The holiday season is in full swing. Lights are up, trees are decorated, and everything we eat or drink seems twice as nice because it all seems to have that holiday spice! Whether it’s to celebrate or commemorate a special day in your calendar, or whether it’s a time for family or friends to spend time together, no matter what your family traditions, the common denominator is a gathering over food. We’ve searched our pantry of podcasts to find some mouth-watering offerings to help you prepare for all the food that will be had this holiday season.
For this post, we’ve selected particular episodes of podcasts which are focused on the holiday season. Warning: I would recommend having some snacks ready before you hit “play”. Seriously, do not take this warning lightly! I had to stop every few minutes to find something to munch on – and was disappointed on each trip to the refrigerator as there were no delicious sweet treats or yummy savory goodies to satisfy my cravings. So before you have to suffer the same fate, get yourself one (or four!) tasty items before giving these a listen. You have been warned!
The Olive Magazine – Edible Gifts, Nikkei Cuisine and Christmas Drinking (EP 33)
Oh, man! Everything on this episode of The Olive Magazine Podcast sounded delicious! Even the not-necessarily-holiday-centered segment on Nikkei Cuisine (a fusion between Japanese and South American – in particular, Brazil and Peru – cuisine) had me salivating – this is definitely something to try in the new year! (I’m actually putting this on my Food Resolutions for 2020 – more on those later!)
You have to go back in the archives a little to find Episode 33, Edible Gifts, Nikkei and Christmas Drinking, but, boy, is it worth it. Not only are there some fabulous ideas for homemade edible gifts, from home-made sriracha sauce to miso caramels (which sound AMAZING and, in my opinion, would make you the greatest gift-giver ever!) but they also give some great ideas for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink options for the holiday season.
Their latest episode is a Christmas Special, and is just a round-table, relaxed discussion of Christmas traditions and the quirky things different families do and eat over the holidays. It’s just a quick discussion, but it sparked my own reminiscing of family get-togethers over this holiday period. It made me realize how many of our own little traditions and quirks my family has, and just thinking about these sparked some added holiday spirit.
Bonus Episode 32: Christmas Crafting Ideas, Gluten-Free Baking and Beer Chat with Big Al: This is another older episode, but it has some great crafty gift ideas. So if you’re still desperate for a gift for your great aunt from Ohio, you might just find a winner here! There’s also a really helpful section on gluten-free bakes for the holidays, and I’ll definitely be making these for some of my family members!
Bonus Episode 83: Christmas Traditions and the Magic of Leftovers: This is a really fun episode that gives some great ideas for all those leftovers stacked in the refrigerator after your holiday feast. These quick and easy clever ideas will definitely come in handy!
The Splendid Table – Holiday Warm-Up (EP 672)
The Splendid Table is a well-renowned, award-winning radio program which celebrates the culinary arts in all its scrumptious shapes and forms. It’s frequently named one of the top food podcasts so it definitely needed a spot on our list. In the episode, Holiday Warm-Up, host Francis Lam is visited by Chef David Nayfeld who shares his recipe for draniki, chicken stuffed potato pancake pancakes, a Hanukkah staple for his Jewish-Belarusian family. As you hear the draniki sizzling in the pan, David shares his holiday memories around this delicious-sounding comfort food. You can almost smell the delicious aromas that must be filling the kitchen – and it is exactly that smell that David associates with fond memories of his loved ones, particularly during the holiday season.
There’s also a fun little segment about Champagne, a celebratory beverage we typically only bring out for special occasions, such as the holidays. It’s particularly popular on December 31st, and there’s usually a mad dash to charge all glasses as the clock inches closer to midnight. And while for many, it’s firmly for celebratory events, Peter Liem, a champagne expert, firmly believes we should keep the celebration going year-round, and gives great tips for pairing champagne with your everyday meals…even your fried-chicken take-outs!
