Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas All Through the South--Part II

I'm joining the Novel Bakers for the final day of Southern Living's Christmas All Through the South. It's the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, marking a slow but sure return to light. I'm in the kitchen, serving casual Southern fare: buttermilk fried chicken, apple-cranberry slaw, pecan cornbread, Montgomery's punch, and shortbread.

I was happy to use my much-adored Juliska dishes, which tell an elegant story of Christmas night.

Using Southern Living's recipe, I made a fruit-filled ice ring for the Montgomery's punch.
You can find the recipe HERE.

Montgomery's Punch recipe can be found HERE.

Photo: Southern Living

Photo: Southern Living

Southern-style buttermilk chicken is always welcome at the table.

I added dried cran-raisins to the apple slaw, and pecans, too.

Pecan cornbread.

A serious meal sometimes calls for a light-hearted dessert.
3/4 cup butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour (I used all purpose)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease pan. Cream butter until smooth and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar. Add vanilla and blend. Add flour a cup at a time. Knead dough on an unfloured board. The dough should be smooth. Firmly press into pan. Prick surface with the tinnes of a fork. Bake 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool, then invert. Cut squares while shortbread is warm.

I've never decorated previous kitchens for Christmas. This year, I was excited to add greenery here and there. 

The halls were decked in most of the downstairs rooms.

Please visit the Novel Bakers for breathtaking photos that tell a story--it'll make your day!
Jain at a quiet life


  1. Comfort and joy - that's what you've created! From the food fare (your punch pictures are even better than SL's) to the greenery to the finer details (love the Juliska) - just beautiful. Consummate hostess, that's what you are! Thank you for preparing and sharing this feast!

  2. What a wonderful Southern feast, I guess buttermilk fried chicken is just about as Southern as you can get! Your house looks beautiful decked out in fresh greens Michael Lee, and your dining room is simply stunning. This looks like such a special book, thank you for sharing so many great ideas! I wish you and your family and merry and jolly Christmas!

  3. Welcome back to the land of southern enchantment, I have to say I truly adore your photos, the brilliant light, the backdrops, it's just gorgeous and again more dishes to covet…

    Oh my gosh your southern meal is spectacular, I have never fried chicken, nor do I ever photograph meat/poultry because it just never looks appealing to me, you've managed to make both extremely enticing!

    You must be absolutely loving your new kitchen it's so fresh and clean and the Christmas adornment is beautiful.

    Thank you so much for being a novel baker and sharing your beautiful home with us this Christmas, it's always a delight visiting with you!

    wishing you a very merry Christmas

  4. I love how you added the beautiful greenery to the goal next year is less stuff, more greenery!...and i would covet that Juliska china too!....The recipes look amazing and that book looks like it is a must have for our Southern homes and traditions! Merry Christmas to you and your family and my wishes for a most wonderful 2017!

  5. Everything looks delightful and Christmasy! I may try your version of slaw. Yummy additions. Gorgeous dishes too. I always love to peek into your house. Merry Christmas my friend šŸŽ„šŸŽ„šŸŽ„

  6. Your home is so light and bright and it looks like such a happy home. Merry Christmas!

  7. I thought I heard lip-smacking the other day!;) Yummy food and delectables and love the perfect touches of greenery in the heart of the home!

  8. Michael Lee, I popped by early yesterday morning to pin and ooh and ahh but had to head out the door to check off my long to-do list of errands. I’m back this morning to a second helping of your perfect Southern meal set among all your holiday finery! I love all the greenery, twinkling lights and wreaths you’ve used to welcome Christmas in your home! The photo of the prisms from your chandlier twinkling and reflecting in the glass in your dining room takes my breath away.

    I’d like to ask Santa for a beautiful new kitchen like yours (without any remodeling woes :) complete with Wolf range and cheery red knobs! While he’s filling his sleigh, maybe he can deliver a set of those pretty Juliska dishes too!

    Thanks for sharing your home this Christmas season and for playing along with me in the kitchen this week. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas. ♥

  9. I'm like Mary, I ooh and ahh my way through each of the Novel Bakers's posts. Each of you do an outstanding presentation filled with more inspiration than imaginable. I love all the greenery you have used in your home for the holidays. The twinkle lights make it magical.
    I have the Juliska plates and added a set of the comfort mugs this summer. They are perfect for soup. I find the Juliska Estate pieces enchanting. Love that they tell a story. I first bought the Harvest set, and so happy I did because it is now discontinued.
    Merry Christmas!

  10. I'm sighing over the Juliska dishes and those red napkins with the pretty white trim. I'd love to come for fried chicken, slaw, cornbread and punch! Before I leave, I'd be more than happy to eat one of those beautiful shortbread cookies. Your home looks so festive with your special decorating magic that you are so good at.

  11. Michael Lee, Your home is so welcoming and beautiful! This kitchen, with its red Wolf knobs and snowy white cabinets is the perfect backdrop for greens and a bit of holiday decor. I chose those Juliska dishes as my new Christmas pattern this year and we have been using them since the beginning of December, and are using them still. They are full of joy and your delicious southern meal would be spectacular served on them in your beautiful home. Oh, I wish I had some of that apple slaw right now! This book is one of my favorites, and I'll be using it for a long time. Your hard work on your new house has successfully transformed it into a beautiful place, and I'm going to remember this transformation when we move next time! Happy New Year, Michael Lee, I wish you all the best in 2017.