Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Now that I am stuffed better lay me on the spit and turn me..."

Here in Memphis, where I live I know that when I go to my parent's house or my mother in laws house or my cousins homes in Mississippi, there are going to be a few staples that I should expect on the table for Thanksgiving.  I say this, because if you have ever been to another part of the country during this time (and I have been out east, north, and west) you will realize that Southern and Thanksgiving are customized for those of us that live here.  Now, I understand that soul food cooking can spice it up a bit making you expect pig knuckles and green into the mix; but other than those two things even the Soul kitchen witches down south pretty much offer the same spread.


* Roast turkey with Cornbread dressing that is in a pan
* Brown sugared ham with pineapples and cherries and cloves
* Some sort of vegetable casserole (usually squash, broccoli and rice, or green bean)
* Corn (I have never been to a Southern meal without it somewhere)
* Homeade pickles (sweet and sour)
* Cranberry sauce (jellied or homeade)
* Sweet Potato casserole with marshmallows on top
* A fruit salad concoction (Green goo, Orange marshmallow delight, or fruit cocktail with coconut)
* Pecan Pie
* Pumpkin pie or Sweet Potato pie (this depends on whether the Hostess likes Pumpkin)
* A Cake (usually Carrot Cake, or German Chocolate Cake maybe Orange Slice cake)
* Sweet Tea, Colas, and Rich Coffee

I am going to share with you some of my favorite recipes for this...because we all differ, I would love to have you email me some of yours!  I would love to post recipes from my readers...who knows?  Maybe we collectively could MAKE a Southern Fried Pagan Cookbook and donate part of the proceeds to a charity that means alot to us!


  • 1 cup light corn syrup or dark (I use dark)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 heaping cup pecan halves
  • 1 pie shell, unbaked, 9-inch
In a large bowl, combine corn syrup, brown sugar, salt, butter, and vanilla; mix well. Add slightly beaten eggs and blend well; stir in pecans. Pour into the unbaked pie shell. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 45 minutes, or until set.



  • 6 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


In a medium bowl, combine grated carrots and brown sugar. Set aside for 60 minutes, then stir in raisins. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 10 inch cake pans.In a large bowl, beat eggs until light. Gradually beat in the white sugar, oil and vanilla. Stir in the pineapple. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, stir into the wet mixture until absorbed. Finally stir in the carrot mixture and the walnuts. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.Bake for 45 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. When completely cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting. 



3. Southern Cornbread Dressing


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1 (16 ounce) package dry corn bread mix 

1 (1 pound) loaf day-old white bread, torn into small pieces 

4 tablespoons margarine 

1/2 cup chopped onions 

1/2 cup chopped celery 

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup 

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder 

2 teaspoons poultry seasoning 

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 

6 eggs


Place the chicken breast halves in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cook 1 hour, or until the meat is tender and easily shredded. Shred chicken and set aside. Reserve 4 to 6 cups of the remaining broth.
Prepare an 8x8 inch pan of cornbread according to package directions. Crumble the corn bread into a large bowl. Mix in the white bread.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the margarine and stir in the onions and celery. Slowly cook, stirring occasionally, until tender.
Stir the onions and celery into the bread mixture. Mix in the chicken, 4 cups reserved broth, cream of chicken soup, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, pepper and eggs. Blend with a potato masher until the mixture is the consistency of gelatin. Use more of the reserved broth as necessary to attain desired consistency. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until golden brown. 

4. Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze: 

  • 1 (5 pound) fully cooked sliced ham
  • 1/4 cup whole cloves
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 oranges, juiced


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Place the ham in a roasting pan and dot with cloves. In a saucepan combine the pineapple juice, brown sugar, honey and orange juice. Stir and simmer over medium-low heat until thickened, about 10 minutes. Pour the glaze over the ham.
Bake the ham uncovered for 1 hour in the preheated oven 

5.  Mamie's famous Fruit Salad (my mother in law)
  • 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 2 (11 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, halved
  • 1 (16 ounce) package miniature marshmallows
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream


  1. In a large bowl, combine the pineapple, oranges, cherries, marshmallows and sour cream together. Chill and serve.
Now this is not the whole she-bang these are just staples in my families, that when visitors start coming over to eat they ask for these recipes.  I have never given them out on such a large scale before...but why not?  Since I am a proclaimed Kitchen witch you might ask where is the magick?:  There is no greater magick than to SHARE food and what you love to do (I love to cook) with other people.  Sometimes, when my mother and mother in law (whom I know are really too old to cook) fix me food, I eat them just to injest their love and pride in their families.  That is why alot of us Southern women cook you know, because we have no other way of showing our kin folk how proud we are of them, and how much we truly love them.
Please, take the time to injest the love in the dishes you eat this year, think about how much time goes into preparation of a dish (typically twice the amount ) than in the cooking and consuming!  Know, that some woman or man who made this for you did it because they cared.  They may not care or love you in the way you wish they would; but you cannot choose the form of love or "force someone to love you" just be glad that you are.  

Have a fabulous family day, try not to argue too much, drink too much, hold too many grudges, take everything too seriously.  Let the religion prayers, the football talks, the "you should do this or that", your children are not as great as mine, being the black sheep (yep that is me), roll off your back.  Seize the bigger picture, understand that many of these people may not sit with you next year.  Just accept, share, receive, and give the love...and DO NOT skip dessert!

I love, and truly care for each and everyone of you! So thank you for reading and the gift of your time!  See you all next year!


  1. There is nothing that makes a southern women feel better than feeding her younguns.

  2. The recipes look very good, I will have to print them off and try them later. You know after all the Thanksgiving leftovers are gone.

  3. Why thank you, I particularly like the Pecan Pie, and cornbread dressing...they are staples in my family for generations

  4. Thanks for the recipes. Cornbread dressing is a tradition in my family too. Also Turnip Greens, every Thanksgiving!!