Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Southern Thanksgiving

I'm not technically a Southerner but I've lived in the Carolinas longer than anywhere else.  So, I think it is about time for me to start incorporating some southern traditions into my family.


Long before I moved to the sunny southern states, I fell head-over-heals with pickled watermelon rind.  That's where we will begin this Southern Thanksgiving Menu.
Pickled Watermelon Rind by TPS
Pickled Watermelon Rind

Main Dish

Fried Turkey seems to be everywhere now.  Years ago, when I first heard about it, I thought how odd to not cook a turkey in the oven.  Here we are today and deep fryers can be found in the grocery stores.
Fried Turkey by Bob Merritt
Best Ever Fried Turkey

Side Dish

My dad makes the absolute BEST stuffing ever!  (I have to say that since that was all I ever knew growing up and have tried to emulate it since).  I remember my first cornbread stuffing and although it was different from what I knew, it certainly was delicious.
Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing by EZ Gluten Free
Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

Regardless of the type of gravy; giblet gravy, white wine gravy, bourbon gravy, it's all about the lack of lumps.   One secret to making lump-free gravy is to use a jar with a tight lid so you can shake a small amount of the liquid with the thickener, then slowly add more liquid.  Once the liquid and thickening agent (flour, corn starch, potato starch, etc.) is lump free then add to your pan of liquid stirring constantly.
Bourbon Gravy by The Pure Pantry
Bourbon Gravy

We used to have candied yams with marshmallows on top as a side dish.  My first sweet potato casserole was actually at a Ryan's Cafeteria and not on Thanksgiving day.
Sweet Potato Casserole by Collegiate Cook
Sweet Potato Casserole


There are some southern dishes that I have not been able to acquire the taste; sweet tea, salt pork (I actually haven't tried this due to allergies but DH tried it and I thought I'd have to resuscitate him!), chitlins, and a pound of butter (major exaggeration) in about everything.  Don't get me wrong about the butter, I like butter but can my body really handle that much?  I may not order sweet tea but the flavored iced teas served down here in the south are amazing.

The tea, butter and now grits have found their way into my pantry.  Who knows, in a couple more years people might not know I ever lived anywhere else.

P.S.,  I hope you enjoy this Southern Thanksgiving menu.  What Thanksgiving traditions do you incorporate each year?

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Substance of Living