A Flavor of The Southern Christmas


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A close friend from New York not too long ago requested me to describe a southern Christmas. Properly, the South is a mighty huge place but I believe I can conjure up some photos of what it’s like down here in coastal Ga, where we are living.

The great, dusty blue light of December sunshine brushes the tops of the marsh grass and the camellias are blooming in Previous Savannah. Wreathes of real holly and evergreen hold on the large stable doors of the aged mansions and you can hear the bells on the bridles of the mules and horses as they pull vacationers, huddled in carriages, as a result of the dappled streets and all around the lush, shady squares. Carolers can be heard in excess of in City Market place. It’s not humid this time of year so their voices carry much and apparent.

Over the river in Bluffton, SC, old women perform furiously to shuck and pack the briny oysters just pulled from the chilly Could River. It can be oyster year, by gosh, by golly, and we reduced country folks can’t get sufficient of them. I generate about there since I’m likely to make an oyster pie for Xmas evening meal. It’s been my assignment. I invest in 2 times as substantially as I will need. Eat 50 % of them on the way back household. I have my individual oyster knife from Oct until finally April but it is now that I definitely work that poor boy.

We southerners worship at the altar of the deep fryer. In the latest decades, I have been handed the additional duty of frying the turkey for the two Thanksgiving and Christmas. (This method frees the oven for far more essential operations these types of as cobbler baking and the last heating of my grandmother’s home made yeast rolls.) I like to sizzle these turkeys. I inject them with melted butter and cayenne. I fire up that burner outside the house and get a beer. I lower that hen into the effervescent cauldron and stare at it, hypnotized, till it is time to attract him back again out and onto the serving platter. I am joyful and in the moment.

Then, like anywhere else, we sit again and appreciate the relatives, the laughter of the small children, the smells that comfort and ease and the sounds that recall. And, of program, the foodstuff. There’s the beef roast that has been poked, trussed and timed by my uncle like he’s on some significant mission from NASA. The crab dip that my grandmother used to make but now is organized by my aunt. The spiced pecans. And, following the offers have been opened, the boiled egg custard, the bourbon candy and pralines.

Though fireworks are illegal in Georgia, they can be purchased throughout the river and we do just that. Into the evening, we ignite the great, black sky then operate inside, breathless…collapsing on to the sofa, the ground, the discarded wrapping paper. Bushed.

So, to my New York friends, and any person else north of the Mason-Dixon, come down sometime and get pleasure from your have southern Christmas. God bless us, each and every one particular!



1 quart shucked oysters with their liquid
2 cups crushed saltine crackers
3 or 4 scallions, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Louisiana design and style scorching sauce
1 cup half and fifty percent
cold butter
salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400F.

Mix all wet ingredients which includes oyster liquid in a non-reactive bowl and established aside.

Grease a 1 1/2 quart baking dish with some butter.

Sprinkle the bottom of the baking dish with cracker crumbs right until it can be coated.

Prepare just one layer of oysters into the dish then evenly salt and pepper.

Insert some of the parsley, shallot and onion on major of the oysters.

Include one more layer of crackers then dot with some of the cold butter.

Repeat these layers until eventually the oysters and crackers are gone.

Dot major with butter and pour in the wet combination.

Bake for all around 30 minutes

Serves 6


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