Today we’re taking a break from all the Christmas celebrations to discuss an odd group of friends, a strange pole and a ‘show about nothing.’ And by now, all you Seinfeld fans are smiling. It’s been 15 years since the TV series left the air but it’s still very much around in syndication, popular culture and a little made-up holiday called Festivus. Celebrated with a bare pole and an airing of grievances, it’s a time to come together and say “I got a lot of problems with you people!” It’s all in good fun, of course, and in its 9 seasons, quite a lot of delicious food came up on the show. So some of my blogger friends and I decided to cook the foods best associated with the Seinfeld years.
- Susan from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen is making Marble Rye from “The Rye”
- Kim from Cravings of a Lunatic is making Calzones from “The Calzone”
- Renee from Magnolia Days is making Eggnog Frozen Yogurt from “The Non-Fat Yogurt”
- Isabelle from Crumb is making Cherry Almond Muffin Tops from “The Muffin Tops”
- Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake is making Challah Pretzels from “The Alternate Side”
- Shanna from Pineapple and Coconut is making Lobster Scrambled Eggs with Wasabi Hollandaise and Crispy Leek and Potato Cakes from “The Hamptons”
- Kelli from Kelli’s Kitchen is making a Big Salad from “The Big Salad”
- Kelly from Kelly Bakes is making Mulligatawny Soup from “The Soup Nazi”
- Joan from Chocolate, Chocolate and More is making Cream Puffs from “The Gymnast”
- Marnely from Cooking with Books is making Apple Pie from “The Pie”
- Diane from Created by Diane is making Black and White Cookies from “The Dinner Party”
- Anita from Hungry Couple is making Chocolate Babka from “The Dinner Party”
Our blended family celebrates Festivus and this is how it began: When I met my husband, talk naturally evolved into favorites – food, music, restaurants, and television. My husband mentioned a few TV shows he watched during the 1990’s, one being Seinfeld and the other Wings. I had never watched either because as a single mom, I was busy going to school full time, working full time and taking care of Top Girl. Mr. Picky Eater described all the highlights from both shows and how he thought Festivus was something he and his boys should have celebrated since they usually had their Christmas together around the 23rd of December. During our first year of marriage, I thought it would be grand to put together a Festivus for our new blended family as we attempted to get to know each other. I did not tell anyone my plan but asked if everyone could be at the house on the evening of the 23rd. I worked all day at home preparing for our Festivus Feast, evening finding an old pole I put in a Christmas tree stand to serve as decoration. Of course there were Christmas presents and a tree but I did not want the kids – who were pretty much adults – to feel any kind of pressure or competition, I really wanted everyone to have fun!
Up to this point, I had seen very few reruns of Seinfeld and Wings but I commonly got the characters mixed up. I remembered the shows I watched seemed to have had celebrations involved where a Big Sandwich was ordered each time so I settled on that. A large loaf of French bread with meats, cheeses and accoutrements to beat the band! Everyone arrived around the same time where I welcomed them all the Festivus! We all got shirts to wear:
I gave an explanation of the pole, gave them index cards to write their grievances on and presented the Big Sandwich – celebratory meal of Seinfeld and our Festivus!
At first there was a moment of silence where I thought I had flopped, and then raucous laughter from the boys and their dad. My face turned red and I was very embarrassed because I felt like they thought I was stupid for coming up with it. Finally, when they stopped laughing one of them told me that Big Sandwich was from the sit-com Wings. The Big Salad was from Seinfeld.
Then we had to dig out the episode (from Season two episode number 6) and watch it, right then and there. Elaine’s salad does not look like MY salad but once I did make up the salads in Styrofoam containers just to give it a little authenticity.
Nowadays, we have a Big Salad and a Big Sandwich together then we each are allowed one ‘grievance’ to air per attendee (all done in fun) and at the end, the boys have their Feats of Strength exhibition since they started taking their bodybuilding steroids and THAT’S pretty darn funny. Rocket will join in this year because he is old enough (20 months) to show his feats with complete abandon! We do not always get to celebrate on the 23rd, but we always celebrate and nowadays there are no presents which make it even better.
