Great Holiday Menus

Hey Soul Food Lovers! Welcome to the sixth edition of our special Holiday Newsletter. Every week leading up to the holidays, I will be sending you this newsletter to help you prepare for the holidays. So sit back and enjoy!


Great Holiday Menus

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When planning your special holiday meals, your menu should be more about what your family enjoy than what has been served in the past.

Although traditional dishes are usually served, a Soul Food Christmas meal vary from family to family but when it comes to desserts, the menu offers more of a variety since desserts are a big part of the holiday menu. Most families prepare two to four desserts and sometimes even more depending on the family and if guests are coming to dinner. Left over desserts (if any) are usually eaten during the week.

For this special time of year, cooks make their family’s favorite dessert which adds to the special celebration. So, its not uncommon to have four or more desserts on the table. My mom always made my father’s favorite, Egg Custard Pie, and my mom loved Sweet Potato Pie. So, those two desserts were a must on our table.

Popular holiday soul food desserts with Christmas Dinner include Caramel Cake, Sweet Potato Pie, Egg Custard Pie, Pineapple Cake, Old-fashioned Pound Cake, Southern Pecan Pie, Chocolate Cake, and Chess Pie. These are just to name a few.

The menus below will give you an idea of a traditional soul food Christmas meal:

#1 Christmas Day Menu
Chicken and Corn Bread Dressing w Gravy
Baked Ham with Pineapples
Collard or Turnip Greens and/or Seasoned Green Beans
Candid Yams
Southern Fried Corn
Carrot Raisin Salad
Cranberry Sauce
Dinner Rolls/Corn Bread
Sweet Potato Pie, Chess Pie, Pineapple Cake

#2 Christmas Day Menu
Chicken and Corn Bread Dressing w Gravy
Glazed Baked Ham
Crowder Peas with Okra
Macaroni and Cheese
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Cranberry Sauce
Dinner Rolls/Corn Bread
Egg Custard Pie, Southern Pecan Pie, Old-fashioned Pound Cake

New Year’s Day Menus
Many times, chicken and corn bread dressing are served again on New Year’s Day and again on the first day of the new year. You could change collard greens, for example to another vegetable, or add a different meat instead of ham.

Black-eyed peas have been said to bring prosperity during the coming year if eaten on New Year’s Day. As a youngster, I was told that for every black-eyed pea I ate, I would receive a dollar. I don’t really know how true that was, and I don’t really think anyone ever counted, but it was always fun watching people eat them on New Year’s Day.

My family started a tradition many years ago by having barbecue on New Year’s Day along with our New Year’s Day meal. We would also alternate from black-eyed peas to Crowder peas for our dinner.

Below are traditional New Year’s Day Menus

#1 New Year’s Day Family Gathering Menu
Soul Food Jambalaya
Steamed White Rice
Fresh Garden Salad with Dressing
Fresh Cut Fruit Platter
Country Deviled Eggs
Dinner Rolls/Corn Bread Muffins
Sweet Potato Pie, Egg Custard Pie

The menu above is especially great for a large crowd.

2. New Year’s Day Menu
Roast Beef with Gravy
Oven Baked Chicken
Black-eyed Peas
Southern Fried Corn
Macaroni & Cheese
Oven Corn Bread
Country Banana Pudding, Chocolate Chess Pie

After serving the traditional Christmas dinner, this barbecue menu is sure to please.

#3. New Year’s Day Menu
BBQ Spare Ribs
Baked Chicken or Roast Beef
Crowder Peas with Okra
Southern Potato Salad
Macaroni Salad/Old-fashioned Cole Slaw
Assorted Dinner Rolls
Old-fashioned Peach Cobbler, Pineapple Upside Cake

These are traditional holiday menus that bring a variety of color and texture to your table. They can be a guide for your Christmas an New Year’s menus and can be changed around or mixed and matched in any way you desire. However you decide to celebrate this holiday season, just remember to provide a menu that everyone will enjoy. Seasons’ Eatings!

Soul Food Dessert Recipes

More Holiday Menus

Recipe Center

Happy Holidays!


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Until next week!

Cassandra Harrell is the editor of Soul Food Lovers’ Newsletter, author of the new Soul Food Lovers’ Cookbook, and this Special Holiday Edition, 2008.

Cassandra Harrell
Editor & Soul Food Advisor
(c) copyright 2008