For most of us, family holiday tradition might mean baking Grandma's gingerbread and gathering around Dad's "famous" roast ham. But for Sandra Bullock, Christmas dinner isn't complete without breaking the law. This week Sandra revealed to Jay Leno the covert, forbidden activity that brings her family together for the holidays: Illegally importing sausage from Germany.
But it's all for a good reason! The sausages are in memory of Sandra's late mother, Helga, a German opera singer. "Since my mother passed, we break the law, because we have to manage to smuggle German sausages into the country, and apparently bringing meats across the waters is against the law." Aww, the family that smuggles sausage together stays together, right?
When Christmastime rolls around, Sandra and her family start making emergency calls to friends and families overseas, asking them to send the sausages to the US ... somehow. Sandra won't divulge her sausage-smuggling secrets. All she'll say is that "we just have to break the law a little bit, but eventually someone's package gets through."
But does it really have to be imported German sausage? I mean, come on, you can get just about anything here. Surely someone in the US is making sausages exactly the same way they make 'em in Germany! But no. Sandra says, "They have to be the right ones."
Maybe the "right" smuggled sausage is less about the sausage and more about remembering Sandra's mom. There's something about that particular flavor that brings her alive for the family. And going through all that trouble is a ritual that honors and cherishes her memory. In a nutty kind of way. Aren't there certain foods that conjure up memories of family members for all of us? I think of my departed grandma's menudo. Or my (still alive, thank you!) mom's burritos smothered in green chili. I love the idea of remembering family members with food.
What are your family food traditions?
Image via scardey_kat/Flickr