Down south, food has been burned with a bad reputation. “Southern food? You mean fried fried?” No! Southern food is wholesome, delicious and nutritious. Most meals are cooked with ingredients grown locally and with recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Thanksgiving is no different from such traditional cooking. In fact, many of the foods people see on their tables during the notorious eating fest are southern born! Thanksgiving is about reminding each other why we are thankful for the things we have, the roof over our heads, and the people in our hearts. Country is about community, and what better way to build community than over a fine home cooked meal?
Traditional Thanksgiving Foods That Are Southern:
- Don’t Do It Alone
Thanksgiving is a family holiday, so make it a family activity. At home, make sure everyone has a job to do (whether it’s cleaning dishes, setting the table, prepping the food, or going grocery shopping.) If an extended family member coming to dinner offers to make something, let them! It allows everyone to take pride in the dinner and it saves you the trouble of mashing and mixing another thing.
- Clean And Cook
Covering the counter tops, tables or cooking areas with paper or even a table cloth from the dollar store makes cleaning 100x easier. Once everything is prepped, you just pick up the cloth and throw it out. No muss no fuss. Make sure to clean as you go—this is easier with another person. Done with a bowl? Hand it off to your helper to rinse in the sink. This way, everything is done and put away before you’re even finished cooking and there is no last minute tidying.
- Disposable Is Efficient, Not Trashy
The dollar store surprisingly has an array of nice bowls, dishes and cups that can be tossed once used. This makes clean up a breeze and the night move along quicker. Buying aluminum baking and casserole dishes are a good idea too. The more you’re throwing away, the less your dishwasher has to worry about.
- Dress Comfortably
Yes, you want to look nice for Grammy and Aunt Susan, but you also want to be able to enjoy your food and be comfortable. Wear clothes that you feel both attractive and comfy in. Want to put some flare into your outfit? Wear some Boot Bling!
Some of Our Favorite Southern Thanksgiving Recipes:
Traditional Thanksgiving Menu: http://www.southernliving.com/food/holidays-occasions/thanksgiving-menus
Grandma Erma’s Spirited Cranberry Sauce
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup port
- 4 cups fresh cranberries
- 1/4 cup orange liqueur
- Stir together sugar, port, and 3/4 cup water in a heavy 3-qt. saucepan until blended. Add cranberries; bring to a boil, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until cranberry skins begin to split. Remove from heat, and let cool 15 minutes.
- Pulse cranberry mixture in a food processor 3 to 4 times or until cranberries are almost pureed; stir in orange liqueur. Cover and chill 8 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container up to 3 weeks.
Perfect Mashed Potatoes
- 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/3 cup half-and-half
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- Peel, Boil & Drain. Peel potatoes, and cut into 1-inch pieces. Bring potatoes, 1 tsp. salt, and cold water to cover to a boil in a medium-size Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 16 to 20 minutes or until fork-tender; drain.
- Add Creamy Richness. Return potatoes to Dutch oven. Cook until water evaporates and potatoes look dry. Mound potatoes on 1 side; add butter, next 3 ingredients, and remaining 1 tsp. salt to opposite side of Dutch oven. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until butter is melted and mixture boils.
- Beat Until Smooth. Remove from heat; beat at medium speed with a hand-held electric mixer 30 seconds to 1 minute or to desired degree of smoothness. (Do not overbeat.) Serve immediately.
- 1 cup butter or margarine, divided
- 3 cups white cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 7 large eggs, divided
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 3 cups soft breadcrumbs
- 2 medium onions, diced (2 cups)
- 1 large bunch celery, diced (3 cups)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh sage*
- 6 (10 1/2-ounce) cans condensed chicken broth, undiluted
- 1 tablespoon pepper
Place 1/2 cup butter in a 13- x 9-inch pan; heat in oven at 425° for 4 minutes.
Combine cornmeal and next 5 ingredients; whisk in 3 eggs and buttermilk.
Pour hot butter into batter, stirring until blended. Pour batter into pan.
Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.
Crumble cornbread into a large bowl; stir in breadcrumbs, and set aside.
Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onions and celery, and saute until tender. Stir in sage, and saute 1 more minute.
Stir vegetables, remaining 4 eggs, chicken broth, and pepper into cornbread mixture; pour evenly into 1 lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish and 1 lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish. Cover and chill 8 hours.
Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.
*1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage may be substituted for fresh sage.
Andouille Sausage, Apple, and Pecan Dressing: Brown 3/4 pound diced andouille sausage in a skillet over medium heat; drain. Add sausage; 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped; and 2 cups chopped toasted pecans to dressing. Proceed as directed, baking 40 to 45 minutes or until done.
Pear Salad with Raspberry Cream
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup raspberry preserves
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 4 firm, ripe pears
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 head Bibb lettuce, torn
- 1 small head romaine lettuce, torn
- 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
- 6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
Whisk together first 4 ingredients. Set dressing aside.
Peel pears, if desired; quarter pears. Brush with lemon juice.
Arrange lettuce on 4 plates. Arrange pear quarters over lettuce. Drizzle with dressing; sprinkle with cheese, bacon, and raspberries.
Sweet Potato Cups
- 6 small sweet potatoes (about 2 3/4 lb.)
- 4 large navel oranges
- 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup miniature marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 425º. Place sweet potatoes on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until tender. Let stand 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350º.
- Meanwhile, cut oranges in half crosswise. Scoop out pulp using a spoon, leaving peel intact. Reserve orange pulp for another use.
- Peel sweet potatoes, and place potato pulp in a large bowl. Add sweetened condensed milk and next 8 ingredients. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth, stopping occasionally to remove any tough fibers, if necessary. Spoon about 1/2 cup mixture into each orange cup. Place orange cups in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
- Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and top with pecans and then with marshmallows, pressing lightly to adhere. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until marshmallows are melted and golden brown.
Note: Orange cups and sweet potatoes can be made 1 day ahead. Chill scooped orange cups and baked sweet potatoes in separate zip-top plastic bags until ready to assemble.
Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie
- 1/2 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons bourbon*
- 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 325°. Fit piecrust into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet; sprinkle piecrust with powdered sugar.
- Whisk eggs in a large bowl until foamy; whisk in brown sugar and next 6 ingredients. Pour mixture into piecrust, and top with pecan halves.
- Bake at 325° for 30 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 300°, and bake 30 more minutes. Turn oven off, and let pie stand in oven, with door closed, 3 hours.
*Vanilla extract may be substituted.
We at Redneck Couture hope y’all have an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving!