Thanksgiving is a day filled with traditions. Although they might differ slightly from family to family, the main pastimes stay the same: cooking turkey and dressing, overeating and watching football.
Sometimes in the South, we put a different spin on those traditions that might make them seem odd to outsiders. Take a look at the list below and tell us which ones you'd add.
- We put gravy on everything, from turkey and dressing to potatoes and bread.
- It's dressing, not stuffing. In the South, we don't bother sticking it inside the bird because, you know, we're going to eat it.
- In many Southern families, deviled eggs are a traditional Thanksgiving dish.
- Not wasting food is an art form, or a game of one-upsmanship, depending on the family. The bottom line is, whoever can mix the last remaining leftovers into a tasty dish, wins. For instance, we might make cornbread into a "salad" or put sweet potatoes in our cornbread.
- When you think you have enough casseroles, add one more (usually made from all the leftovers).
- We can suspend anything in gelatin and we're proud of it. Bananas, strawberries, bits of pineapple and grapes are common items you might see suspended in Grandma's Jell-O salad but what about ham? Or green olives? At some point, people have tried it.
- We serve giant platters of pickled foods. Our relish trays might include pickled okra, pickled peppers, pickled peaches, pickled asparagus, pickled onions, pickled watermelon rinds and even pickled eggs. And that's not including the variety of pickled cucumbers – dill, bread-and-butter or sweet gherkin.
- It's the only day of the year when eating four kinds of potatoes – sweet, mashed, scalloped, potato salad – is not only accepted but encouraged.
- We cook with Coca-Cola because ... why wouldn't we? Southerners make Coca-Cola cake, Coke-glazed ham and a delicacy known as Coke salad.
- On our coasts, we make dressing with oysters.
- We don't put leftovers in those pretentious matchy-matchy containers. That wouldn't be practical. Instead, we save the margarine tubs and Cool Whip containers and use them to hold our leftovers.
I personally have to agree with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, and 11. #11 in my family is so true. My mom and aunt use containers saved throughout the year.
Southerners love twists on tradition. We love doing it in our own special way.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.