The foods in questions aren't necessarily holiday foods, but foods that remind me of being home for the holidays. The first is a family tradition, and unknown to most people outside of Rhode Island. It is called Dynamite, and my family has been making it as long as I can remember. My family is from Rhode Island, though I am from Connecticut. Even my friends in Connecticut growing up didn't know what it was unless they ate it at my house.
The easiest way to describe Dynamite to an outsider (read: everybody) is that it's like sloppy joes. It is a meat-heavy dish with ground beef and tomato paste. Different from sloppy joes however are the inclusion of some chopped vegetables and most importantly, crushed red pepper. The dish is then eaten on a grinder roll, which is also not a term known by many outside of the northeast. After my first attempt, I must say I was quite happy with it. My kitchen smelled like my parents' kitchen and that familiar taste just brings back so many great memories.
Being that it was my first, I wasn't quite sure how to know when it was done. The consistency of the pie turned out to be a bit thinner and not as settled as I expected it to be. But the response from those who tried it says it is good the way it is. Maybe I'm just used to a certain style. Anyway, it tastes great and I'm pretty happy with the pie as well.