Challenging the Jewish Christmas Dream

I really hate when things are such cliches, but also so, so true. I’m not sure of one event that is as joked about, but yet is so strikingly correct as a Jewish person’s day on Christmas. There’s two ultimate truths: going to the movies and eating Chinese food. I don’t know how this happened. But these are the only two options for out-of-the-house entertainment in the Northeast (I’m sure Jews in warmer climates are sunning themselves or golfing.)

My family has been going to the movies for 20 years on Christmas. A number we recently calculated by remembering our first film together on Jesus’ birthday: The Little Mermaid.

This year we saw The Blind Side and I wanted to dismiss it as a cheesy, feel good, predicable sports movie. And in many ways it was that, but it was also really fulfilling and fun and sad to watch. And I cried. And I loved it.

But in unpredictability, the Family Gansie did not chow down on lo mein. We ventured to another continent.

With a bit of planning, we were able to shop for a few ingredients on Christmas Eve to pull together a fun dinner on Christmas night.┬áDAD GANSIE bought 5 balls of pizza dough and the largest container I’ve ever seen of marinara sauce and we assembled a shit ton of pizza. We made a regular cheese pizza, a pizza turn over with mozzarella and marinara sauce, a white pizza with roasted red pepper, ricotta, and then topped with arugula. We also used broccoli, caramelized onions, even roasted squash as other fixings.

But this was my favorite.


White Cheesey Pizza

Stretch out dough and brush with oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Use a microplane and grate a clove of garlic. Then smear garlic on the dough, then smear ricotta over the garlic. Top with plenty of shredded mozzarella and bake at 500 degrees for less than 10 minutes.

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  • Leah December 29, 2009  

    First of all, glad you loved The Blind Side. Great movie. (fyi–the book might be better). Second, Jews are not the only ones that go to the movies on Christmas Day. As part of a family that does all of our celebrating on Christmas Eve, we often venture out to the movies xmas day…Have done so for at least the past 5 years, if not longer. I mean what else are you going to do in Wisconsin, when everything else is closed…

  • Tia December 29, 2009  

    We are a Christian family and that sounds EXACTLY like our Christmas Day. Saw Sherlock Holmes & each family member had to buy/make a pizza to share with everybody else. We decided we are tired of the traditional Xmas dinner foods. Except for the tamales. Homemade tamales are a must!

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