Richard’s Famous Foods – Christmas Pickles (rebroadcast of EP 4)
Richard’s Famous Foods is a one-of-a-kind listening experience. It’s part documentary-style journalism, part comedy, and a whole lot of hilarious rhymes. It’s the self-dubbed “craziest food show in the history of eating” and is a bizarre treat for the ears! It’s a podcast investing the obscurities of food culture, and it’s definitely not like anything I’ve heard before! It is also chock-full of sound bites and is a highly-polished sound production. The episode we feature is one that is less about delectable holiday food and more about bizarre holiday food traditions. I present to you, Christmas Pickles. Yep, you read that right, Christmas pickles. I had no idea, but apparently, Christmas pickles are a thing! Particularly, the tradition of hiding a pickle-shaped ornament on your Christmas tree, with the person finding the allusive pickle being rewarded with anything from an extra gift from Santa or good fortune for the new year. There’s no clear rhyme or reason as to how or why this tradition came to be.
We travel across the sound waves to Berrien Springs, Michigan, the self-professed Christmas pickle capital of the world (they even had a pickle parade every year, but sadly, this is no more!), but even there, the origin of the Christmas pickle remains a mystery. Christmas Pickles is a really fun listen for all. The script is witty, clever, full of puns and rhymes, and just for the holiday season, there are a plethora of pickle-themed hymns. So if you’re looking for something different to keep you entertained these holidays, this should definitely be something you pick(le)!
Family Road Trip Trivia Podcast – Holiday Trivia
Ok, so this one has nothing to do with holiday food, but I stumbled across it in my research and thought it would be fun to include. The Family Road Trip Trivia Podcast is just as the name suggests, a trivia focused podcast. The reason for its inclusion is because there’s a special episode, EP 16 Holiday Trivia, just for the holiday season, which is crammed full of holiday-related trivia questions. So while this one has no mouth-watering food ideas, it could come in very handy while you’re making those mouth-watering delicacies and need a way to keep children, or the rest of the family entertained while the finishing touches on the feast come together.
The Sporkful – New Year’s Food Resolutions 2020
The Sporkful, a podcast for eaters, and not so much for foodies, it features discussions on all things food ‒ dishing up new ways to eat, debating the new fads, and exploring food and how it is influenced by and in itself influences culture, race, and even relationships and language. The episode that appears on our list is entitled New Year’s Food Resolutions 2020.
First of all, of course you should have food resolutions! How come I’ve never done this before?! Well, I’m definitely making a list for next year! The episode also includes a rebroadcast of one of their favorite episodes, a satirical take on health fads. It’s hilarious, just remember, it’s satire! It’s a really fun listen when you’ve got a little downtime this holiday season (or perhaps as you recover from your food coma!) and then let it inspire you to get started on your food resolutions for 2020! I’ve already started mine in my bullet journal…
Table Manners with Jessie Ware: Nicole Scherzinger
Our last offering is Table Manners with Jessie Ware, where Jessie and her mom, Lennie, host a new guest each episode, and over some delicious food, discover everything you should (and shouldn’t) chat about at the dinner table. The banter is fast-paced and hilarious, the guests really open up, and of course, all the food sounds delicious! Lennie is the chef extraordinaire, sharing tidbits of her culinary skills as they whip up a smorgasbord of yummy stuff for their guests. Nicole Scherzinger of Pussycat Doll fame features on the episode we chose for this list. She shows up for a chat, and a full-on holiday spread, complete with a roast turkey, all the trimmings and an array of yummy sides. Jessie and her mom have cultivated a really warm atmosphere on their show, they play off each other so good naturedly, and they really give their guests space to share.
On this episode, Nicole shares about her background, the Pussycat Dolls reunion, how she fought for her role in Moana, and even sings a little in between everything else. Food is obviously eaten, enjoyed and discussed throughout. It’s without a doubt the best turkey Nicole has ever had ‒ apparently it was very moist (a truly awful word!) and utterly delicious. The show is a lovely, cosy listen; you feel like you’re sitting there at the dinner table with them. So fill your plate with your holiday fare, pull up a chair and enjoy some dinner table banter.
So if you made it through that this list without at least one trip to the refrigerator or pantry, I salute you! (But I do so gingerly, I don’t want to knock anything off my plate!) So whether you’re doing the cooking or the eating, or fair amounts of both, there’s plenty of podcasts to give you inspiration this holiday season or to keep you company in the kitchen. No matter how you spend these holidays, whether celebrating a particular day, or if it’s just a special time to see family and catch-up with loved ones, may this holiday season be filled with love, laughter, and of course, plates and plates of delicious food!