The salad is easy and most of you know how to put one together by using whatever vegetables you like in combination – would you believe the Mr. Picky Eater put this one together? Yes he did – and he even touched the mushrooms! He didn’t eat them of course but he placed them on. He also chopped every single morsel of this beauty.
Isn’t his work admirable? He is such a perfectionist that he chops each and every piece of vegetable uniformly after washing and running through the salad spinner……..I told you we loved that kitchen item! I make the vinaigrette and the Big Sandwich early in the day so the flavors can meld. The vinaigrette is a simple basic recipe: three parts olive oil and one part vinegar. I’ve tried using balsamic or red wine (my favorite) vinegar but that has not been acceptable – also, no “weeds or twigs” in the salad or dressing either. Weeds or twigs are anything resembling herbs or non-iceberg lettuce.
While Mr. Picky Eater enjoys making the salad, he never eats it. I make him a salad like the one he is holding in Styrofoam above minus the mushrooms and green olives with Ranch dressing that I make from scratch – no bottled. Truth be told, none of us care for bottled Ranch. The fancy salad and vinaigrette are left to the rest of us — for Festivus.
This is easy to answer. Neighbors who have a dog that barks ALL NIGHT & don’t care who it bothers!!!! A law enforcement department who says they can’t do anything about it. Dog warden who also says he can’t do anything about it either.
Boy that’s awful! We have a noise ordinance in our town and you get one warning then it’s $200 every time the police have to come out and tell you to quiet down your barking dog. City Council………….run for city council! 🙂 thanks for dropping by and good luck!
I love that you celebrate Festivus!!! A big sandwich is definitely needed with a big salad…I love your tradition! I need to put my Mr. Picky to work in the kitchen more…yours does excellent work!
PS…your salad looks terrific!!!
Thank you so much! If I had only known I could have used the OXO items we could have really went to town on that salad! 🙂
My grievance is with people who complain about Christmas music before Thanksgiving. I happen to enjoy it.
there are some people who would listen to Christmas music all year long…….are you one of THOSE people? 🙂 Thanks for dropping by. xoxo
My festivus grievance is – I can’t believe all the perfect moms/families that grace my Facebook page! I wish I knew someone else who had the little petty annoyances that we enjoy!
I know you what you mean! Truthfully, looking perfect in a picture and sounding perfect on paper are both a far cry from perfection in action! Thank you so much for dropping by and please come by again!
How great that your family celebrates Festivus and you get to join in on this virtual celebration too. I so enjoyed reading about your traditions and would love to have that salad and sandwich too.
Thank you so much! I’m so happy I was invited to join in………..I keep learning more and more from each of you! Thanks for dropping by!
I had to laugh when you said your husband touched the mushrooms, but only to add them to the salad. It all sounds like so much fun.
Thanks Lillian – we try to have fun as often as we can! 🙂 yes, he hates mushrooms!
USPS allowing you to purchase postage that should get your box to its destination in 3 days and 8 days later it arrives.
It should get there when they tell you it will or you should get your money back! Thanks for dropping by Patty!
My bug is about lack of style nowadays. It bothers me what people find acceptable like baggy pants, un groomed, sweatpants to the grocery. I am an old fashioned gal (though young at heart) and believe you shoudl always look your best. Now granted I am not in anyway saying I am perfect, but at least throw on some lipstick and a pair of earrings and a scarf at least!!
I remember my mom throwing a fit when people stopped “dressing” to fly. She would be appalled these days and how people are dressed on a flight! 🙂 Thank you for dropping by!
You are the best stepmother ever, Kelli! I can just imagine that first Festivus and the joy of being together as a blended family that you created.
One of my pet grievances is people who say they cannot cook, to which I want to response (but usually don’t,) Can you READ? I mean, seriously, who can’t follow a simple recipe? What they really must mean, I’m guessing, is that they have no interest in cooking. Which is fine, but then just SAY that.
Yep, I think that’s what they mean! Thank you for the compliment on being a good step-mom. sometimes it’s hard to “stay out of their business” especially since I have traveled the road before but I do my best! 🙂 xoxoxo
I love this! You guys know how to have a good time 😉 I want that big sandwich right now. I’ve been craving an awesome sandwich for a few days now!!!
i bet you are craving all kinds of things right now girlie!!
