For as long as I can remember…our family tradition has been to have Strawberry Waffles for breakfast on Christmas morning. I think we look forward to that almost as much as Christmas dinner. :-) I can’t even imagine how many waffles my Mom must have made over the years…especially as our family grew and expanded with spouses and grandkids and then great grandkids! Some Christmas mornings we would have up to 4 different Belgian waffle makers going at once to try and keep up with demand. We’re a demanding bunch when it comes to good food! When I was growing up we used to call it “Survival of the Fittest” at the dinner table. If you weren’t on your A-game…there was a good chance you would go hungry. lol. I like to think we’ve all mellowed a little with age. Now it’s the grandkids that duke it out over waffles….mostly. :-)
So with Christmas morning a little over one week away (YIKES!)….I would like to share some of our families’ favorite Christmas Breakfast recipes.
2 c. buttermilk
3 eggs separated
1 c. Bisquick
1 c. buttermilk pancake mix
1/2 tsp. soda
1/4 c. melted butter
Beat egg whites until very stiff and set aside. Beat egg yolks, add gradually beating well after each addition, buttermilk and dry ingredients. If mixture seems too thin add a little pancake mix. Add melted butter and fold in egg whites. Bake in waffle iron.
Strawberry topping consists of frozen strawberries, thawed, mashed up a bit with potato masher and powdered sugar added to taste. And of course we always top THAT with REAL whipped cream. No aerosol cans please! :-)
When I married into my husband’s Norwegian family I was introduced to quite a few new culinary treats. In his family the traditional Christmas Eve dinner is Norwegian Meatballs and Lefsa….folded potato pancakes spread with creamy butter, sugar and cinnamon.I immediately fell in love with these!
Of course there was also Lutefisk served…but you couldn’t get me to touch that with a ten foot pole! yuck!
Here is a good (tongue-in-cheek) description of lutefisk by Garrison Keillor in his book “Lake Wobegon Days”:
“Every Advent we entered the purgatory of lutefisk, a repulsive gelatinous fishlike dish that tasted of soap and gave off an odor that would gag a goat. We did this in honor of Norwegian ancestors, much as if survivors of a famine might celebrate their deliverance by feasting on elm bark. I always felt the cold creeps as Advent approached, knowing that this dread delicacy would be put before me and I’d be told, “Just have a little.” Eating a little was like vomiting a little, just as bad as a lot.”
So funny! And so true! :-)))
Lutefisk aside however, I inherited many DELICIOUS recipes from my Norwegian family through marriage. I remember at my bridal shower given by husband’s side of the family….everyone in attendance wrote out on a 3 x 5 card…their favorite recipes. I still treasure each and every one of those today!
One of those recipes I received that day was from my mother-in-law and we have been having it for Christmas morning ever since. We added it to the “menu” along with the waffles for those of us who like a little protein with their carbs and a little savory with their sweet. It makes a generous sized 9 x 13 casserole…and there is never a SPECK left!
I decided to write it out here exactly how it is written on the index card I have been using for 20+ years because it reminds me of days gone by.
Breakfast Casserole (Yes, that is the name of this recipe. I could “spice it up”, but I don’t want to.)
- 16 slices of bread, cubed – crusts removed
- Put half the bread in a buttered 9 x 13 pan. Put a layer of diced ham on top of the bread. (Use half or more of an 8 patty can).
- Add (1) 8 oz. can sliced mushrooms
- Add 1# shredded mild cheddar cheese
- Next put on other half of bread. Be sure all meat and cheese is covered.
- Whip 6 eggs, 3 cups milk and 1 tsp. mustard. Pour over bread. Be sure to soak all bread.
- Put in fridge covered with plastic wrap.
- In the morning add 1 cup crushed corn flakes or crushed rice krispies.
- Melt 1/2 cup butter and pour on top of cereal.
- Bake for 60 min at 350 degrees. Done when bubbly and brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. (A piece of baked ham can be used instead of canned patties.)
A variation on this recipe would be to add bacon and/or sausage instead…but we like the ham…so we stick with that.
Several years ago…as our family grew…it started to be harder and harder to get the entire extended family together for Christmas breakfast AND Christmas dinner. So the hubster, the kidlets and myself started creating our own Christmas breakfast tradition. One year we decided to add Norwegian Pancakes to the menu…and it’s stayed ever since. I think the thing that we like the most is all the different toppings! Some of us like bananas….some strawberries and cream…some brown sugar…some powdered sugar…some maple syrup. We’ve even tried Nutella…which was DELISH! The combinations are endless.
Another thing *I* like about them is how EASY they are to make! I make them in the blender and pour them straight from the blender onto the pan.
1/2 c. warm water
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. melted butter
1 1/4 c. flour
1 c. milk
Add eggs, water and vanilla to blender. Blend. Add remaining ingredients, blending after each addition until smooth. Butter a saute pan or griddle with some butter. Heat pan to medium; then pour about 1/4 cup batter into pan and swirl until it makes a thin cake on the bottom of the pan. Let cook for about a minute then flip it and let it cook about another minute – do not overcook. Stack the crepe-like pancakes and keep in warm place until serving. Serve, buttered and rolled with topping like a crepe – or serve flat and sprinkled with powdered sugar, allowing individual choice of toppings.
Writing about these recipes has made me feel very nostalgic tonight….and very HUNGRY! Is it breakfast time yet???