There are few traditions as cherished and fabled as Christmas dinner.
Most of us have fond memories of many Christmas meals with family and friends, regardless of our backgrounds. One of the joys of the holiday season is that anyone and everyone can participate, and one of the best ways to do so is to sit in on a grand Christmas dinner, complete with Christmas desserts and holiday drinks.
According to the researchers at the BBC,
“The Christmas feast has its roots from before the Middle Ages, but it’s during the Victorian period that the dinner we now associate with Christmas began to take shape. Examination of early Victorian recipes shows that mince pies were initially made from meat, a tradition dating back to Tudor times.”
If you want to include some ancient traditional touches to your upcoming holiday meal, an English-style mince pie is one of a few inspired Christmas dinner ideas.
Some Napa Valley Holiday Foods and Christmas Dinner Ideas
For some of us, the mention of holiday foods often means ham or turkey, but also Christmas desserts! And, while sweet bits are always a traditional menu item for holiday meals, there’s so much more to explore when planning your Christmas dinner and trimmings.
While not so much on the West Coast, Christmas goose is still served up here and there, but not so much in the U.S. anymore. And there’s no apparent reason for that aside from limited availability and taste preferences.
However, the folks at Taste of Home have weighed in on this topic,
“The Christmas goose is less and less a holiday staple. Especially in the U.S., many have never come across one on the dinner table. While there’s no official reason behind its decline, we do have some theories. Believe it or not, many people blame Charles Dickens. In A Christmas Carol, Dickens associated goose with the struggling Cratchit family, turning it into a poor man’s supper.”
But the good news is that you are not limited to the, now, traditional turkey at Christmas.
Main Course Options for Christmas Dinner
While these may not be considered as typical holiday foods by everyone, these alternatives can bring a tasty twist to your holiday meal:
- Roast beef
- Roast ham
- Roast lamb
- Roast chicken
And, at Cal Mart, we offer a wide selection from local purveyors of fine meats, including goose, duck, rabbit, and quail.
Another unique option that lends itself well to our proximity to Bodega Bay and other seaside locations is a dinner featuring fresh crab. Who says holiday foods have to be limited to turkey and stuffing?
Here are a few great vegetarian options to offer up at your holiday dinner event for those who prefer plant-based holiday foods:
- Roast potatoes
- Nut roast
- Cauliflower cheese
- Christmas pudding
- Roasted parsnips
Part of the beauty of these vegetarian menu items is that you can choose locally-grown products from Cal Mart to round out your festive holiday meals.
Holiday Drinks, Wine Pairing, and After Dinner Drinks
One of the joys of the holidays is to be able to spend time with friends and family and “once a year” holiday drinks. Some of the most popular these days include
- Hot buttered rum
- Apple cider mimosa
- Spiked hot chocolate
- Cider cocktails
- and red wine
Of course, a challenge for the host is the wine pairing for the variety of foods, appetizers, and desserts that may be included in the holiday feast.
The good news is that Cal Mart has one of the largest selections of local and international wines here in Napa Valley, as well as rums, ciders, liqueurs, and even craft beers, such as Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA. So, for wine pairing, our knowledgeable and dedicated staff is ready to assist as well as make recommendations.
Then there are the gift baskets for guests!
Nothing quite says Christmas and the holidays like gifts. And a Christmas dinner celebration is a wonderful time for gift baskets. Gift baskets from Cal Mart are easy to order, and they are a special way to create a personal and unique expression of your feelings.
And gift baskets are sure to please anyone because everyone loves receiving and opening a gift basket!
Your Napa Valley Christmas Dinner Source for All You Need
The charming town of Calistoga, California, is a great place to visit during the holiday season, and you’ll find Cal Mart conveniently located right downtown.
Cal Mart’s has been a shopping destination for holiday meal preparations for over 50 years and is a Napa Valley tradition.
As a family-owned and independent grocery store, Cal Mart has provided a unique, enjoyable, and memorable shopping experience for our customers for over half a century. Our employees are proud of the large variety and wide selection our grocery store offers. Because of them, Cal Mart has always been the go-to local destination for fine Napa Valley wines, meats, cheeses, and specialty food items.
And, for half a century, our customers have enjoyed unique and memorable shopping experiences with us – and they continue to do so today.
This is one of the many reasons why we are known as “Napa Valley’s Finest Grocery.”
If you’re stocking up on holiday foods and drinks, we have a wide variety of great choices in our gourmet cheese selection. And don’t forget our wide variety of quality wines and craft beers that we offer, along with the unique and hard-to-find specialty foods items. The holidays are also the perfect time of year to consider one of our beautiful gift baskets.
So, this holiday season, take some time to come and explore all that we have to offer.
And while you’re here, please feel free to talk with our knowledgeable staff and then treat yourself to a cup of hot chocolate, coffee, or tea from our Coffee Bar.
At Cal Mart, you will always find something that is unexpected, unusual, and uncommon!