A Mississippi Thanksgiving

Mississippi Thanksgiving
Photo courtesy of Greg Dupree 

Thanksgiving and Mississippi go hand in hand, don’t they? Mississippi culture embodies this holiday; enjoying delicious food, as friends and family gather together while memories are made. Of course, we all know Thanksgiving didn’t originate in the Magnolia State. However, over the years, Mississippians have put their spin on this meal of gratitude!

Here are five ways to add a little (or a lot) of Mississippi to your holiday meal.

  1. Grab some oil, a fold-up table, and fry that turkey! In what is often a community event the morning of the holiday, family and friends gather outdoors to dunk turkeys into a vat of bubbling oil. Turkeys for multiple gatherings can be fried one after the other using the same oil, making for an economic excuse to spend Thanksgiving morning with loved ones. The weather is typically beautiful this time of year, so take that bird outside, and be careful!
  2. Don’t forget the pecans! With so many local pecan trees in the area, you can represent Mississippi by adding pecans to desserts and side dishes.
  3. Cornbread dressing. Yes, it’s called dressing, not stuffing! The history and tradition of southern dressing and the various ways it is made are passed down from generation to generation in many Mississippi families. It is truly a living legacy in a dish. Be sure to check your grocery list twice if you’re making dressing this year.
  4. Did you know that Vardaman, Mississippi is the “Sweet Potato Capital of the World?” Give a nod to the Hospitality State with a delicious sweet potato pie. If you have a recipe you prefer, great! If not, you can always purchase a locally made pie at Sweet Potato Sweets or Ms. Audrey’s Southern Kitchen in Gulfport. Each pie is sure to make your taste buds sing!
  5. Hospitality is everything in Mississippi. Fantastic food served up with a side of hospitality (and some football) is a true Mississippi Thanksgiving.

It doesn’t matter if you’re at home, on the beach, at Grandma’s house, or at a local restaurant. Good food and kindness go a long way every day of the year.

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Written by Meredith Biesinger

Meredith Biesinger is an educator and a professional writer, who writes for several southern publications, such as Mud & Magnolias, Pretty Southern, and OUR MS Home. She's also a published children's author, with a passion for preserving the art of southern story telling. Meredith has an undergraduate degree in English Education and Creative Writing, and a graduate degree in Education Leadership.

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