A self-sufficient holiday tradition

Nicole Stejskal

My favorite tradition during the holidays is Christmas Eve dinner with the Stejskal side of the family. Rather than enjoying the traditional ham and potatoes meal, our family chooses to indulge in a less-than-conventional combination: catfish and pancakes.

The tradition originally began in our family when my grandpa was a boy. For my great-grandparents, living on a farm and supporting a family with seven children meant that they didn’t have a lot of money, so they used their resources to the best of their ability.

Using milk from the cows, eggs from the chickens, and flour from the wheat they produced, my great-grandma made the pancakes, while my great-grandpa fried the catfish caught from the pond on their land. This meal, enjoyed only on Christmas Eve, was a very important family tradition for my grandpa, so we still continue to honor it today.