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

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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.