The holidays are always big family times at Doyle and Sylvia Phillips’ place in Clay County—and we’re not just talking Thanksgiving and Christmas, either. Every special occasion brings the four Phillips children and their families from their homes in Auburn, Talladega, Oxford and, in the case of son David, just next door, to their parents’ farm in the Delta community. The highlight of every visit is a meal that’s nothing short of a feast.
It is for the Thanksgiving and Christmas spreads, however, that the Phillips clan really pulls out all the stops, the table and sideboard filled to capacity with all the family’s favorite fare. Sylvia probably does the lion’s share of the cooking and baking, but the kids do their part too, bearing all manner of casseroles, salads and sweets as they arrive.
For this month’s “Country Kitchen,” Sylvia and daughter-in-law Christi—wife of David, who is Alfa’s State Young Farmers Committee chairman—have teamed up to bring you a few of those Phillips family all-time favorite holiday recipes, and indeed, they are superb. Among them: one for genuine, old-fashioned chicken and dressing, from Doyle’s mother, Ima Lou; another for what could be the world’s best mac-and-cheese casserole, courtesy of son Travis’s wife, Jeannie; and from Christi’s holiday files, recipes for crisp squash croquettes and a red-and-green-speckled pasta salad.
All the rest of these incredible recipes are some of Sylvia’s finest, including her Christmas-morning-brunch special: chocolate gravy. Ladled warm and creamy over Sylvia’s hot, buttered biscuits, it’s enough to make the Phillipses’ six grandkids say, “Santa who?” Well, almost.
Give these recipes a try, and they just might wind up on your holiday menu.
And many thanks to Sylvia, Christi and the whole Phillips family for sharing their holidays with Neighbors.