The first time I hosted Christmas dinner for my new Husband's parents in Arizona, I had never had a traditional American Christmas dinner and didn't know what it should include, let alone what it should look like or taste like. I was French, born and raised, and I only knew French food.
Turkey is not a popular dish in France. And when we cook a turkey, we stuff it with chestnuts. We eat our mashed potatoes with butter. To this day I still could not make gravy if my life depended on it (but I can simmer a delicate port sauce for hours). Unfortunately wine sauce is not considered proper gravy.
So when they sat at the table, with my best table cloth, cryustal glasses, plates and sterling silverware, my new in-laws were surprised to find a menu on their plate. The menu was in French with English translation. I served raw oysters on the shell, which they politely declined, and escargots in pastry with blue cheese sauce for appetizers, which they truly enjoyed. Then came turkey with chestnuts, potatoes with green beens and garlic, various vegetables, toasted French bread, cheese and salad, of course, and a variety of desserts, including a yule log, none of them traditional American.
My in-laws raved about this sumptuous and original dinner to their friends and the whole family (my husband is one of nine children), until one of them pointed one item on the menu. They realized they had neglected to read it. You see, they didn't know escargots were snails. SNAILS?
Although they seemed to enjoy the experience, never again was I allowed to cook for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Which suits me just fine.
For another non-traditional Christmas, read A DESPERADO FOR CHRISTMAS in Kindle or from Sapphire Blue Publishing at:
Girls with Guns, Romance with a Kick