A couple of years ago I hosted Christmas Eve for my family. Since it was at my house, I figured I could put a little spin on the menu. So, in my natural "tree-hugging" spirit we created a Peace on Earth/Christmas Around the World International dinner. The meal was less about making sure all of the dishes cordinated, and more about representing as many different countries as possible. My kids still talk about it, asking to do it again.
Since I found so many great ethnic markets this year, recreating an international dinner would be a breeze. And, since the idea is to try multiple dishes, you don't need a ton of any one item.
Here are some of my favorite spots for picking up the ingredients to make your own, or having them put finished dishes on to your platters to pass off as your own!
South African. Pie Boss was one of the more unique finds this year. Delicious. My friend who lived in South Africa vouched for their authenticity and said it tasted just like home! My three favorite items: sausage roll, meat pasty, and their mini custard pie.
Germany: Without a doubt...The Wurst Kitchen. Over 80 varieties of brats and sausages. They're certainly big enough to slice for sharing also. This isn't a full-scale market, but you can pick up German condiments as well. Ask about their homemade spaetzle & pick up a pack or two if they have it! 3 brat picks: Jack Daniels, Tequila Chicken, and Kickers.
Don't want to cook? Pick up a to-go order from The Bavarian Lodge!
France: Every meal needs bread right? I think Katic Breads has been the number one searched small shop since I found them back in June. You may have to drive a little farther during the winter months to find them, but it's sooooo worth it! Do not skip the croissants!!
Don't want to cook? Pick up a to-go order from Paris Bistro.
England: This was actually a request from a very homesick English friend looking for comfort foods from home. I searched and found Spencer's Jolly Posh Foods. She was thrilled and said they had all of her favorites, including proper tea!
Thailand: This one I'm not making on my own...going straight to the to-go route...Thai Happiness. Yes, I'm still a sucker for the popular pad thai and pad see ew, but they do them so well that I just can't not order them! Pick up an iced thai coffee too for unique flavors and an all-day energy boost!
Japan: Again, not making my own sushi, but I'll be happy to pick up favorites from Wild Tuna and Sushi N Noodle! Favorites at Wild Tuna? Godzilla and Green Turtle. Sushi N Noodle? Spicy crab and their nabeyaki udon.
Poland: Head to the original Kasia's Deli for their famous pierogis. You can pick up items from their freezer or limited shelves, but your best bet is their ginormous deli case. Breaded pork tenderloin, a huge variety of pierogis, and virtually every polish dish under the sun.
Italy: Danelli's was actually my go-to the year we had our Christmas Around the World. They make a killer lasagne. I can't even say more because my stomach is growling just thinking about it!
Truth be told, the idea for the international dinner sparked from trying to figure out how I could serve sushi (godzilla), lasagne (danelli's), and Czech dumplings (mom) at the same meal!
I'm still sad (sniff) that Freedom's Market is gone, but I'll keep you posted if I find a new Middle Eastern market that I like.
Which foods would be on your Peace on Earth table?
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Tags: 365 day challenge, craft beer, craft spirits, croissants, english foods, english tea, ethnic markets, french bakery, german markets, kasia's, katic breads, pie boss, shop small, shop small 2013, south aftrican food, spencer's jolly posh foods, sushi, sushi n noodle, tailwinds distilling, thai happiness, two brothers brewing, Wild Tuna, wurst kitchen