Boxing Day: traditional and not so traditional food

December 26, 2012

Around the world, the day after Christmas marks Boxing Day, St. Stephen's Day, and the first day of Kwanzaa this year. But in our city, it's mostly back to work.
 
The origins of Boxing Day are disputed and may be lost to history, but today it's celebrated much like we celebrate our neo-traditional Black Friday, with post holiday sales shopping, sports watching, and leftovers eating.
 
Few traditional dishes exist for this day, but St. Stephen's Day pie, essentially cottage or shepherd's pie, uses leftover meat. In Catalonia their canelons, essentially canneloni but smothered in béchamel then baked golden brown, does the same.
 
The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park will observe Boxing Day with traditional English food, music, and a live performance by the Readers Theater at the Hemingway Birthplace Home. Bring a food item to donate to the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry and receive $2 off admission.
 
In my home, I'm eating leftover Pear Brandy Mince and Gingerbread Custard pie and yes, back to work — mostly.