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Last Minute Christmas Recipes on The Dish

sandtarts1If you don’t already know, I’ve been contributing the The Town Dish to varying degrees for the past two and a half years. If you haven’t checked out the Town Dish yet, especially if you live in Southeast PA, don’t waste any more time! They do excellent coverage of the Southeastern PA hyperlocal food scene, but also plenty of travel, recipes, health, and style writing that’s appealing no matter where you live.

This month, I’ve got two posts up there; both are perfect for some last minute holiday food ideas. Between the two of them, they sum up my family’s biggest holiday food traditions: sand tarts, nut cups, and mush (an Amish-Mennonite cornmeal dish) on Christmas morning.

I’m already working remotely from my parents’ farm, so I’m in full-on holiday mode. I’ll be eating some or all of these in the next week or so.

2 Pennsylvania Dutch Cookie Recipes to Try This Christmas

I have a lot of favorite memories about childhood Christmases on the farm: coming in from the barn with red cheeks and noses, Saturdays spent munching on nut cups while sprinkling cinnamon, sugar and chopped nuts on sand tarts. There’s no tradition of colorful M&M cookies or sprinkles on Christmas cookies in my family—we keep it simple.

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sandtarts & nut cups

An Old-Fashioned Christmas Feast on the Farm: Cornmeal Mush

I have happily eaten the exact same thing with a less-than-appetizing name every Christmas morning for approximately the past 20 years: mush. My grandmother made it every morning for my dad and his five siblings after they finished the barn work and before they went to school. My grandma made it for me a few times for breakfast when I was really little, and I was hooked. At some point, I decided that I’d make mush for breakfast as a Christmas gift for my dad, who now only eats it when I make it, and I’ve done it every year since. Right after Thanksgiving, he asks me if I’m going to make mush again this year. The answer is always yes.

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CR Part 3: Food

Fresh Pineapple in Tamarindo, Costa RicaWhen I think of Costa Rica, I think of coffee, pineapple, dulce de leche, arroz con pollo, fried plantains, Salsa Lizano, and gallo pinto. My missions trip to Costa Rica in 2005 was my first independent travel experience, and I have a special place in my heart for the people, culture, and food.

This time around was no different. I met a wonderful barista named Lorena, ate fresh pineapple, got my hands on some Salsa Lizano to bring back with me, and met a older woman who runs the closest thing to a food truck in Tamarindo. Dona Rosa has been selling casado out of the back of her station wagon for over ten years!

I love eating while traveling, and I’m privileged to be able to write about many of my foodie adventures while traveling for The Town Dish. You can more read about my favorite spots to eat in Tamarindo over at the Dish now.

Do you have favorite places to travel and/or eat while traveling?