Thanksgiving in America generally has the same recipe for every table. Turkey, fixin's, gravy, angry [insert relative] complaining it's too [insert temperature here]. But in the South, we do things our way - it's how how we earned our proud reputation of having amazing food and traditions. East Texas native, Leslie Reynolds, shares what a southern Thanksgiving is all about. Check these off your list if you're having Thanksgiving in the South!

1. It’s Called DRESSING, not STUFFING

If you walk into my nana’s house and ask when the stuffing will be ready, she’ll look at you like you're crazy and tell you you’re in the wrong house, because we don’t serve stuffing. Stuffing is what goes inside of the bird, dressing is what’s cooked on the side. But honestly, why would you stuff anything inside of a turkey?

2. Eatin’ Time Is Always Before Kick Off

Divisional Round - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
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Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without the Cowboys game on in the living room and everyone overly stuffed so no one moves the entire game. But the timing of the Thanksgiving meal is very important, because no one wants to miss kick-off, so dinner better be over by the time the game starts, or you’ll have a bunch of HANGRY Cowboys fans. And I promise no one wants that.

3. You’re In Shorts During the Day and A Hoodie At Night

So on Thanksgiving Day you could be in shorts and a cute top during the day, but once 5 pm hits, you’ll wish you were in a hoodie and sweatpants. Texas weather on Thanksgiving is almost as unpredictable as the Dallas Cowboys defense.

4. Black Friday Preparation

While there aren’t as many stores open this year as in years past, it’s best to sit down and have a plan before joining all of the crazies on Black Friday. Figuring out how to get around the Loop and Broadway without sitting in a ridiculous amount of traffic is key.

5. There’s At Least One Dish That Somebody Hunted or Grew

My big family Thanksgiving consists of the basics, but also things that wouldn’t be considered a “basic” Thanksgiving dish to most people outside of the south. We usually incorporate some sort of deer meat that my family had hunted previously, and all of the fried veggies come straight from Nana’s garden.

6. Casseroles, Casseroles, Casseroles

Southern women love, and I mean LOVE, them some casseroles. Green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, green chili corn casserole, broccoli and cheddar casserole, and then a casserole made from all of the leftovers. Now that I think about it, most of our veggies come in casserole form on Thanksgiving Day.

7. Greenberg Turkey

Greenberg Turkey is a staple here in East Texas. So much so, that even Oprah says it’s something you have to have at your Thanksgiving dinner. I remember going to pick up our pre-ordered turkey one year, and there was a line going down the block with people in line to pick up a turkey.

8. Deviled Eggs

I didn’t realize that people who don’t live in the south don’t typically have deviled eggs as a dish on Thanksgiving. And let’s be honest, this is the best part other than the pie, right?

9. You Have More Than One Thanksgiving

Jason Eisenberg
Jason Eisenberg

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because I spend it with all types of people that I love and eat so much food. I have two family Thanksgivings, a “Friendsgiving”, a Thanksgiving meal at the office, a church Thanksgiving potluck, and sometimes more. Thanksgiving isn’t just one meal or a day, it’s a full blown celebration of love for a few days.

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