GardenSMART Newsletter Signup
Visit our Sponsors!
Visit our Sponsors and win.
Christmas Memories


m'My sister Margaret and I peeped into the living room. Sitting on the sofa watching the trains go around under the Christmas tree was our grandfather. Our name for mother’s father was “Poppy” and Poppy was visiting us from Mobile so he could hunt in the country during the holidays.

We always enjoyed being with Poppy because he told us lots of stories. But, early this morning we just wanted to know if he had seen Santa. Poppy answered that he had not. Well, we were up! No daylight yet. How could we know if our swing set that we had asked Santa for was in the yard? Santa came through on the trains though. Yippee!

Christmas memories. How great they are! Early that morning Sarah would come and make breakfast for us. Later in the day, we would have a feast of all the traditional food that my mother and father had in their families when they were growing up. A combination of traditions would happen again when I married, and so my sons will have with their families.

Today, we still have most of the same foods that we had years ago. We might have added a few things here and there. My son Rob now makes a “beer butt turkey” on his grill and son Ed has expanded his culinary views since he travels all over the world these days and eats things that I wouldn’t. Good for him, though.

One item that has stayed on our menu is mother’s ambrosia. Said to be “food for the gods” it has been served at our Christmas table for as long as I can remember. And, my mother said that it has been served at her mother’s table as long as she could remember. My mother won’t be with us this year, but we will make ambrosia and it will continue to grace our Southern table as long as a coconut and an orange are growing on this earth.  Happy Holidays to you and your family. I hope that you can all be together this year.

---Chef Linda Weiss, posted December 2009---

Mother’s Ambrosia

Mother mixed freshly grated coconut and orange sections together; about 1 part coconut to 2 parts oranges. If the oranges were not sweet, she would add a little sugar. She never added anything else except red maraschino cherries to brighten it. Mother served the ambrosia in a very large crystal bowl. She put the cherries with long stems on top. It was always elegant and beautiful. (For instructions on peeling oranges, check recipe a couple of weeks ago on Oranges with Proseco)

Tis the season for citrus and a great Christmas morning addition to breakfast is broiled grapefruit. It’s easy and delicious.

Broiled Grapefruit with Brown Sugar

1 large grapefruit
1 tablespoon light brown sugar

Cut the grapefruit in half. Using a sharp knife or grapefruit knife cut the outline of the sections but don’t remove them. Sprinkle each grapefruit half with brown sugar using 1/2 tablespoon sugar for each half. Place the grapefruit on a foil lined baking sheet and broil the grapefruit halves until the sugar is bubbly. Remove and cool slightly. Serves 2.

A welcome change to an ordinary first course this year could be this Shrimp in Grapefruit Salad from Charleston, SC.

Shrimp In Grapefruit with Sauce

1+1/2 pounds shrimp, cooked, deveined and cut in half
4 large grapefruit
1 cup of your favorite Thousand Island dressing
2 Tablespoons horseradish
2 Tablespoons good mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Cut the grapefruits in half. Cut out the center of the grapefruit, and cut around each section with a grapefruit knife to loosen it. Spoon the shrimp into the center of the grapefruit halves. Mix the remaining ingredients together and pour over the shrimp. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

Serves 8.

First published in 2007 in Memories From Home, Cooking with Family & Friends
Visit Chef Linda at her website:
and her blog:
Linda’s first book, Memories From Home, Cooking with Family & Friends
is available at or at her website.

All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

Article URL:

Back to Articles List                               

GardenSMART Featured Article

By Natalie Carmolli, Proven Winners ColorChoice, Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners

There are few things more satisfying than seeing your beautiful garden in full bloom...and it's especially thrilling to see it abuzz with the activity of butterflies and bees. Want to bring more activity to your garden? Here's a guide to choosing unique, colorful, easy-care plants that provide a much-needed place for pollinators of all sizes to do their work. Read more...

Jump into Spring with savings up to $2200 on this Exclusive Cruise of the Rivers of Holland & Belgium with Eric Johnson Host of GardenSMART from PBS

Sail right into the pages of a storybook on our European garden tour through Holland and Belgium.

MAY 6-16, 2018

As low as $3799 per person/do, Price includes airfare from New York, Atlanta, Seattle, Chicago. CALL FOR OTHER CITIES THROUGHOUT THE USA

> Click Here For Details <

Watch filming and be part of the fun, telling your favorite...and not so favorite Dirty Tales. 2 Nights Amsterdam & 7 Nights River. Visit Amsterdam, Holland, Belgium, Kinderdijk, Antwerp, Bruges, Keukenhof Gardens, Rotterdam and More!

This Exclusive, Five-Star, Cruise & Garden Tours Vacation Includes:

  • 2 nights in Amsterdam including gorgeous hotel, wonderful tours and daily breakfast
  • 7 nights on the new, flagship Amadeus Silver III river cruise ship Incredible excursions in Arnhem, Kinderdijk, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges and Utrecht
  • All of your meals on board the ship, including wine with dinner
  • Deluxe motorcoach transportation
  • Transfers and luggage handling in Amsterdam
  • Hosted by Eric Johnson of PBS' GardenSMART
  • Fully narrated so you won't miss a thing!

Reserve space now by calling toll-free 206-935-6848 or make a reservation here.

  Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!  
Copyright © 1998-2012 GSPC. All Rights Reserved.