This salad looks FABULOUS! It’s just the kind I like, especially with homemade vinaigrette. I don’t have a lot of pet peeves, but it does bother me when I see the births in the newspaper every day and about 70% of them are not born to a married couple. What has happened to America and our morals?
Have a wonderful holiday, Kelli. Hugs to your family, and don’t forget your mama. I think she is one of the greats!
Ok, maybe I have more pet peeves than I thought. 😉 I was just looking on your site for the recipe for Ranch dressing that you make from scratch because none of you care for bottled Ranch. Also, the vinaigrette dressing that I like so well, but no recipe! Are you just teasing us??? LOL
No, I’m not teasing you! I thought I was supposed to send the items from OXO to the winner – I had NO idea they would generous enough to send one to me and also to a winner!! someone emailed me and told me that a while ago. If I had known, I would have made the vinaigrette in the cool bottle…..that is now mine. 🙂
That’s terrific! But what I’m asking for is the recipe for the ranch and vinaigrette dressings!! You goof ball!!
Shanna@ pineapple and coconut
I love that you made the big salad. I try to eat a salad daily and I always call it my big salad. There was deli in Santa Barbara where I grew up called Bitterman’s deli. They had tvs playing seinfeld episodes and all their menu items were Seinfeld themed and they had Elaine’s Big Salad on the menu. I always ordered it! Thank you so much for taking a part in this and I love how your family celebrates Festivus!!
Thank you for inviting me and helping me out so much! it has been awesome to meet you and all the Festivus ladies. Now that I know what all goes into a giveaway, I have a much greater appreciation for it!
Kim - Liv Life
I’m loving all of your Seinfeld posts!!! And each one brings back memories. And Wings!! haven’t thought of that show in years!!!
Thanks for dropping by! We have all the seasons of both shows and my husband watches them during the winter. I can almost recite entire shows now!
I’m with you on the passing lane thing, however, my grievance this year is people who use the self check out at the grocery store with a full cart of groceries – DURING RUSH HOUR – and don’t know what in the heck they’re doing!!!
Excellent grievance! Me too – a full cart right after everyone gets off work and there you stand, with your 6 items behind Mr. 2-over-flowing-carts!! Thanks for dropping by!
Argggg..when people let a door shut in your face when clearly they could tell you were right behind them!
Yes, Karly – just sheeeeeerr rude behavior!!
Something that really irks me is when people bring LOUD unruly children to small restaurants or
on airlines and don’t even attempt to control them….One LOOK from my dad and I was still and
I had to laugh Bonnie because my mother has three looks and they are in order: “don’t do that”, “Don’t do that” and “DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, KELLI D!” They are very subtle in nature and only I and my daughter can tell you when she is doing it, but we are the only two she wanted to know! 🙂 Yes, I still just when she tells me to………..well, most of the time. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by!
kelly @ kellybakes
I love it so much that your family not only celebrates Festivus, but that it brought your blended family together! I have a lot of friends who can quote nearly every episode of Seinfeld–don’t be discouraged; it took me a while to catch up too! I love your take on the big salad (I didn’t watch Wings so I’m not too familiar with the big sandwich, but more carbs + more meat = fine by me!) So glad you participated in this with us; great to meet you and happy festivus to you & your fam!
Anita at Hungry Couple
I would love a big sandwich to go with my big salad! And don’t ever let Brian start airing grievances about bad drivers because he will talk until everyone is bleeding from the ears!
It was a fortunate mistake that I did it “wrong” the first time! I bet traffic up there is WAY worse than down here! 🙂
My grievance – waiting for a car to back out of a parking space so i can take it …and as they back out a car comes from the opposite direction and zips into the vacant spot. Grrrrrrrrrr ……….
A person would probably get shiot down here for that! 🙂 Thanks for dropping by!
People having cell phone conversations in a restaurant talking so loudly I cannot hear or focus on my table conversation! I probably won’t like cell phone usuage on an airplane either : 0
Excellent choice Nancy! Why would someone talk on a cell phone (unless on call) when you are with someone else anyway? It’s so rude and like you were born in a barn! Good luckl!
Happy Festivus Kelli.
