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Old 12-05-2012, 09:55 PM   #1
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Classic/Traditional Southern Christmas Dinner

Every year for Christmas dinner we do a different cuisine: Italy last year, Germany the year before, Spain before that and so forth. This year we are going for the ultimate Christmas of the American South, Virginia in focus. That is what I grew up with, but my experience of it is colored by my birth family traditions, and I want to try for the classic expression. What foods say Dixie Christmas to you? I have cancer and this Christmas will be the fifth anniversary of my husband's death, so I want to dig deep into our own cultural roots as I cook this meal.

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Old 12-06-2012, 07:37 AM   #2
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Here in northeastern NC, we generally have a good old Smithfield country ham, collard greens, snaps and potatoes (seasoned with smoked ham hocks), baked sweet potatoes,
tomato pudding, cranberry sauce, ambrosia, a variety of pies (pecan, pumpkin, lemon meringue are the most usual suspects), one of our favorite cakes a three layer yellow cake with an icing made of chocolate and crushed orange slices, iced tea, coffee, sodas for the kids. Actually, Christmas dinners are pretty much the same as those special Sunday dinners we used to have all through the year.
I would like to extend my wishes to you for a wonderful Christmas and know that you will be in our thoughts and prayers throughout this season and the years to come.
Take care.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:22 AM   #3
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First of all, I am not a Southerner, so take anything I say with only good intentions. This is my idea what a Classic Southern menu might include.

I would include any family traditional dishes you recall that you liked, doesnít have to be the whole meal.

Starters or appies . Something with oysters or shrimp or both. Maybe a baked crab casserole or a hot or cold dip or spread. I think deviled eggs say South to me, (also northern food-- , I like devilled eggs).

Old Virginia baked ham, scored and finish with a nice glaze.

Corn pudding / baked corn casserole.

Dressing and cranberries. And pickles and olives.

Sweet potatoes, or a sweet potato pie for dessert.

When I think South, I think High Layer cakes with gooey frosting, some fruity spread in between layers, lemon curd or mince meat or? Donít know if this is a Christmas dessert, maybe itís for birthdays. Well, This is a celebration !!

What I have read Southerners, not nec. Va serve on holiday tables that we donít necessarily serve in the North, although menus are increasingly less regional, more inclusive, -- cole slaw, mac and cheese and collard greens and baked beans. ( Maybe not all of these on the same holiday table).

Ice tea and lemonade and egg nog and mulled wine. Do you serve apple cider? We usually have spiced hot apple cider, soda pop and coffee and wine.

Biscuits, not just any biscuits, but Angel biscuits ( I think they have yeast in them and would go well with little ham sandwiches when it comes time for nibbles or leftovers. )

Once you decide your menu, let us know if you need any recipes. Have a wonderful Christmas with you and your loved ones. One other thing I will share, we like to acknowledge in our hearts our loved ones who are with us in spirit during the Christmas season. We donít say a formal dinner prayer, ( too many religion/ beliefs to do just one), it is a moment to share a memory about those who are part of us and help us celebrate the spirit of the season.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:43 PM   #4
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A big Southern Virginia staple at functions is country ham biscuits. The biscuit part resembles a white house roll split in half. Add a piece of country ham (salt cured) between and serve. They usually set out a spicy mustard for some folks but generally they are eaten plain.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:51 PM   #5
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I'm in the upstate of SC, so I'm not sure if we are the same kind of Southern as VA LOL. We always have ham, but my grandmother makes the dressing and bakes a hen with it for flavor and for making gravy. For sides we have candied yams with marshmallows or candied pecan topping depending on who makes this, green beans with small potatoes, vegetable casserole with crispy onions on top, deviled eggs, mac and cheese, potato salad or slaw and rolls. I make spiced cranberry sauce for thanksgiving but we usually just have the canned stuff. For dessert we change it up some, but always have pecan pie. I'm making a spicy apple pie as well and if I have time some iced sugar cookie stars. My grandmother makes the lemon meringue pie if she has time. This is pretty similar to other holiday meals I've had with friends in the south also.

I'm thinking about making biscuits instead of rolls this year...
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoot View Post
Here in northeastern NC, we generally have a good old Smithfield country ham, collard greens, snaps and potatoes (seasoned with smoked ham hocks), baked sweet potatoes,
tomato pudding, cranberry sauce, ambrosia, a variety of pies (pecan, pumpkin, lemon meringue are the most usual suspects), one of our favorite cakes a three layer yellow cake with an icing made of chocolate and crushed orange slices, iced tea, coffee, sodas for the kids. Actually, Christmas dinners are pretty much the same as those special Sunday dinners we used to have all through the year.
I would like to extend my wishes to you for a wonderful Christmas and know that you will be in our thoughts and prayers throughout this season and the years to come.
Take care.
I'm in southeast Virginia. I don't usually do a big Christmas dinner because we don't have a lot of family here in Virginia. But Hoot's menu sounds spot-on to me.
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