SACRED HOLIDAY TRADITIONS–Sort of – By Jade Lee
My mother was Chinese, born in ShangHai, but emigrating here when she met and married my father during graduate school. In many ways, she was very American, but some holiday traditions escaped her. Halloween, for example, was beyond bizarre to her. Why would anyone send out their children to go begging? But what really confused her was the Thanksgiving turkey. There are no turkeys in China. To her the creature was an overgrown chicken or a weirdly shaped buzzard. It just wasn’t right, and though she eventually realized that it was a sacred American tradition to eat one and fall asleep on the couch the fourth Thursday of every November, she was never quite comfortable with it. So in her later years, she abandoned the turkey in favor of my favorite Thanksgiving recipe.
You see, the Chinese understand ham. They love pork and leftovers always went into fried rice (made on the Friday after Thanksgiving.) Sadly, what my mother did not do was teach me how to cook, so here is my favorite holiday recipe.
1. Contact Honey Baked Ham. These days I use their website, but Mom used the old fashioned telephone.
2. Pay for a spiral cut ham. This is important if you are prone to slicing off your own fingers as I am. (If we meet in person, ask me to show you my scars from separating frozen burgers with a knife. Yeah, I’m lucky I still have an index finger)
3. Use the microwave to re-heat if you don’t like it cold.
There you go! My favorite holiday recipe. And perhaps right there is a clue to why I write regency era historicals. Because at the end of the book, my heroines don’t have to cook either! Check out my holiday gift special where you can get personalized copies of my latest books at http://jadeleeauthor.com/books And if you want to check out my scars, join me on a spring cruise as we enjoy award-winning chefs cook for us.http://noveladventuresatsea.com/ I’ll bet you can even request turkey or ham!
What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
Very interesting info. thanks for sharing. Have a great holiday.
Thanks! Hope you enjoy yours as well.
I have heard that those Honey Baked Hams are yummy! You don’t have to cook to enjoy the deliciousness!
Absolutely, and no clean up. 🙂 Have a great Thanksgiving!
I like ham for the holidays as well, including Thanksgiving. The spiral cut is key – otherwise it’s just one big block of meat and not as tender. Salty, but worth it. Yum!
I totally agree! We have ham and lamb for Christmas, a nice change from turkey.
hahahaha!! too funny and honest! Even the best of cooks have their moments!! brat article!! P
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!
LOL! I loved that! We are doing something similar this Thanksgiving… going out to a restaurant! 🙂
Jade definitely knows how to liven everything up, including the holidays. The nice thing about a restaurant, no prep and no clean up. Have a great Thanksgiving!
My favorite tradition is getting together with family, its one of those days where the entire country spends time with their family, away from our typical busy lives.
Absolutely! We need to do our best to schedule more family time throughout the year, not just the holidays.
Why eat turkey if you don’t really like it, just because it’s a tradition. I am glad that your mother gave up the turkey for ham. It’s a funny thing about traditions that we think we have to practice them even if we don’t like them.
I love baked ham. I’m with you too though Jade, I can’t cook anything beyond a cheese sandwich.
Great recipe! LOL! That is so funny! I can somehow relate to that since we are also Chinese and we also follow certain traditions =)
Honey-Baked ham! I love them and have stood outside their shop for over an hour sometimes in order to pick up my ham – which was usually for Christmas ALONG with a turkey.
There is nothing better than a delicious meal that’s also EASY! 😉
So interesting Jade. I have several clients that have business overseas, or are overseas and want to work in the US and it always makes me think over the holidays or when posting Happy Friday… is it Friday there??? lol Great post and I love Honey Baked Ham too… you know they sell spiral hams that you can actually just heat up and cook too! Hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving, regardless of what you ate!
Thanks Kristen! Scheduling calls with our overseas vendors or family is always a challenge. Last thing you want to do is call them at 3am. 🙂
Dishonesty is NOT the best policy when it comes to cooking! Hey, if you take a shortcut, let everyone know. In a humorous way! Thinking of Mrs. Doubtfire paying $140 for take out and pretending SHE (ok HE) cooked it…. lol)
Me, I’m an okay cook but I don’t mind inviting others over for restaurant food either! 🙂
Your mother clearly was a smart woman to avoid all of the crazy amount of time most of us spend cooking for Thanksgiving, only for the meal to be over in 20 minutes 🙂
There are no turkeys in China? Wow! Who knew? BTW, I love your favorite holiday recipe. Mine is called “Dining Out.” I believe in supporting local business. 😉