Why Do We Celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25?
There are several reasons Christmas is celebrated on Dec. 25. The date is nine months after March 25, a day recognized by Christians as Annunciation. It was the day Mary was told she would was having a baby. The nine months that follow are an approximation of Jesus’ birth. Dec. 25 also coincides with pagan Winter Solstice celebrations like Saturnalia' and Dies Natalis Solis Invicti. Since they were historically celebrated around that time of year there was precedent for holiday festivities during this time of year.
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Next: What Does the Name 'Christmas' Mean and What Is the Meaning of Christmas?
What Does the Name 'Christmas' Mean and What Is the Meaning of Christmas?
Christmas is a shortened from the words “Christ’s mass.” It’s derived from the Middle English word "Cristemasse" which has Greek, Hebrew and Latin origins. Christmas is an annual holiday that honors the birth of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated by Christians around the world and is regarded as an important religious and cultural holiday.
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How Can We Celebrate Christmas?
Christmas is traditionally celebrated in many ways and celebrations vary across cultures. In the days leading up to Christmas, people usually put up special decorations including colorful lights and evergreen trees. Gifts are often placed under the tree and exchanged on Christmas day among loved ones. Large meals are also typically served as part of the celebration as well.
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As with most meat, the safest way to thaw beef is in the refrigerator. Small cuts of beef can take up to 24 hours, while larger slabs can take a few days. If you’re in a pinch, frozen beef can be thawed in a bowl or container of lukewarm water. Place the bowl or container in the sink and leave under a running faucet. Never allow raw beef to thaw or sit on a counter or cutting board. Since it takes longer to thaw than most meats, it is more susceptible to bacteria growth.
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In order to effectively freeze beef, you’ll want to limit its exposure to air. This not only prevents the production of freezer burn, but also extends its shelf life to three months or longer. The best way to package beef is to wrap it tightly in freezer paper or plastic wrap. You should then wrap the meat in a layer of aluminum foil or place it in a plastic bag.
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For ground beef, keep refrigerated and use within one to two days. It can stay in its original container if the packaging hasn’t been opened. Steaks follow the same protocol, but can last a bit longer at three to five days. It’s actually best to allow a little airflow with stored meat, as tightly-adhered plastic like Saran wrap can make meat sweat and, as a result, less tender. Meat can be transferred to plastic containers, but should be covered loosely.
Never refrigerate raw meat if it’s been sitting out beyond two hours.
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How to Store Meatballs
Cooked meatballs can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to four days. You can also individually wrap larger meatballs in aluminum foil for maximum freshness.
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Next: How to Freeze Meatballs
How to Freeze Meatballs
To freeze meatballs, simply transfer them from the fridge if they are already stored in appropriate airtight packaging. If not, meatballs can be placed in a freezer-safe container or bag. Be sure to eliminate as much air as possible prior to storing and you'll have fresh meatballs up to four months after freezing.
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Next: How to Thaw Meatballs
Meatballs can thawed in a microwave, but be sure to turn them frequently and consume immediately. You can also bake frozen meatballs on a cookie sheet at 350° for 25-30 minutes. For those who aren't in a rush, placing the frozen meatballs in the refrigerator is always the most effective thawing method.
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Swedish meatballs can be served as an appetizer, as part of a smorgasbord, or star as the main event. They’re small in size and, with their traditional sour cream sauce spooned over wide egg noodles, represent as the ultimate comfort food. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to combine the meatball ingredients ensures a delicate texture. If you don’t have a stand mixer, simply mix the ingredients in a large bowl with your hands, making sure to use a light touch.
For more, check out our Lamb Meatballs with Lemon-Cumin Yogurt, Meatballs Braised with Kale, and Baked Ziti with Meatballs.