How to Create Special Family Memories by Cooking Favorite Foods

One of my family’s traditions during the winter months is for my sisters and me to prepare a birthday dinner for our Dad.

This year he turned 75, which made the dinner party very special.

My family looks forward to this evening, year after year, not just because it’s “Grandpa’s birthday,” but because they know we’ll be eating one of our favorite German dishes, Fleischkuechle.

-We set the date.
-Plan the exact same menu every year.
-We delegate the dishes.
-This year it was “adults only.”
-Set the table for 17!

And then we enjoy our time together.

This recipe (meat mixture of beef and sausage wrapped in dough; boiled; served with bread crumbs and pickled beets) originated on my Mom’s side of the family, and has been a tradition in our family for almost 50 years (my age, probably longer!) I really need to research how far back this recipe goes. I’ve never posted the recipe because, to be honest with you, what makes it unique and “tasty” is cooking it together with my sisters.

I wouldn’t want it any other way. (That’s us about 5 years with our daughters.)

Or want to eat it any other way.

It’s a favorite meal that comes around once a year.

Cooking favorite foods together is an important aspect of creating family memories, wouldn’t you agree?

We transform the house with good smells, lots of steamy windows (we boil the Fleischkuechle in 2 large pots), and we sing along to Pandora (3 girls, 3-part-harmony).

Each family has their own traditions for celebrating what’s unique to them. Our family loves Fleischkuechle, which is practically gone as soon as we set the bowls on the table. We actually joke around and “count” how many we’ve eaten. In a sense we make it a game, and we always hold a few back for breakfast the next morning.

What “food” family tradition does your family celebrate?

This was the special gift we bought our Dad this year. My Dad and Mom (and Ginny) are 3 gifts in life who have taught me a lot about hospitality. I have one hanging on the wall in my dining room. And you can, too, by checking out RED LETTER WORDS website.

13 comments on “How to Create Special Family Memories by Cooking Favorite Foods”

  1. Pingback: How to Brighten a Space with Gerbera Daisies | Reluctant Entertainer I Sandy Coughlin - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening

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  4. Another wonderful tradition, Sandy. My Dad turns 80 this year and we are blessed with his life every day. Your dinner sounds like a good old-fashioned “stick to your ribs” German meal. Enjoy!

  5. What a wonderful tradition! We lost my dad last August (he was 76) and I miss him terribly. It’s wonderful that you enjoy every opportunity to celebrate family and being together. Family gatherings are my favorite!

  6. Looks delicious! Would you share the recipe?

    My husband and I have only been married for a year, but we’re starting a similar tradition for our anniversary! Blogged about them here:

    Love your blog, Sandy. You’ve certainly made an impact on me!

  7. LOVE That. Y’all are so cute!

  8. One of my favorite prints of Dee’s. We always do Fondue (3 courses) on Christmas Eve, which happens to be my birthday. Fondue a great meal to sit and linger over, you can’t rush cooking each bite of your food. We love it!

  9. Awww…Happy Belated Birthday to your sweet dad :D Family get together are the best, especially when you are all celebrating milestones together. I can just imagine the laughter and “Do you remember when” conversations in your home that evening. {{hugs}}

  10. Oh Sandy! What a lovely and sweet tradition you have. The picture with your sisters, you, and your Dad is so sweet.

    You really are the consummate hostess and the bible verse you have hanging in your home suits you perfectly. And…I suspect you were entertaining angels at the lovely family dinner of yours…including your Mom who pulled up a chair from heaven!

    As always, thank you so much for sharing these wonderful stories – and allowing us to have a glimpse into your family life. You are an inspiration to all of us.

    Much Love,

  11. For birthday’s I always ask my girls and hubby what they want to eat for their birthday meal. Sometimes they choose the same thing, sometimes different. I’d say our holidays are where the more traditional (have every year) meals come in to play for us.

  12. Would you please tell me if the saying on your sign is a Bible verse? If so, what is the passage? I could not find the sign on the Red Letter site. Thanks so much! I love the saying and hope to put it in my home!!!

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