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Iconic Holiday Foods For Your Seasonal Feasts

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Iconic Holiday Foods For Your Seasonal Feasts

With daily from-scratch specials and restaurant-style dining options, residents at The Gardens at Barry Road can enjoy delicious meals anytime of year. But there's something about the holidays that's irrevocably tied to certain foods for many people. Whether it's the Thanksgiving turkey or the Christmas ham, the smell and taste of these foods often bring back memories. In preparation for the upcoming season, let's take a trip down memory lane to consider some iconic holiday foods. Some of these may cause you to recall meals from years past, while others may be new or different to you.

Potatoes: Mashed, Smashed and Sweet

Potatoes are often a staple at holiday tables, but depending on where you are, the starchy side dish might be presented in a unique way.

  • Whipped potatoes usually combine peeled and cooked white or red potatoes, sans skin, with heavy cream, milk or butter. The mixture is whipped with a hand mixer until it's creamy smooth and delicious. Whipped potatoes are often paired with gravy.
  • Mashed or smashed potatoes are creamed by hand, and some people purposefully leave skin and lumps in for texture. Gravy can be added, though some cooks flavor these spuds with herbs, garlic and butter.
  • Sweet potatoes can also be smashed, but holiday presentations usually include baked sweet potatoes with added sugar or toppings.

Dressing: Bread, Cornbread or Rice

Stuffing or dressing is a side that's often served with or without the turkey. Bread, stuffing's main ingredient, is torn bits of loaf bread or whatever you happen to have on hand. Some people prefer a dressing that's made with cornbread instead of flour, especially if they want to pour gravy over it. Rice dressing is a holiday staple reserved for a specific part of the country — you're most likely to find it in south Louisiana Cajun country.

Pie: Pumpkin, Apple or Cobbler

Pie can be a reason for holiday fights. Some people believe you can't have Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie, for example, but others would prefer a piece of cake or a bowl of pudding. Popular seasonal pies also include apple, which many serve with a scoop of ice cream, and in the deep south, you might find cobbler instead of pie next to the Christmas ham.

Casseroles: Broccoli and Green Bean

Families all have favorite side dishes, but veggie casseroles are a common side dish on holiday tables. Perhaps it's the fact that the greens can be hidden in tasty cheese or sauce that makes these a popular treat at festive gatherings. While casseroles can come in all varieties, top choices include green bean casserole (which is easy to make with condensed soup) and broccoli and cheese.

Perhaps none of these common holiday dishes are your favorite or bring back memories of past feasts. But whatever favorite foods you have, consider treating yourself to them this season as a way to enjoy the spirit of the holidays and remember previous celebrations.