#FRIDAYFOOD Holiday food traditions — sides

20161204_130254_resized_1What a wonderful time of year for food and family! There are particular foods that make the holidays extra special. Whether it is grandma’s homemade rolls or Aunt Margaret’s fruit salad, some foods just define the holidays.

I recently asked Facebook and Twitter friends what foods make the holidays memorable for them – what foods make the holidays complete? An overwhelming majority said turkey and dressing, but there were a few other interesting suggestions.

Jenny Thompson Moore said her mom always make Chess Pie on Thanksgiving, and has since she was a little girl.

“Her giblet gravy and dressing is the best, no one can make it like her,” Moore said. “For Christmas, we always have fruit salad that she has made since I was a little girl and we always have to have it. These things just keep the tradition of my family going and remind me of Thanksgivings and Christmases past.”

Judi Gillespie of Carrollton remembers growing up with mince meat pie on the holiday table.

“I absolutely adore it, and had it every thanksgiving when I was small,” Gillespie said. “Haven’t had it in years!”

Donna Pearson of Winona said there are several “must haves” on her holiday table.

“Spicy jalapeño deviled eggs,” Pearson said. “And of course dressing–and sweet potato casserole and deep-fried turkey—Oh, and chocolate pies and homemade mac and cheese and green bean casserole.”

Pepper calls it “red stuff,” but a lot of people said they love cranberry sauce with their turkey and dressing over the holidays.

Margaret Gilmer loves her homemade cranberry sauce. Dorothy Pepper said she loves dressing and cranberry sauce. SaraJane Curry said she also likes cranberry sauce with her turkey dressing!

“I cannot eat it without the sauce!” Curry said.

Christie Colvin said at her house, they love “dressing, corn casserole, my Nannie’s fruit salad, Rob’s mom’s Coca-Cola salad, and my cousin, Suzanne’s buttermilk salad.”

Reba Thompson loves to make Broccoli Bake and Sweet Potato Casserole every year for holiday gatherings.

Broccoli Bake

3 10 oz. pks. Frozen cut broccoli

1 10 ½ oz. can of cream of mushroom soup

1 10 ½ oz. can of cream of chicken soup

1 cup shredded mild American cheese (sharp is good too)

½ cup mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons oleo (margarine)

1 ½ cups of soft bread crumbs

Cook frozen broccoli, drain. In a large bowl, cream soup, cheese and mayo. Add broccoli and stir gently. In a small sauce pan, melt oleo, add bread crumbs. Pour broccoli mix into large casserole. Sprinkle buttered bread crumbs on top. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Serves 12.

Sweet Potato Casserole

4 cups mashed sweet potatoes

1 cups white sugar

1 stick melted oleo

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup milk

4 large eggs

1 cup coconut (optional)


½ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup flour

2 ½ Tablespoons oleo

1 cup chopped pecans

Beat casserole ingredients. Put in a 2 quart greased casserole dish. Mix and spread topping over the sweet potato mix. Bake 350 degrees for 55 minutes (325 degrees for a glass dish).

Several people love sweet potato casserole or sweet potato pie for the holidays. Jill Nelson said she loves “Mamaw’s Chicken dressing and sweet Potato Pie,” while Jean Kilgore said she likes sweet potato casserole and pecan pie for the holidays.

It’s not a holiday meal for Ruth Odom without turkey, dressing, giblet gravy and sweet potato casserole.

And Barbara Todd said she liked sweet potato casserole and pie.

Laura Mitchell said sweet potato casserole was definitely on the list of her holiday favorite foods.

“No marshmallows please!” Mitchell said. “The brown sugar/pecan crust is the only way to go.”

Stephanie Smith agrees. She loves chicken and dressing for the holidays and her Mama’s sweet potato casserole with brown sugar and pecans. No marshmallows!

Raleigh Richter said he was a fan of sweet potatoes with roasted marshmallows on top.

Margie Pepper has a different take on sweet potatoes, with her Hawaiian yams.

Margie Pepper’s Hawaiian Yams

2 cups baked sweet potatoes
2 large eggs slightly beaten eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. Salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup coconut
1 small can pet milk
Mix bake in large pie plate 35-45 min at 350 degrees.
Chop small jar cherries with juice.
1-small can crushed pineapple with juice
3 Tablespoon of corn starch or flour
3/4 cup sugar
Mix and cook 2 minutes and spread on top of potatoes.

Janie Woods said nothing was better than her mom’s homemade rolls (though I was always a fan of Ruth Parson’s fried apple pies! YUM!)

“There was never any left for the meal,” Woods said. “They were buttered and eaten before meal time.”

Ruth Parson’s homemade rolls

1 pkg. yeast

½ cup oil

2 cups self-rising flour

2 cups milk

1/3 cup sugar

Heat milk just to boiling point. Remove from heat and cool. Sift together flour and yeast. Mix in sugar, oil and cooled milk. Let rise until double. Stir in 1 1/2 cups flour and pour it out on floured countertop and knead until biscuit dough consistency. You may place in an oiled container up to a week. When you are ready roll out dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut rolls. You may pinch off and roll, mom did. Let rise until double and bake at 350 degrees.

“Mother always covered her dough in the bowl with a dish towel and set in warm place to rise,” Woods said. “I always like to make ahead and leave in fridge in till I’m ready to roll out and bake. Give your self time for them to rise before baking. A lot of steps but worth it. Give yourself a trial run for your family first. Enjoy!”


Do you have recipes you would like to share? Send them to Gwen Sisson at gwenwoodssisson@yahoo.com.


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