and mashed (don’t add liquid to them)
Add and beat til fluffy:
1 pkg cream cheese
8 oz sour cream
1 package Ranch mix(this works the best) OR 1 t. garlic powder
salt to taste
Place mixture in 9×13 and add 1/2 c melted butter(you can use less, it just might not have quite the crisp on top) and sprinkle with paprika
At this point, you can cover (when it cools a bit) and place in the refrigerator for 1-2 days ahead of time!
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes, if refrigerated or 30 minutes if baking immediately. Edges should be lightly browned.
Grandma’s Crescent Rolls
Dissolve one package of dry yeast in one cup water
Melt one cube of butter
In mixing bowl beat three eggs. Add 1/2 c sugar and 1 t. salt
Add yeast mixture
Add melted butter
Add 4 1/2 c. of all purpose flour (or half wheat/half white flour)
Store in air tight container until ready to roll out. Roll out in 2 circles. Cut each into 12 pie-shaped pieces. Roll into crescents.
Place on greased cookie sheets. If you want to go ahead and bake them, let rise 2 hours or until doubled. Or at this point you can freeze them. Then you can just let them rise on the counter overnight and bake them in the morning. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.
The Spiral ham we buy from Costco ( a no brainer)-this goes in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours. (Don’t forget to put your potatoes in about 30-45 minutes after the ham goes in)
Curried Fruit–this goes amazingly well with the ham and potatoes. Not something I would have put together, but my husband’s mom has made this meal for years and it’s always a big hit.
In a 9×13 pan (OR large saucepan on the stove if you are low on oven space) place:
1 can of peaches (half drained)
1 can of pears (half drained)
1 can pineapple (half drained)
Melt 1/3 c butter, 1/3 c brown sugar and stir in 1 t. curry powder and pour over the fruit. Bake until heated through.
Green Beans I find the best and freshest from Costco as well. You can use frozen, but they aren’t quite as tasty. I usually steam them for about 4-5 minutes so they aren’t completely limp. Then add a couple Tablespoons of butter and salt to taste. Sometimes we throw some real bacon bit in for extra flavor. The taste goes well with the ham. Make this in the last few minutes before dinner.
We hope your family enjoys this meal as much as we do! Happy Easter! He has risen! He has risen indeed!