Down here in the South, Thanksgiving isn’t just a holiday; it’s a competitive sport. And the number one rule? If you’re not loosening your belt by the end of the day, you’re not playing right.
First off, let’s talk turkey. In the South, we don’t just roast it; we transform it. It might be deep-fried, smoked, or if someone’s feeling real adventurous, turducken-ed (that’s a chicken in a duck in a turkey, y’all). Every family has their secret recipe, passed down like a treasured heirloom, often guarded more fiercely than the family silver.
But the turkey is just the opening act in this culinary concert. The side dishes are where the real magic happens. We’re talking mountains of mashed potatoes, swimming in rivers of gravy. Green bean casserole, topped with enough crispy onions to make you forget there are actually vegetables underneath. And let’s not forget the sweet potatoes – which in the South, are not so much a side dish as a dessert that’s socially acceptable to eat with your main course.
Speaking of dessert, pies are serious business. Pecan, pumpkin, sweet potato, and if you’re lucky, a bourbon chocolate pie that’ll make you give thanks for the existence of chocolate and bourbon in the same breath.
But what truly sets a Southern Thanksgiving apart is the atmosphere. It’s like a family reunion and a block party rolled into one. There’s laughter echoing from every corner, kids playing tag under the oak trees, and at least one uncle asleep in a rocking chair on the porch, a half-empty glass of sweet tea in his hand.
In between the “bless your hearts” and the storytelling, there’s an unspoken contest to see who brought the best dish. Compliments on the cooking fly around the table like confetti, but everyone’s secretly eyeing that blue ribbon for the best casserole or pie. It’s not an official award, but the bragging rights last all year.
And as the sun sets, and the mountains of food dwindle to hills, everyone gathers for the final tradition: the post-Thanksgiving nap. Sofas, armchairs, and hammocks are prime real estate. As folks drift off, you realize that in the South, Thanksgiving is more than just a feast. It’s a day where the door’s always open, the table’s always full, and there’s always room for one more.
So, if you find yourself down South for Thanksgiving, come hungry and bring your stretchiest pants. You’ll need ’em!