November 29, 2012

Holiday Handmade Cavalcade Makers Share Their Favorite Dishes

The vendors of the Holiday Handmade Cavalcade are selected from Etsy's most talented local makers. When they are not creating, they are running families, and that includes celebrating holidays. People who love to make things also love to eat! The holidays are a special time for family dishes, new creations and great celebrations! Below, these Cavalcade participants share their favorite holiday dishes. 

Some favorite foods are born of traditions, and traditions often involve grandmothers. Annie Bruce of Brooklyn Owl, a line of New York-inspired felt hair clips, unicorn horns, headbands and garlands, has been dining on her maternal Grandma Peggy's stuffing her entire life. "My grandmother and mom would make it each year. Now my daughter and I make it!" says Annie. But paternal grandma Lois on her husband's side is famous for a delicious fruit cake that Annie likes to pop into the toaster oven for a just-made taste. Grandma Asta contributes a perfect snack mix made with cereals, nuts and pretzels spiced with garlic salt and Worcestershire sauce. Annie's whole family loves it and her grandma still sends it to her in the mail. 

Rachel Rekhter, of Naki Nagi Handmade Body Scrubs, loves her mom's potato latkes for Hanukkah. "They are super greasy, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I think she uses a gallon of oil to cook them. She makes the whole house, and all our clothes smell like latkes, and it lingers on my coat the entire holiday season. I put apple sauce and sour cream on top, I would not have it any other way. My mom can't follow a recipe, so its always some potatoes, some onions, egg, flour, salt and pepper. Simple, yet delicious."

Angeliki Jackson of Astrobub Photography was born in Greece, on the ship building island of Chios, so some of her holiday dishes, such as Smoke Gouda Mashed Potatoes, come from watching Emeril Lagasse on television. In a pinch, she'll take a recipe off the back of a box or bag and adapt it to her own taste. 

"For dessert at Christmas," says Angeliki, "since my parents host, I provide the dessert, which every year is a different flavored cheesecake. Some of the cheesecakes I have baked include pumpkin, lemon, chocolate, oreo, marbled and blueberry. I've gathered the recipes from Philadelphia cream cheese packets."

Another cheesecake fan is Kerry M. Batty of K. Batty Design and Stationery. "What is a holiday meal without dessert? In my family that means cheesecake or pie...mostly pie: Pumpkin, Apple or occasionally Key Lime. My grandfather was the baker and his apple pie is still famous. It had the most unbelievable crust! My Pa liked what he called a cake pie - one that you could pick up, like a slice of cake and eat it with your hands because the inside wasn't super runny. The crust was very buttery and delicious and never soggy from the filling! That is pie heaven to me. Sometime through the years his crust recipe was lost and my mom and I have been trying to figure it out for years. I think we've finally done it."

Elena Ruano Kanidinc of Simply Nu, who produces green personal and home wares, grew up in Spain. She eats grapes on New Year's Eve right before midnight, during the last minute of the old year. "People believe that if you don't finish your 12 grapes, you are doomed for the coming year," she explains. Spaniards gather in the Puerta del Sol in Madrid much as they do in Times Square, to eat their grapes at the ring of a bell.

Many Etsy makers are vegetarian or vegan, and don't eat meat. That would include Ursula of Pepper Press, who makes beautiful cards. She loves a roasted corn, bean and tomato salsa salad instead of a roasted meat entree. Another of her favorite dishes is butternut squash, cut in half, glazed with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, then roasted. 

However you celebrate the upcoming holidays, have a wonderful meal with family or friends! And don't forget to stop by the Holiday Handmade Cavalcade.

Wink and Flip

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