Monday, December 16, 2019

Savannah Christmas + Giveaway

Reagan Summerside here from the Consignment Shop Mysteries talking about how there’s nothing like Christmas in Savannah. Fact is, the South was making Christmas merry long before it became the thing to do in other areas of the country. 

Alabama was the first state to declare it a legal holiday in 1836, with Louisiana and Arkansas following a couple of years later. Christmas wasn’t recognized as a federal holiday until 1870. 

(this is a note from BW when we found the Christmas tree when we came home from shopping)

While some Southern Christmas ideas has been adopted outside of the South, many are unique to the South. Some of these are guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit for sure. 

First there’s the fruit thing. It’s a long-standing Southern Christmas custom is for parents to leave oranges in the fire-side stockings of their children. Seems strange now but it comes from the rarity of citrus fruit and the expense in times past. In fact, the craving for the flavor of oranges influenced the Christmastime recipe staple known as Ambrosia. I just looooove Ambrosia. 

And oranges show up a lot in Southern holiday décor in the form of slices for fragrant potpourri or as whole oranges in garlands and wreaths. I often wondered about that!
Then there’s the Pecan Pie.  Due to the harvest season coming between September and December, pecans are a perfect for pie at Christmas.  Divinity and Pralines are two other pecan-based treats from the South. 

And how about those Poinsettias– Originally the poinsettia was a popular decoration for the Christmas season in Mexico, and the ambassador to Mexico, Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett (who knew!) brought back clippings of the plant to his South Carolina home. The shape is said to be the Star of Bethlehem, and it’s popularity spread throughout the country especially after Congress declared Dec. 12 National Poinsettia Day. ( I didn’t know that either!) Personally I can’t picture Christmas without a poinsettia.

And of course there’s the magnolia and Pine Décor– We have the settlers that landed at Jamestown, Virginia to thank for this tradition. After they noticed pine was an evergreen, they began using it as a symbol of good fortune and hope in décor. First popularized in the South, it can now be seen in holiday swags, wreaths, and garlands nationally. Many widely-read styling magazines have also featured stories on how to best use magnolia leaves to achieve a rustic, country feel. It’s common to see wreaths out of these gorgeous, dark-green, shiny leaves than any kind of fir tree branches.

YummyCoconut Cake– Hand-grating coconut for the cake is a labor-intensive job that no one looks forward to doing, so making a cake with it would be reserved for only the most special of occasions. The seven-minute icing it requires is also much easier (less-impossible) to make during the wintry absence of insane humidity the South experiences. The cake looks like a snowball, which makes us happy in the Deep South because it’s likely the only snow we’ll see at Christmas. LOL

Oysters!  Love ‘em or hate them but Auntie KiKi loves her Oysters. December is a great month to eat them due to the colder water temperatures in the Gulf And Auntie KiKi’s oyster dressing is to die for. Then again so is her cornbread stuffing so she just makes both!! 

Deep-Fried Turkey- In the South! My honey, Walker Boone, loves to fry anything and everything esp the most delicious piece of poultry he can find.  

So this is how we’re getting ready for Christmas here in Savannah. Just like every other holiday, Christmas in the South it is full of beauty, fun, and delicious food. YUM!. Got a fave Southern dish you put on the table? 

Leave a comment about you fave dish for a chance to win Iced Chiffon.

Think of me when you’re eating pecan pie. It’s still my fave!

Hugs, Reagan Summerside


  1. I can't think of any favorite Southern dishes. Your coconut cake sounds yummy though, as long as somebody else makes it! mbradeen [at] yahoo [dot] com

  2. I would like meringue cookies.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  3. Candied sweet potatoes for sure since the crop is harvested shortly before Christmas. Has to have marshmallows on top. Pecans are optional but I love them in it.

    My Mom use to make the fresh grated coconut cake when I was a kid. Years later she found this recipe for Three Day Coconut Cake and we all loved it. Super easy and since you have to make it 3 days ahead of time, it opens up valuable time closer to Christmas for other things - like making that pecan pie. :)

    Here is the recipe for the Three Day Coconut Cake.
    Three Day Coconut Cake

    1 box of Duncan Hines Butter Cake mix
    3 pkgs of the fresh frozen coconut (freezer section at WalMart usually during holidays or Kroger year round) thawed
    8 ounces of sour cream
    2 cups sugar
    Prepare cake mix according to package directions.
    Recipe calls for 3 layers – this gal now used the 9 X 13” pan and then just split the cooled cake into two layers.
    Cool 10 minutes and then cool on racks.
    While cake is baking make the icing.
    Mix the sour cream and sugar stirring until sugar dissolves – DO NOT BEAT.
    Then stir in the thawed coconut and place in refrigerator until ready to ice cake.
    When cake has cooled spread icing onto cake already on cake plate that has a sealed cover like Tupperware. Top with layer(s) and finish icing. Cover with lid, seal and place in refrigerator for a minimum of three day before eating. I check once a day and if any liquid comes off cake I spoon back to top of cake. If you do the sheet cake with two layers, you can also put first layer back in pan, put half the icing mixture, top with top layer and then top with remaining icing. Doing it this way you don’t need to check it daily. Just put in refrigerator and forget it for 3 days.

