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Blog Post – Christmas in July “Kentucky Christmas” dinner

Jul 24, 2020

To help celebrate Christmas in July, I decided to have an authentic Kentucky Christmas dinner with my family. If you listened to episode two, you’ve heard of Kentucky Christmas and its origins. If you haven’t, I’ll summarize. Thanks to a brilliant marketing ploy, KFC (or perhaps just one enterprising and creative franchisee), convinced the entire nation of Japan that America’s favorite Christmas dinner is Kentucky Fried Chicken. It quickly became the Christmas Eve meal in Japan, and to this day you need to reserve your bird and/or table months in advance.

After a hearty course of the Colonel’s secret herbs and spices, the traditional Christmas dessert in Japan is the Christmas cake. This is a shortcake frosted with whipped cream and topped with fresh strawberries. Sometimes they’ll have mint leaves and other berries as well.

Since Japanese bakeries are few and far between in Dayton, we decided to go homemade. My wife baked the cake this morning. After it cooled, and while she went to get the chicken, I glazed it with an orange liqueur syrup, frosted the bottom layer, added a layer of sliced strawberries, spread on some more whipped cream, put on the top layer, covered the whole thing with more whipped cream, then topped it with whole strawberries. We were in the 90s today and the kitchen wasn’t much cooler, so I stuck it in the freezer until she got home. I then garnished it with mint leaves and put it back in the fridge until we were ready for it.

Our homemade Japanese Christmas Cake

Dinner was nice, although I’m more of a Lee’s man. I put on Tatsuro Yamashita’s 1993 album, “Season’s Greetings,” for us to enjoy while we ate.

Our Kentucky Christmas dinner

Afterwards, we cut into the cake and enjoyed it with an after-dinner coffee. It was light and not too sweet. Everyone loved it! I told my wife we’d have to do it again next year. I might even get the kids some small gifts, just to make the day more fun.

Merry Christmas in July, everyone!