Holiday Season 2023
The Holidays are at least as much about family traditions as they are about brightly lit decorations and gift giving. In the Schug Family, we have always enjoyed our holiday dinner on December 24th. After our meal Walter and Gertrud Schug would light real candles (held in traditional clips designed for just this purpose) on their Christmas tree. We would turn out a few lights and enjoy the glow of the tree. Christmas carols would then be sung for a little while. And then the grandkids were allowed to help snuff out the candles. Gifts would be exchanged last.
As for who was in the kitchen, it was us women, of course! ;o) Gertrud Schug always hosted our Christmas Eve dinner, but her daughters and myself would contribute in many ways. The grandchildren liked to decorate little place cards for each of us.
And even though the Schug Family continues to live in the Northern California wine country, our Christmas Eve menus were always fairly traditional, were served in courses, and featured several German recipes. Gertrud Schug like to have a salad and then a soup, usually pureed. Then she’d oftentimes serve classic Beef Rouladen, braised red cabbage and hand-made spätzle. Last, a simple dessert, usually fruit-based, would be enjoyed.
And, let’s not forget the wine! Oh, the wines…..Bubbles with hors d’oeuvres, then white wine for salad and soup. Usually, an older vintage of red wine, especially Pinot Noir, for our main course. Most often the wines we enjoyed were SCHUG wines, but Walter Schug had quite a cellar, of course. He always had “a little something” of interest to share with us. And lots of times he’d have a story about the wine as well- such fun!
Here is my recipe for Braised Red Cabbage, such a lovely and bright element on a holiday feast menu:
Both Walter and Gertrud are deeply missed every year- especially during the Holidays, but we keep their memories with us all year long. All our best Holiday wishes to you, Everyone!
From Chef Kristine and the Schug Family