Who says holiday dinners have to involve stuffing and ham? Why not take a tip or two from the South?

When you think of Southern get-togethers, you likely imagine stately plantations full of family and friends enjoying down-home comfort food and pleasant conversation. Bring that Southern hospitality to your dining room this holiday season with our Southern crafted menu.

Our spice-rubbed turkey recipe will transport you to the front porch swing of an Alabama plantation, the tingle of paprika and cayenne wafting out the screen door. The most eager of fireflies have come out to play with the children in the yard as they await the dinner bell. The spice is then replaced with the sweetness of apricots, the ones canned this past summer. Aunt Caroline’s sweet apricot-butter sauce.

A neighbor comes up the walkway, holding a dish of their crispy fried okra poppers, a favorite at any get-together. They give you a smile and a shoulder touch, before letting themselves inside, to the joy of the others. You still anticipate a few more before dinner is ready; friends from work, neighbors you’ve known since you were a child, and family members three generations back. You inhale deeply as past holidays dart in and out of your thoughts. The beating of the potato masher disturbs your reverie as Grandma begins whipping up her famous goat cheese sweet potatoes.

Dare to dream of the different kinds of holiday meals you and yours may enjoy this year. Embrace the ways of the South by extending your family to include neighbors, friends, and anyone else in need of a comforting meal. You may never look at the holidays the same way after going Southern.