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Southern Style Christmas Dinner

Hi All,
I'm trying something different for my Italian in-laws this Christmas, and I was thinking of doing a southern style Christmas dinner. So far, my menu includes:

Spiral sliced ham with some kind of brown sugar glaze
Buscuits
Scalloped potatoes
Green beens with bacon

We need some kind of salad, sweet potato, and of course dessert recommendations! (Caramel Cake?)

Also, we'll have a relish tray with pimento cheese or deviled eggs. Please help me! I'm from California and my husband is from New York, so we're flying a little blind. Thanks!!

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  1. Check out anything from Paula Deen, esp. her desserts. I'd say a red velvet cake would be a great finish, though.

    For the sweet potatoes, roast, peel, mash and mix with egg, some grated ginger and orange peel, maybe a touch of nutmeg, and bake until hot thru (very pretty baked in individual servings in hollowed out oranges). Bonus is that you can make this up the day before and hold, and if oven space is a problem, you can serve family-style and heat in a microwave.

    1. My Southern grandmother used to make a carrot dish that could be considered a salad ... cooked carrot coins in a heavy, sweet vinaigrette with minced onion and green pepper, served cold. I don't have the recipe, but I reckon I could lay my hands on it ... that would be colorful & festive.

      Hummingbird cake is another Southern favorite.

      3 Replies
      1. re: foiegras

        I know that recipe. Most cookbooks refer to the recipe name as "copper pennies"

        1. re: weezycom

          Thanks, weezy ... now I can look it up. I don't know any names for the things she made except "Grandmother's chicken, Grandmother's carrots ..." For some strange reason I've been thinking about them lately ...

          You can get black walnuts mail order, I believe the name of the catalog is American Spoon. They also have hickory nuts (which in reality are pretty indistinguishable from pecans) ...

          1. re: foiegras

            you're welcome. My mom is in the habit of just buying the baby carrots and cooking them up for this recipe instead of getting the full size and doing carrot coins. Just as good & even easier.

      2. No offense because I like Paula Deen, but unless you want your arteries clogged, I'd alter the fat (which means butter, in this case) content in her recipes...My family on both sides is from NC...So I can say that you do have the makings of a country dinner..

        Can I suggest you make sweet potato biscuits with toasted walnut butter? My grandma would make the butter with black walnuts from the tree outside her kitchen, if you could find those you should use them....Or serve your plain biscuits with apple butter or better yet, saute some peeled, cored and sliced apples with some apple nectar, cinnamon & a little brown sugar until almost falling apart and you'll have the perfect complement to a home made biscuit and the ham.. For a simple glaze, you can take some real maple syrup and reduce it until thick and brush over the ham then bake until caramelized...

        Coconut cake, Blackberry & Dumplings (with fresh whipped cream), Bourbon Pecan Pie and bread pudding are some traditional desserts

        7 Replies
        1. re: Cherylptw

          Wow! Thanks everyone. My mouth is watering already!! I love the idea of the apple butter. Since I'm not a seasoned biscuit maker, I'll stay away from the sweet potato biscuits for this occassion, but will definitely add that to my "Must Make" list. Thanks again for the input!

          1. re: jenhen2

            Can I just tell you that you can buy biscuit mix in the store (near the flour) that all you have to do is add milk? Buttermilk is best, but it contains everything in it: flour, salt, baking powder, butter flakes...all you have to do is measure it out and add your milk...and to add sweet potato, just bake or boil one (or however much you want to add) or used drained canned & mashed and add with a touch of brown sugar and some cinnamon....It's very easy and your guests will so compliment you on them....

            One last thing...southerners love pickled vegetables much like Italians...so try pickled okra, tomatoes, green beans and squash (if you can find it) on your relish tray....

            1. re: Cherylptw

              I love pickled green beans. Mmm. Zucchini is good, too.

            2. re: jenhen2

              apples are not really that big in the south. apple butter is not traditional that i know of.
              now, maybe use some peach preserves!

              1. re: alkapal

                Completely not true...apples are very popular in the south..apple butter, fried apples, for that matter, anything apple has been common in the south for as long as there has been a south...peach, of course tops the list

                1. re: Cherylptw

                  Apples are very big in the Appalachian South....apple butter, stewed apples and apple stack cake are my favorites.

                  1. re: LaLa

                    right, i stand corrected. apples in the mountains!

          2. A few things that may interest you.........

            Oyster Stew, Oysters Raw, Gumbo, Shrimp Cocktail (Remoulade)
            Ambrosia, Cranberry Sauce, (Frozen) Cranberry Salad
            Ham...Brown Sugar & Pineapple Glaze, Orange Glaze
            Roast Pork, Roast Beef, Venison Roast, Duck, (Wild) Turkey
            Sweet Potato Casserole with Brown Sugar/Pecans
            Candied Sweet Potatoes...Orange Glazed Sweet Potatoes
            Cornbread Dressing...Oyster Dressing...Rice Dressing
            Green Beans (Casserole), Mustard/Turnip/Collard Greens, Asparagus (Casserole)
            Squash (Casserole), Broccoli (Casserole) Corn Pudding...
            Pecan Pie, Carrot Cake, Red Velvet Cake, German’s Chocolate Cake
            Sweet Potato Pie, Chocolate Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, Fruit Cake, Coconut Pie/Cake
            Buttermilk Pie....Pecan Pie!!!

            Have Fun & Enjoy!!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Uncle Bob

              You're right Uncle Bob; corn pudding would go perfect with the saltiness of the baked ham....and some greens..ummm, now I'M getting hungry...

              1. re: Uncle Bob

                Tsk, tsk, Uncle Bob. Have they figured out how to grow those cranberries in the South? Or is that those Ocean Spray things from MN or something??

                Every good Southerner would have lots of relishes, chutneys, pickled and spiced fruits put by for holiday meals. Spiced peaches are great with game, ham, smoked meats. Pears, grapes, cherries, mangoes, plums, watermelon rind, green tomatoes, and other things.....
                Don't forget pickled okra, chow chow, dilly beans, pickled shrimp, pickled oysters, homemade saurkraut, corn relish, pepper jelly, ......

              2. You can't go wrong with Chocolate Chess Pie.

                (Just google "Angus Barn Chocolate Chess Pie.")