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Christmas with recipes Southern-Style"

"Christmas began in the heart of God. It is complete only when it reaches the heart of man."  Anonymous


Nanny and PawPaw Soup



Then come the mantels.  We have three.  One in the Living room, One in the Playroom.  And one in the Library. And, I guess a mini mantel in the Kitchen which would make four. 

Of course, that Kitchen mantel was jury rigged by simply taking the doors off the cabinets above the stove and grill, tiling the area below in charcoal tiles, and having a carpenter add a shelf.  This is how I updated my old kitchen without major renovation.   The library mantel was designed by my mother-in-law and the painting in the fireplace is by a Panama City artist I would love to identify.  The playroom mantel was originally 1950s khaki blocks that I covered with delft tiles and added the mantel.  The mantel is an homage to "Alliwishus" the story my mother told me and I eventually imagined into a short story.

I have discovered the wonder of Mardi Gras beads on my Christmas tree.  I had lots of them from parades past and added them to colored lights and glass ornaments. 

Papa Panov's Special Day, is a book I try to read to my children (grandchildren) every year.  I recommend it highly.   

The stockings hanging on the mantle and draped across the fire screen always contain at least one orange.  That is a memory back to the times of my father's Christmases when their stockings contained oranges, nuts and candy and they considered that their very special Christmas treat (Depression years when his father, also a physician, took payment in land and produce, not currency, if he was paid at all).  His favorite Christmas gift was a goat cart that Aunt Elizabeth smiled about even on her death bed.  She remembered Daddy, then just a little boy, winding that goat's tail around and around to make him run. 

In the past, our immediate family gathered on Christmas morning for breakfast and to open presents before we progress onto my parents home for more food and presents.  2008 brought Brittany, Drew's fiance, to our breakfast table.  Another blessing.

Our littlest one, Lily, was not happy with this time management theory.  Presents should be opened immediately and breakfast should wait!!!!

But, we finally got around to the big event making her extremely happy.

We once spent Christmas lunch with my parents. My brother, Elkanah, his wife, Debbie, and their girls (Hannah, Rebecca, Mallory, and Ellie) came from Madison, Mississippi to join us. Now, sister Sylvia and her husband and our family are together since we both live in Dothan. My children and grandchildren now join us. 

Our traditional menu is:

Apricot Delight Salad
Ambrosia (orange, grapefruit, cherries, and coconut (optional)

I buy the Butt portion of a ham, pour a can of Coca cola over it and bake it for about 2 hours at 375.  This was my Aunt Eliece's recipe and I do not think it can be improved upon. 

Chicken and Dumplings
Rice (Uncle Ben's)
Giblet Gravy (Add water to turkey drippings with chicken boullion and flour stirred in and boiled eggs chipped up and added.) This is also called Nanny and Paw Paw Gravy
Pickled Peaches
Deviled Eggs
Green Bean Casserole
Sweet potato stuffed orange halves with miniature marshmallow topping
Mashed potatoes
English Peas

I do try to get all of the family involved in baking SOMETHING. This was Christmas cookie year (about 1983). This year (2014) it will be Buche Noel with Cecily, Lily (12), Molly (1)  and Megan (4). We'll see how that turns out!
Christmas Cookies

The only thing that really matters is the family around the table with you. 

  • The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. - Burton Hillis
  • Christmas - that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance--a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved. - Augusta E. Rundel


Copyright 1996  These are my own working genealogy files that I share with you.  The errors are my own.  But, perhaps they will give you a starting point.  All original writing is copyrighted.  Webmaster