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In addition to the dressing I wrote about earlier, our other traditional food for holiday meals I sweet potato casserole. This is so good it might even be a desert. Sweet potatoes, marshmallows, butter brown sugar and cinnamon are all that is required to put this completely Southern dish on your table.
To serve four or five people you will need:
1 Large can of yams
One bag of miniature marshmallows
½ stick of butter
First drain the yams very well. Then put them in a mixing bowl and mash by hand with a potato masher. Next cube the ½ stick of butter and spread around evenly. Mash again to combine. Next add ¼ to ½ of the bag of marshmallows. My kids like more, I then to like less, so add to your taste. Mash again to combine. Sprinkle cinnamon in to taste and mix. This is your last chance to get the lumps out. Spread into a casserole dish and spread the remaining ½ bag of marshmallows on top. Bake in a 375 degree oven until the marshmallows brown.
I cannot say this is the healthiest of dishes, but it simply would not be Thanksgiving or Christmas around or family without this special dish. This is another recipe that was finally written down when my wife and I had kids and my mom decided we needed to always have this for her grandchildren on those holidays when we were not with her.
Growing up my mom always made cornbread dressing to go with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. After my wife and I were married and got to the point we really could not get home for those holidays with a large family, I got the recipe from my mother I began making it with my daughter helping me. This is the story and the recipe. This has been around for at least 4 generations in our family now. My mother learned it from my grandmother, and then pasted it to me and I am passing it to my daughter. This cornbread dressing is simple and has had some changes over the years as times and taste have changed. At points along the time line a few slices of white bread have been added and cream of celery soup has been substituted for cream.
It all starts with good southern cornbread.
To make the cornbread you will need:
Corn meal (regular of self-rising)
if you use regular, you will need 1 tsp each of baking powder and baking soda
Buttermilk (at least 1 cup)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl
Add the eggs and 1 cup of buttermilk and mix to a medium consistency, adding more buttermilk as necessary.
Pour the batter into a cold 12’ cast iron skillet. Bake until a fork of knife comes out clean.
One of the ways the dressing has changed over the years is the addition of white bread. The best I can determine this addition came after the end of world War II. With the end of rationing wheat flour and thus white bread became more available and my Grandmother added that to the recipe. The cornbread makes up a majority of the dressing the white bread just makes it go further.
Ingredients for the dressing are:
1 cup of diced celery
1 cup of diced white onion
8 slices of white bread toasted
1 8oz can of Cream of Celery soup
8 oz of chicken broth
Salt, Pepper and Rubbed Sage
Begin by crumbling the toasted bread and cornbread together in a large mixing bowl.
Sauté the celery and onion in a pan and when translucent, add to the mixing bowl mix together. Then add the can of cream of celery soup and the chicken broth and mix until well combined. The final step is to add, salt, pepper and rubbed sage to taste. Bake in a 400 degree oven until browned on top and serve.