Christmas dinner was the holiday event to be forgotten. Not that my mother wasn't a fabulous cook or that she didn't put out a fine spread. No, it was the event to be forgotten because of everything else that was happening. Forgotten in the awe of a tree that magically appeared on Christmas Eve, replete with silver ornaments for the look of a snow-covered pine; we'd eat our Christmas dinner faster than any other meal of the year so that we could dash back to our treasures by the magic tree.
To me, cooking Christmas dinner seems an awful way to spend hours of time. Thank goodness there are alternatives to holiday cooking in Jackson.
Let Broad Street Bakery (Banner Hall, I-55 N. and Northside Dr.) do it all. Main-course options include honey-glazed ham and fried turkey breast, while the sides go from mac & (gourmet) cheese to corn maque choux. Don't forget the specialty breads (try the German stollen), salads and desserts. Get your order in by Dec. 20 for pick-up Christmas Eve. Call 601-362-2900 or go to broadstbakery.com for the full menu.
Richard, the manager at Bon Ami (Maywood Mart, 1220 E. Northside Dr.), said that their "official" ordering deadline was Dec. 18, but that begging might still work. (Actually, he said that if they had the inventory, they can help you out even if you call late.) Start with chicken and artichoke soup, the herbed beef tenderloin and a side of squash soufflé, and end with the white chocolate bread pudding with bourbon sauce. Call 601-982-0405 using your best "helpless" voice.
Julep (Highland Village, 4500 I-55 N.) has a holiday catering menu with a decidedly southern twist. Order your deep-fried turkey, crawfish etouffeé or shrimp and grits, then decide from one of four soups or a strawberry pecan salad. Just be sure to leave room for dessert. Almond wedding cake, anyone? Call Julep for their menu at 601-362-1411.
Schimmel's (2615 State St.) is pulling out the stops to offer options like Black Angus prime rib and slow-smoked turkey. Give your guests baked crab-stuffed oysters. Then put out the key lime pie, brew the coffee and accept the compliments. Call 601-981-7077 and order by Dec. 21 for pickup on Christmas Eve.
If you're having friends over for a holiday gathering, head to Foodies (Deville Plaza, 5050 I-55 N.). Manager Kim says they'll have tons of stuff for pickup, including eggnog dip with gingersnaps, roasted red bell pepper tapenade and jeanies creole dip. When you're tired of left-overs, go for the pork or beef tenderloin and a side of grilled vegetables. Pick up a sweet potato pie for dessert ... because you can. Call Foodies at 601-978-7999.
McDade's (various locations) will smoke your ham or turkey for about $9, and they'll provide all the traditional trimmings, including cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce and pecan pie.
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