It’s that time of the year to prep for your Thanksgiving meals, which for my home includes sugar, butter, salt, all types of seasoning and butter. Did I mention butter? Although there are some healthy versions to every dish known to man, it’s the holiday season - so many folks prepare their bellies for this time of the year. Finances are without budgets and gyms are empty at this time of the year while folks are entertaining and being entertained with cocktails and desserts.
Watching the Food Network, is also a favorite family event during this time of the year. We sit around and watch the different challenges where folks recreate family favorite Thanksgiving sides with all types of ingredients that question how they got on the show in the first place. I’m not that bold to change what I’ve been taught to make, yet. Until I’m able to recreate our southern meal and without the criticism from the parental units, I’ll continue on with the butter, sugar, salt and love and a whole turkey instead of wings and drums - the favorite parts.
For your reading pleasure, here are some Thanksgiving side recipes for a southern meal that I have grown up with and love.
Absolutely love collard greens. It’s a part of every southern gathering from Sunday meals to Christmas. For the New Year, it’s a southern tradition to make collard greens, black eyed peas and fried cornbread. For two years, I didn’t honor this tradition, life wasn’t hard, but it wasn’t pleasant for the year - now that I reflect. Anyway, back to these collard greens.
I linked the picture back to my favorite southern cook, Paula Deen. She has been removed from the Food Network due to her use of a horrible word used towards black people in the south. Although saying the “n-word” should not have been by her (a white southern woman born, raised and living in a deep southern environment) towards black people, we as black people use it everyday towards other black people. The sense in it all is ridiculous and the word no longer holds it’s same meaning as it once did when created. I can not condemn her for using this word, no more than I can criticise my friend for using it - as long as it’s not referred towards me. Back to these collard greens.
Some will make this meal using a pork meat such as ham hocks, salt pork or smoked neck bones. You can also substitute pork for turkey necks or drums. For vegetarians, you can remove the meat all together and still create a tasty Thanksgiving side dish.
I like looking through Big Oven’s website of recipes, because you can add your serving amount and there’s a recipe that gives you the converted version of measurements. This key helps new cooks in the kitchen for sure. As for these candied yams, it’s a sweet addition to the amount of savory items on your plate. Some of us add marshmallows - something that the kids absolutely love, adults maybe not so much so be mindful of this when adding your sugar.
Yum Yum!! I can eat stuffing all by itself, and we usually do. I never understood adding stuffing inside of the turkey. A turkey is difficult as it is being in the oven for hours at a time without drying out, why add to that anxiety? I choose to make my stuffing on the side. I used to add cranberries along with a diced apple to add sweetness to the savory Thanksgiving flavors. Low and behold, my nephew is allergic to cranberries. Poor baby! So I eliminate the cranberries and continue the diced apples and it’s still delicious.
OMG, you’d be surprised at how difficult it is to find a image that signifies the look of a southern potato salad that we know and love. What is this desire to add a vinaigrette to warm potatoes add a green leaf and that’s it. In a black southern home, if you have potato salad presented at a meal, the whispered question will always be “Who made the tater salad?” There has to be a right visual ratio of mayonnaise and mustard, paprika and boiled eggs before we even attempt to get a plate, spoon and a seat to taste. If these ingredients along with the texture of the potatoes don’t come together for a dance in the mouth, you will be made fun of and removed from the list of potato salad makers.