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Thanksgiving Traditions, with a Southern Twist

November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving is my MOST favorite holiday each year. I love the food, I love good and relaxing time with family and friends, I love time off, I love the fact that it is fall, I love the rivalry weekend in football, I love the traditions. My traditions are that I am always with my Dad’s side of the family. I can remember driving down the 500 plus miles from where I grew up above the Mason Dixon line to visit my grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins in the South. I can remember them all coming up to the cold weather for the holiday a few times, regardless, I have always had Thanksgiving with my Dad.

So I will head over to my Dad’s house in a few hours for some yummy turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, sourdough and sausage dressing, green bean casserole, squash casserole and the list goes on! I am taking two of my favorite dishes that I’ve made from scratch: Carmel Apple Pecan Pie and Cranberry-Apple relish (or crisp, or casserole, I am not sure of what the classification should be) I will be sure to post the recipes some time!  We will hang out eat and maybe watch a movie or take a walk. Then, come 8pm or so, the best Thanksgiving tradition… the Turkey sandwich. I love the turkey sandwich during the holidays. Steps to the best turkey sandwich:

  • Wheat toast with miracle whip (Yes, I like miracle whip over mayo)
  • Salt and pepper sprinkled on the miracle whip, that way it doesn’t fall off
  • Swiss cheese
  • Crisp, cold lettuce and sliced tomato
  • White meat from the turkey (the dark is fine too, but I like white meat more)
  • Serve the sandwich with a large coke and a side of crispy kettle cooked chips!

So, later tonight I will be having my yummy sandwich while talking to the Bestie, which is also a thanksgiving tradition… long phone call with the Bestie recapping the events of the day from our crazy families. Friday I will hit the shops and have an annual Friday night dinner with some family members and Saturday is the big rivalry game in these parts! I am looking forward to every minute!

Now, I do have a few observations to make about differences between this holiday in the North and the South. My Aunt Joy (my Dad’s sister-in-law) is one of my most favorite people in the world. She grew up in the low country and her family has a historical beach house down on the coast, and I have been down there for Thanksgiving a few times over the years. I guess the first time I noticed the differences was about eight years ago and the two biggest thing were the turkey and the rice.

  • Deep Fried Turkey. Now, I realize that this is becoming a popular thing across the country, but let’s be honest, if it is deep fried it got its start in the South! My Uncle is a big fan of the deep fried turkey and it is yummy because you can inject all sorts of seasoning into it (I vote Cajun) and it is nice and crispy.  The only thing I don’t like about it is that it gets a little oily after a few hours of being out of the fryer, so it doesn’t really work for the late night turkey sandwich.
  • Rice and Gravy. Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE mashed potatoes. Love them. To me, they are an essential part of the Thanksgiving meal. Now, as I mentioned, my Aunt is from the low country. And many years ago (I mean, a really long time ago), rice was a cash crop in that part of the country. So rice is a historic staple in their meals, and rice and gravy is a favorite. So in that part of the country it often replaces  my beloved mashed potatoes. Crazy.

Okay, time to make that cranberry dish and finish watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade! I hope you each have a lovely Thanksgiving! There are so many things that I am thankful for in my life, I appreciate that I get to spend this weekend with people I love!

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