Gathering the Christmas feast builds traditions, sparks reunion - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Gathering the Christmas feast builds traditions, sparks reunions and memories

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Kingsley's Meat & Seafood on Taylorsville Road was packed with customers on Christmas Eve. Kingsley's Meat & Seafood on Taylorsville Road was packed with customers on Christmas Eve.
Plehn's Bakery in St. Matthews was also a popular holiday eve destination. Plehn's Bakery in St. Matthews was also a popular holiday eve destination.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The fire isn't open. You won't find chestnuts. But Kingsley's Meat & Seafood on Taylorsville Road is roasting Christmas Eve.

"Roasted turkeys, baked turkeys, whole dinners," counter worker Robin Fowler told one customer. "You can get it raw, too."

Bill Dermody opted for four slabs of ribs.

"I'm a CPA," Dermody said. "This is a lot more fun." Christmas Day, he'll be a Certified Pork Artiste for two dozen friends and family members.

"I like doing little errands like this on Christmas Eve," Dermody said, "listen to a little Christmas music in the car."

So does most every customer listed on Kingsley's wall this day; 1750 names in all.

Plehn's Bakery in St. Matthews had customers sharing that spirit.

"I thought the department stores are crazy, but this is really crazy," said Terry Lampkin.

"They run out of some things early, so you have to get here early," Mary Jane Hoetker explained.

Stacked four customers deep before noon, Plehn's had rolls and pastry aplenty.

When I was a kid, I used to deliver papers and come here in the morning," said Bill Desanctis of Lyndon.

"We came here after the birth of my only daughter before I came home from the hospital," Hoetker said. " Because I was craving the sweet rolls!"

Many a family tradition rises in neighborhood bakeries. But celebrating its 89th Christmas, Plehn's bakery knows no borders.

Lampkin drives from Valley Station to take back chocolate-covered apple fritters for his wife's sister and brother.  "I don't get none of them," he said. "We give them all away."

The springerle biscuits remind Jim Hoetker of the mold his uncle used in Cincinnati.

"Within two weeks they [springerles]  were so hard. They got stale so quickly, you had to crack 'em on the edge of your cafeteria table to eat ‘em at school," Hoetker recalled.

Plehn's goal was to have every customer served and out the door by 2 p.m.; Kingley's, by 3 p.m.

Missions accomplished.

But when do the employees have time to prepare Christmas dinner for their own families?

"I did mine last night," Fowler explained. "I'm gonna go home and wrap tonight."

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