I am such a huge Seinfeld geek, I’ve seen every episode multiple times. It’s my go to show while I scarf lunch.
The big salad episode cracks me up. It’s just so hilarious. Love that you did this.
You and my husband would get along great then because he watches it several times a day – every day! The only think in competition right now is Rules of Engagement…:) Thanks for dropping by!
Isabelle @ Crumb
Omigosh, you guys are total Festivus overachievers. I love it! And I totally love the mixup with the Big Sandwich, because it does totally sound like it belongs in a Seinfeld episode too.
BTW, I always think about the Big Salad episode when I see someone praising a blogger for a recipe they didn’t actually come up with… it’s kind of the same thing as thanking someone for bringing you the salad that someone else paid for, isn’t it? 🙂
It sure is! Thanks for dropping by Isabelle!
Your festivus celebration sounds like a such a fabulous time and what a way to bring your families together for the first time. It’s memories like this that you look back on and laugh with years later! You built your own traditions and it’s wonderful!
Festivus for the win!
My grievance is people driving slow on the highway. I am generally in a hurry and don’t have time to jack around. Go people!!
You made me laugh even though I am completely exhausted and my hands hurt from griping the wheel so tight all the way home!
This is awesome. I love Seinfeld.
Thank you – we are having great fun with it! Please drop by again!
It has to be people who stress about gift giving and spending LOTS of moolah!
I cannot believe it has been 15 years. That is crazy. What is crazier is I remember every single episode that your group is posting a recipe from.
(And, your family shirts remind me of “Breaking Bad”!) 🙂
Are the feats of strength next?
yes of course! Rocket can climb the walls without any trouble! 🙂
Caprice @ The Home Heart
Speaking of neighbor’s dogs…I have one of those neighbors with two of THOSE dogs. And no, they don’t care at all. In fact, they will leave them out all night just to piss me off. Poor animals. The law won’t do anything either. I’m thinking of a nice dog-friendly Christmas treat laced with rat poisoning for them to toss over the fence……
Really? You don’t have a noise ordinance in your town either? I’m so sorry. it’s awful not to be able to sleep at night!
Oh yeah – let me know if you got your invitation to pin to the board, I am not sure I did it correctly. I may have to wait till top girl gets home.
Found you through the SITS forum! My grievance is people who speed up and get right behind you, it’s so dangerous and what’s the rush? Switch lanes, don’t ride my butt!
Thank you so much for dropping by Monique! Please come back again soon!
Cannot believe it has been 15 years. I remember everyone one of the episodes that you mention above. it is crazy on Seinfeld has become a part of our cultural literacy. When will the feats of strength occur? 🙂
My grievance is the consumerism of Christmas!
The feats of strength happen just after dinner when the boys and their dad wrestle around……and now Rocket as well!
One of my pet peeves has always been driving behind cars that don’t use their blinker when turning! Drives me nuts
Oh Irene – you made me laugh because I hate that too! Thanks for dropping by!
Slow drivers in the fast lane
One of my biggest pet peeves is people who have loud, personal cell phone conversations in public. I cannot count how many times I’ve been stuck in a line, etc. beside someone who lacks “phone etiquette.”
You are right! Sometimes I know more about a stranger standing in line than my own mother.
today my grievance is the person who told my 4 year old the “truth” about santa completely devistating her just because he was a looking for a way to get me angry.
Wow – I’m surprised you aren’t visiting that person in the hospital tonight! Some people just have no cooth, do they? Thanks for dropping by!
my grievance is people who cant accept that other ppl need more help during the holidays… its natural.. not wrong to want to help.
That’s true Brittani – and thanks for dropping by – good luck and please come by again!
My grievance is people driving slow on the highway
OOhhh me too!! No brakes either! Thanks for dropping by Kelley and please stop again – good luck!
People that don’t use their turn signals drive me crazy! They just start slow down a little and turn in front of you. So rude!! 🙂 Merry Christmas!!
Me too! Thanks so much for dropping by – Merry Christmas, Happy Festivus and good luck!!
My upstairs neighbors and their stomping!!
I’ve been there! I don’t envy you one bit. Thanks for dropping by and please come again! Good luck.
People who don’t follow through
That’s a great one! Thanks for coming over and please come again – good luck!