Photo by Regina Charboneau
This is the first in a series of five to help you prepare ahead for your holiday meal--Southern style.
This is the week that I start baking and freezing corn bread for my Thanksgiving dressing. I know this may seem premature, but what you don't know is I have about 140 for Thanksgiving. When you are one of nine children and your mother was one of nine it does not take long for the numbers of in-laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins to multiply into the triple digits.
People ask me all the time how I can cook for that many? My answer is always: math. The reality is, it is organization; it is preparing as much as I can ahead and freezing what I can without affecting the integrity of the dish. My motto about cooking and entertaining is, "never sweat". If you are working that hard, it is not fun. Lucky for me there are several Southern holiday dishes that freeze well.
I am going to share my thoughts on cornbread and my recipes for my skillet cornbread, crawfish and andouille cornbread dressing, and my cornbread pudding stuffed with mustard greens. If you are having a smaller crowd, these individual servings of cornbread pudding stuffed with greens make an impressive presentation. Next week I will cover cooking with ease and freeze! I make and slice my peppered brisket and freeze along with my dressings a few weeks ahead. Week three I will share some recipes for traditional side dishes such as yams and creamed spinach, with a twist. Week four I will get into some different cranberry sauces, chutneys, and two easy horseradish sauces to accompany the brisket. Week five, the week before Thanksgiving, I will give you my recipe for roast turkey with anchovies. It is a standard here at Twin Oaks, and you will be surprised how good it is. Let's first start with cornbread, and remember, it is not too early to get that cornbread cooked for your dressing.