Iron Chef Dinner Family Traditions

“Family traditions” was the theme of our most recent (December) Iron Chef Dinner. Everyone seemed to put a holiday spin on the theme, bringing dishes that conjure memories of celebrating the holidays with family. One of the best examples was a German potato salad Lauren brought, based on a recipe from her great aunt. Lauren explained that the dish is a staple at every family gathering, and until recently, no written recipe existed—rather the dish was passed down like a good story, only through careful observation of a seasoned cook at work in the kitchen.

This Iron Chef was unique and special in that every dish had a story. In fact, we began each course with an introduction of each dish from its cook, who described where it came from, what it means to them, and any other fun facts.

Larry and I brought boiled shrimp with caraway seed, cannibal sandwiches, and Krumkake. The boiled shrimp with caraway seed and cannibal sandwiches have always been part of festivities on Christmas day with my mom’s side of the family. The shrimp was a special splurge and tradition started by grandma. And while I’ve never been one to indulge in the tradition of raw beef sandwiches, and figured my friends might not either, we made “faux” cannibal sandwiches with Braunschweiger. The Krumkake are a Norwegian waffle cookie made on an iron griddle and rolled into cone shapes that are part of Larry’s family’s traditions. Thankfully, we were able to make a date with Larry’s mom before Iron Chef to make a batch of Krumkake together.

The other fun part of this Iron Chef Dinner was an invitation to dress up like a character from a favorite holiday movie. Our friends love National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and are constantly breaking out lines from the movie. Larry and I had never watched the movie before, so we were always at a loss whenever the line exchange began. So we decided to surprise our friends and not only watch the movie, but dress up like characters from the film—Larry was a fabulous Cousin Eddie and I dressed up like Ellen. We prepared note cards with lines from the movie and interjected them during dinner whenever possible. There was also Charlie Brown, Ralph from a Christmas Story and Brodie was John McClane from Die Hard—the best Christmas movie ever made? Go figure.

Category: Iron Chef Dinners 2 comments »

2 Responses to “Iron Chef Dinner Family Traditions”

  1. shay

    my family resurrected the cannibal sandwich in the past few years. at first i was hesitant, but someone (grandpa?) wanted the tradition to live on, so i decided to participate. i’m glad to know my family isn’t the only one to partake in this tradition. :)

  2. Kristin

    What did you think? Would you eat it again?


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