From Our Kitchen to Yours: Merry Christmas + Charleston Receipts

When it comes to home-cooked meals, Southerners just get it right. So, it’s no wonder that the heart and soul of every Southern Christmas is the kitchen, where the mouth-watering aromas from beloved family recipes fill every room as family and friends gather and celebrate time together.  

 Sharing family recipes is one of the oldest Southern traditions in the book. For those still looking for the perfect dish to add to the family potluck, we’ve plucked some of our seasonal favorites from a champion in family recipes – the Junior League of Charleston’s “Charleston Receipts” cookbook.  

 Originally created as a fundraiser in 1950, “Charleston Receipts” is the oldest Junior League cookbook still in print. Today, it reigns as a gold standard among Charleston’s home cooks and culinary experts. From traditional holiday recipes, like roast wild turkey and sausage stuffing, to bolder Southern dishes, such as chicken mousse and liver terrapin, “Charleston Receipts” includes an unmatched collection the whole family can enjoy.  

Explore our Christmas menu of “receipts” from Charleston’s past and bring some of these timeless dishes to your family feast: 

Tradd Alley Punch

By Miss Mary Deas Ravenel


2 quarts sherry 

½ pint brandy 

½ pint rum 

4 tablespoons sugar 

Juice of 2 lemons 

Maraschino Cherries 



Add cherries to stock and pour over ice in punch bowl. Serves 25-30. 

Carolina Barbecued Chicken

By Mrs. Alston Ramsay (Hazel Hunter)


Juice of 1 lemon 



Salt to taste 

Black and red pepper to taste 

¼ pound butter 

1 broiling-size chicken 



Measure lemon juice and add an equal amount of vinegar. Add an equal amount of water to lemon juice and vinegar. Add seasonings and then melted butter. Split chicken in half, cover with liquid ingredients, place breast side down in the bottom of the oven and set broiler at 300°F. Baste frequently, turning chicken after 1 hour and cooking for 2 hours altogether. Turn broiler higher for last ½ hour to brown chicken.  

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

By Mrs. John Laurens (May Rose)


1 cup milk 

1 pint heavy cream 

1/2 pound peppermint stick candy, crushed 



Heat milk in top of double-boiler; add candy and stir constantly until dissolved. Pour into tray of refrigerator and chill. Whip cream until thickened, but not stiff, and fold into chilled candy mixture. Pour back into tray freeze with control set at coldest point, until firm. Stir once or twice during freezing. Serve with hot fudge sauce. Serves 6 to 8. 

Hopping John

By Mrs. W. H. Barnwell (Mary Royall)


1 cup raw cow peas (dried field peas) 

4 cups water 

2 teaspoons salt 

1 cup raw rice 

4 slices bacon fried with 1 chopped, medium onion 



Boil peas in salted water until tender. Add peas and 1 cup of the pea liquid to rice, bacon with grease and onion. Put in rice steamer and cook for 1 hour or until rice is thoroughly done. Serves 8.  

Likker Pudding

By Mrs. W. T. Hartman (Betty Blaydes)


2 1/2 cups milk 

3 medium sized yams 

2 cups sugar 

2 teaspoons cinnamon 

3 eggs 

1/4 stick butter  

1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds  

1/2 cup whiskey or rum 



Put milk into 2-quart casserole. Grate yams, adding to milk as you grate to prevent potatoes from turning dark. Beat eggs well and add sugar gradually. Add cinnamon and almonds and mix well with potatoes. Dot generously with butter and bake in a 300-degree oven for two hours. Just before serving, pour the whisky or rum over the pudding. Serves 6.