    After three days, you will never know there is sour cream in the icing and it’s the best moistest cake you will eat. It will just continue to get better. It will never dry out. The longer it sits the better it gets IF you can have it last long enough to find that out. It also freezes very well.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of "Iced Chiffon"!

    Merry Christmas!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  4. I know it isn’t very festive, but I do love good southern grits.

  5. I disliked sweet potatos as a kid, but thanks to my best friend I now love them - thanks for the great page and the contest - trwilliams 69 (at) msn (dot) com

  6. I don't like grits so that always baffled my family, however I do enjoy a slice or two of sweet potato pie. Thanks for the
    chance to enter your giveaway. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  7. I’m from Oklahoma, so I like anything southern. Our favorite is fried okra.

  8. Hush Puppies. lovely and delish. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  9. My favorite sweets for holidays are Coconut cake and pecan pie. Coconut Cake is wonderful at Easter, and also I reqjested it at my wedding. jcozart@paintrocksupplies(dot)com

  10. Growing up our stockings always had an orange of some kind and nuts in their shells (pecans, walnuts, etc.). Both sides of my family are from Georgia.

    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  11. I think pecan pie is the best! Thanks for a chance to win.

  12. My favorites dish is French Nut Yams. It’s a dish I’ve made for many years now and I love it and so does my family! Thanks for the chance to win!
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  13. I do love a good pecan pie during the holidays.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

  14. Wow! I didn't realize how much the South had influenced and contributed to our Christmas traditions. My favorite holiday foods include turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. For dessert I like pecan and pumpkin pie both, not to mention all the delectable cookies I nibble throughout the season. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. suemngirl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  15. I live in the Southwest so my favorite dish along with the turkey and trimmings is a bunch of tamales

  16. I do a rum cake for special occasions, but I think that I am going to use the Coconut Cake recipe listed above this year!! davisel1830(at)hotmail(dot)com

  17. My favorite Southern dish sweet potato pie! Thanks for the chance.

  18. Don't have any favorite southern dishes but my favorite holiday foods are cranberry sauce and fudge. Love the history of all these traditional signs of Christmas.

  19. No favorite southern dishes.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  20. Seeing as I'm from waaaay north of the southern states, we don't have any traditional dishes that I would think of as 'southern". However, commenters mentioned candied yams/sweet potatoes. We always had them at Christmas when I was growing up, but not too often now. The coconut cake sounds delicious, but I can imagine grating fresh coconut by hand is not a fun job. Thanks for the giveaway.

  21. sounds strange but home made pop corn balls, nothing like them. queenvictoria50 (@) aol (dot) com

  22. My favorite dish is peach cobbler which my girlfriend makes for special events. It has a bit of nutmeg to make it scrumptious. Plus she makes sweet potato pie in an assembly line, because everybody goes home with a pie. I haven't made these, but am a good taste tester.

  23. I absolutley love coconut cake or lemon cake with a toasted coconut frosting...unfortunately for me, my family does not, so it is not a treat I get often. Fresh peach cobbler is another one....Georgia...I love those peaches!

  24. I'm a midwestern gal and don't know of or make any southern dishes for the holidays. Although I do make a yummy peach cobbler in the summer. Thanks for the chance.
    ematov (at) comcast (dot) net

  25. I love pecan pie.


  26. I love holiday food! I am known for a couple of veggie dishes and my gravy. Creamed Garlic Brussels Sprouts and a Broccoli dish are such a favorite, that I know kids that will eat them first and then go around the table trying to get adults to "make" them eat their veggies and give them more! My gravy is infused with fresh sage and orange. It is delightful.

  27. A Pecan Pie tops my list.


  28. We always have a sweet potato casserole with a brown sugar and pecan topping.

  29. I have a sweet tooth so I am drawn to baked goods beside the ham. My family also enjoys our vegetables and usually have parsnips, Brussel sprouts and/or lima beans. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  30. I really like a good pumpkin cheesecake but don't get to make it often as my husband prefers pie. Since he eats most of the desserts, I make what he likes. kckendler at gmail dot com

  31. Oyster dressing...vadershepard(at)embarqmail(dot)com

  32. Pecan pie is my favorite!

  33. A pecan pie sounds just right!

    Merry Christmas

    donna (dot) durnell (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

  34. My Grandmother always made ambrosia and another tradition we keep up is real cranberries not the sauce. I notice a lot of Southern women still do that like their Grandmothers did...thank you,


  35. My favorite is only popular at this time of year: Fruitcake! My mother used to make it, beginning in the fall. She would make a bunch of tins full of wonderful cake and candied fruit and store them in a little storage house my father built for her in the basement. Every week or so, she woould go down to her fruitcakes and baste them with Blackberry Brandy. By Christmas, they were thoroughly soaked and fantastically delicious.

  36. I like ham and green beans best. I'm a bit weird. lkish77123 at gmail dot com