Write Edit Publish December Blog Hop: Traditions

Posted on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 12:29 AM

Season’s Greetings Everyone!

I was invited to participate in this blog hop by Denise Covey. You can find her great blog here

My family celebrates the Christmas holiday, and each year we celebrate at one of our family member’s homes. Usually, our celebration takes place at my parents’ house, but this year everyone will be taking part in the festivities at my sister’s home. Regardless of the venue, excellent home-cooked Southern food is always to be expected. So for this blog hop post, I wanted to share two of my absolute favorite sides/desserts with you all: butternut squash pie and oyster stuffing.

Like always, I’d rather start with dessert. My mother is known for her butternut squash pie and it is simply delicious. If you like pumpkin pie, you’ll definitely love butternut squash pie. And if you’re not all that crazy about pumpkin pie, you’ll still probably like it! If you make it right, it’s light, fluffy, has a slightly nutty taste to it, and is completely delectable. I have posted a recipe for it that you can find online (can’t be divulging my mom’s secret recipe for her version!).

Butternut Squash Pie Recipe [Recipe from Southernfood.about.com]

      1 unbaked and chilled 9-inch pie shell
1 large butternut squash, cooked and pureed, about 1 1/2 cups pureed squash
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
3 large eggs
3/4 cup evaporated milk or half-and-half
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

How to Prepare:

Squash Preparation:
Slice the squash in half lengthwise; remove stem and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash, cut side down, on a foil-lined oiled baking pan; add about 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Cover loosely with foil and bake at 400° for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the squash is tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. Let cool completely then peel and mash or puree the squash or put it through a food mill. Measure 1 1/2 cups of the squash and set aside.
Reduce oven to 350° F and position an oven rack in the center of the oven. In a mixing bowl with electric mixer, beat the squash with the brown sugar. Add eggs, evaporated milk, spices salt, flour, butter, and vanilla. Beat until well blended. Pour the filling into the chilled pie and place on the center oven rack. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until set. Check after about 35 minutes and loosely set a ring of foil or a pie crust protector over the browned crust so it won't get too dark. When the filling is set, transfer the pie to a rack to cool. Serve just warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped topping or whipped cream.
My second favorite item that we always have for Christmas is oyster stuffing. It’s a rare treat that we only have during the holidays and it’s excellent. You should consider this if you want to spice up your regular stuffing offering.
Oyster Stuffing Recipe  [Recipe from Food.com]

1 lb bread, including crusts (10 cups packed and cubed)
1 pint oyster, raw
4 -8 tablespoons butter
1 cup celery, finely chopped
2 cups onions, chopped
1/4-1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon sage, minced
1 tablespoon thyme, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1/8 teaspoon clove, ground
1 cup chicken stock
2 large eggs, well beaten (optional)

How to Prepare:

Preheat oven to 400°F and toast the bread until golden brown on the middle rack.  Turn into a large bowl.

Meanwhile heat butter until melted and foam subsides. Add onions and celery and cook about 5 minutes until tender.

Remove from heat and stir in the spices.

Stir in the bread cubes, and drained oysters and toss well, until the stuffing is moist, but not packed together; stir in the stock and eggs. Put in bird while moist, remoisten and adjust spices as necessary. If cooked in a casserole dish at 350°F until heated through with a crust on the outsides, 25 to 40 minutes.

Oyster juice may be used in place of some of the stock.

Read more: <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/oyster-stuffing-4366?oc=linkback">http://www.food.com/recipe/oyster-stuffing-4366?oc=linkback</a>
Loren Mathis

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