Without chicken broth and cream of EVERYTHING, we'd never make it through Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Whether you shop at Publix, The Pig, or Winn Dixie, you’re likely making the same traditional holiday meals as all your Southern sisters. That means you’ll see some familiar sights in Southern grocery stores as the holiday season approaches. (You’ve got to hand it to those stores—they know exactly what holiday food we’re cooking, so they know what’s on our Thanksgiving and Christmas food list.)
After reminding our Southern Facebook Brain Trust of the most popular traditional Thanksgiving food and Christmas dishes, we asked them a burning question: How do you know you’re in a Southern grocery store during the holidays?
Here’s what they said—tell us what they missed:
“Barber’s Eggnog in the red-and-green carton shows up in the dairy case.”
“You can’t find a can of jellied cranberry sauce anywhere.”
“There's no ‘Cream of ANYTHING’ soup and not a single can of French’s Crispy Fried Onions to be found ANYWHERE for all those casseroles.”
“The Pig actually runs out of canned pumpkin because it’s on everybody’s Christmas grocery list.”
“Pecans are on sale in large containers.” (But your freezer’s already stocked with several bags from Priester’s.)
“Cranberries, sweet potatoes, and marshmallows are at the front of the store—in bins—in bulk—priced to sell.” (Yep, those top our Thanksgiving shopping list—right up there with a 20-pound Butterball.)
“You run into every friend you’ve ever had, stop to catch up on a year’s worth of gossip, and take 3 times longer to scavenger hunt for your groceries—and love every second of Social Hour(s).”
“Ingredients for cornbread dressing are front and center.”
“There’s a run on Swanson’s Chicken Broth.”
“Large bins of pumpkins start to appear in the produce section, along with bags of tiny white pumpkins, colorful bumpy gourds, and unshelled mixed nuts.”
“Hams and turkeys are on sale at a really good price, so you buy two of each and tell yourself there’s still plenty of room in your freezer.”
“There’s at least one end-cap and maybe a center-of-the-aisle display of chocolate-covered cherries.”
“Ditto Stove Top Stuffing.” (Please don’t tell Mama you considered anything remotely “shortcut” for the holidays.)
“The deli is baking pumpkin EVERYTHING!”
“You’ll spot a special center aisle with candied fruits for Mama’s fruitcakes, plus pumpkin spice and Eagle Brand milk.”
“The grocery store will have 'Happy Holidays' painted all over the front windows—sometimes with weird-looking elves that used to scare me a child! LOL”
“There’s no mincemeat left.”
“You’ll find wrapping paper, tinsel, ribbon, and other holiday to-doings at the front door to get you in the mood.”
"The floral department gets overrun with poinsettias bedazzled with glittery curly willow and wire-rimmed bows."
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You could probably add to this list. For example, Southerners also know how to repair everything from a prom dress to a bass boat using duct tape.