Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Southern Christmas

The American South is known for its' variety of different dishes. This also means Southerners have a large choice of what they eat for Christmas. There are all sorts of meats , sides and of course desserts. The cuisine is a mix of African, Creole, English, Cajun and Spanish cooking. It is full of down home love with local ingredients. All this makes Christmas a special holiday a true feast for the senses.

Most Southerners appreciate a good ham to cook. This tradition has gone back to Colonial times when farms had plenty of pigs and hogs to spare. Fried turkey is another meat that;s on everyone;s dish on Christmas Day. There;s also that odd and bizarre creation of turducken where a chicken is stuffed inside a duck that in turn is stuffed inside a turkey. Of course there are home made biscuits to either dip in gravy or spread with butter. Sides usually consist of yams , okra, collard greens and green beans.

For Christmas parties there's always egg nog and non alcoholic punches.With this come a variety of sweets from pecan pies to snowflake pudding, a vanilla pudding riddled with coconut flakes. There is also the usual fruitcake. soaked in bourbon or whiskey as well as small butter cookies. Thanks to the French traditions. Louisianians have buche de Noel, a traditional holiday cake baked in the shape of the Yule log. There are also pralines for the kids to nibble on as they play with their new toys.

Christmas in the South is a unique experience, full of native foods and centuries old recipes. They make Christmas not only fun but full of tasty treats.

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