If you've ever had the pleasure of shopping in one of our SKORDO stores, it's likely you've been greeted and helped by one of our friendly + knowledgable team members. We are so appreciative of the time they spend with each person who walks in the door and the passion they share for cooking! This year we're celebrating by sharing some of their favorite things to do this time of year.
I am very much a 'decorate for Christmas as soon as I see Santa at the end of the Thanksgiving Day Parade' type of person- with all of the white lights, fancy Santa's, and themed nutcrackers my space can handle! Over the years my family's holiday meal has expanded from roast beef and ham to something like gnocchi, dumplings, or whatever is trendy + exciting that my family has been curious about. I love hosting and usually go all out with printed menus and more appetizers than people attending. I may also be going a little overboard this year with an extensive 6-8 variety cookie box for everyone I know + love. 'Tis the Season!
It's simple, we sip brandy eggnog topped with fresh ground nutmeg, devour Grandma's buttery shortbread cookies, and spend an afternoon watching a triple film feature of the iconics- A Miracle on 34th St, It's a Wonderful Life, and White Christmas. A magical way to welcome the Holiday!
I don't think my family and friends could have a holiday season without our amazing Latkes on the table! These beauties get served with Hannukah dinner, Christmas morning brunch, and maybe even the day after Christmas. Latkes date back centuries in Jewish cuisine, however it wasn't until the 1800's that they were adjusted from cheese based to potato based. We love to smother ours in applesauce and sour cream. Making them can be quite messy, so it's helpful to have an assitant- I find me and my daughter to make a great team!
Cary's Latke recipe (measured with the heart)
Makes 2 dozen Latkes
- 5 pounds red potatoes
- 2 yellow onions
- rye crackers
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon pepper, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic, to taste
- lots of vegetable oil, for frying
- Peel and rinse the potatoes, the set into an ice water bath.
- Using a food processor, pulse your rye crackers until you have a coarse meal. Set aside in a small mixing bowl.
- Quarter your onions and pulse in your food processor until medium diced. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
- Adjust your food processor from the chopping blade to the shredding attachment if you have it, or set up a large grater. Shred potatoes.
- In a large bowl, begin layering. Add half of your shredded potatoes, half your onion, and dust with your coarse rye crumbs. Add 2 eggs plus seasonings, then mix well and add the remaining ingredients and mix again until you have your combined batter. (It's easier to mix in parts but with a large enough bowl you can do it all at once).
- Preheat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large saucepan until it reaches 375 degrees F.
- Gently form a handful of batter into pancake shape and carefully place into hot oil. I tend to fry 6 at a time, being mindful not to overcrowd.
- Fry each batch for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and repeat.
- Keep them warm and crispy by placing them on a cooling rack atop a baking sheet and inside a 200 degree preheated oven.
We make cut-out sugar cookies using my mom's Betty Crocker cookbook that has been around forever. Lately we've been adding a tradition of Coquito, which is like an upgraded egg nog thats coconut based and WAY better! Von Diaz's 'Coconuts & Collards' has a great rum based recipe, and 'Mocktail Party' has a non alcoholic version on page 158.
It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without homemade cranberry sauce. As for Christmas, the night before my Aunts annual party, my sister and I head over to decorate the tree and eat some Chinese take-out. We listen to the same Anne Murray Christmas album and battle about which decor has earned it's spot on the tree. The topper has always been a Mickey Mouse toy that pre-dates me, an angel never felt right.
Hope you've enjoyed getting to know our team a little better. Please join us in sharing appreciation for each of them as you finish up your shopping this year.
If you have any special traditions you cherish- we'd love to hear about them in the comments below!