Snow on the Mountain Dinner Party Recipe

When I was about 10 years old, our pastor’s wife changed our Christmas dinners forever. She introduced my family to Snow on the Mountain. I have heard this is a popular dinner in the midwest, but our home has had the blessing of introducing Snow on the Mountain to a number of northwest families over the years. Today, I share it with you. Because I love you.

This dinner is fun and oh so easy to prepare. It also allows you the opportunity to ask each guest to bring a part of the dinner. Just place the bowls on the table and have them fill in what they were in charge of bringing.

The other beauty of Snow on the Mountain is that everyone gets to put on their mountain what they enjoy eating. It’s kinda like everyone gets to create their own meal.

Makes 8-10 servings.


  • 5 cups rice, prepared
  • 1 recipe Turkey Gravy Sauce
  • 1 1/2 pounds cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 cans crushed pineapple
  • 6 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 3 – 6 oz. cans whole black olives, chopped or sliced
  • 20 ounces green olives, sliced
  • Slivered almonds
  • 2 – 12 oz.bags chow mien noodles
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 – 14 oz. bag coconut flakes


  • 5 cups basmati or jasmine rice
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Place water in a large pot and set aside on stove top. Rinse rice well, drain, and then add rice and salt to water.  Bring to a boil over high heat.

Turn heat to lowest setting and cover with a lid. Simmer like this for 15-20 minutes.

Place in a large, pretty bowl and serve.

Turkey Sauce

  • 3-4 pounds turkey hindquarters
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 cups turkey broth from boiled turkey
  • 3 tablespoons chicken-flavored Better Than Bouillon
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Place turkey into a large pot of water. Add a little sea salt to water. Bring to a boil and simmer until turkey is fully cooked (at least 165°F in thickest part). Remove all turkey and bones from broth and place on a large plate to cool.

In another large pot, melt butter & olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until golden and somewhat see-thru.

Sprinkle with flour. Whisk and cook for about 3 minutes. This is called a roux. It won’t be pretty, it will look scruffy even but it will make an incredible gravy.

After flour is cooked, add broth and continue to whisk. As the gravy comes to a boil, check the thickness and add more broth if needed.

Stir in Better Than Bouillon and continue to season to your liking with salt, and pepper.

Remove turkey from bones and cut or shred into bite-size pieces. Add all turkey back into sauce.

Place turkey sauce into a large dish with a serving ladle.

If a turkey is not available, you can use chicken instead.

Now for the fun part! Setting the table. Here, I will show you. Let’s walk around the table together.


Turkey gravy sauce.

Cheddar cheese.




Black & green olives.


Chow mein noodles.

Green onions.

And finally, coconut.

The best part might be listening to everyone make fun of the corny poems & cringe at the idea of trying pineapple with turkey gravy. For me, the best part is remembering my childhood pastor, Pastor Brustad and his adorable wife Doris.  How welcome she made everyone in her home feel. I do miss both of them so.

The tablescape? I went with three main colors of red, green & ivory. Candles add to the ambiance, of course, that is if they are not placed near the spoons. No flaming sleeves for Christmas. Because I love you.

My sled is a treasure. I use it every Christmas & set it against a wall for decor during the winter. It’s too rickety for real use but works wonderfully for festive decor and dinner displays.

If you are an avid reader of this little blog, you already know that I do love to use odd containers for everything food. Can you find them here? The punch bowl was a planter. The fork holders are canning jars and the coconut is in a vase. One. Happy. Party. Girl.

Here are the poems we use at our house. Hopefully, they will help you make a special set of your own.


Pick a plate and don’t think twice.

Pile up your mountain of rice!


If you miss this, it will be a loss.

So, good gravy, don’t forget the sauce!


These cheesy poems won’t melt your heart.

But cheddar on top is a good start.


Slivered almonds might be a bit nuts.

But you gotta try ’em – no ifs, ands, or buts.


Slender and green, onions add flavor.

Making tonight a memory to savor.


Fruit or veggies? It doesn’t matter.

Tomatoes are healthy & won’t make you fatter.


Black & green, salty & small.

Olives are delicious for one & all!


Celery is so fresh and hearty.

The perfect addition to our little party!


Chow Mien noodles add the crunch.

So be sure to add a bunch.


Pineapple is so juicy & sweet.

Go Hawaiian for a nice little treat.


Your snow on the mountain is almost complete.

Sprinkle the coconut and let’s go eat!

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6 thoughts on “Snow on the Mountain Dinner Party Recipe”

  • Hey We did this dinner at my neighbors house, but they also had raisins, bacon, maraschino cherries, peanuts, chopped apples, and green peppers too. It seemed odd, but very good. Have you ever used all of those in addition?

  • For some reason I can’t see any of the pictures and I was looking for the words (poem) to each food item. Could you help me with this?

  • I used this idea for our holiday party – Hawaiian theme. Had people assigned to bring different items and we cooked the rice and meat gravy. People were very hesitant at first -whaaat?? But LOTS of positive comments after – and lots of people going back for seconds. Wish I had had the words or captions for the items, but it worked out well without.

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