Friday, December 05, 2008
Christmas means tradition for a lot of us. And in my family, it means butterball soup on Christmas Eve at Grandma Lucy's house. No, we don't take a butterball turkey, throw it into a pot, and stew it until done. Butterballs are a traditional Germans-from-Russia dish that I have been eating since, well, birth!
Here's what a butterball is made of (and sorry, I don't have any pictures and there is none to be found on the web, but I will get you a pic when I go home for Christmas):
Fattening? Yes. Delicious? Absolutely.
You mix all this together and then form it into walnut-shaped balls. There's a trick to making them, and it's not hard at all to mess them up. I myself haven't tried my hand at them (yet), having left that task to my wonderful grandmother. Her parents came to this country from Russia - their ancestors were Germans that had immigrated to Russia during the reign of Catherine the Great.
So in essence, the butterball is probably a highly-regional dish. Western Nebraska, where I'm from originally, has a dense population of Germans from Russia and you can find butterballs in the store. But not where I live now - which means if I want these delectable little guys, I have to go home to get them.
I've told a lot of people about butterball soup over the years and I don't think I've found one person outside of where I grew up that has heard about them. I even asked one of my grad school professors, who was born and raised in Germany, and she'd never heard of them, either.
But every Christmas Eve, that's what we have - butterball soup, which is basically just chicken soup and noodles with some butterballs thrown in. To me, it's not Christmas without it, or without being at my grandmother's house, surrounded by family, and opening presents. That's just what we do on Christmas Eve.
Does your family have a traditional food you eat every Christmas?
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