By Terry Scroggins

I’m getting a reputation as a pretty big eater. In fact, some folks are starting to believe that my nickname, “Big Show,” refers to my dining habits. That’s not true, but I do love good food, and some of the best comes around the holidays. 

Right off the bat I’ll tell you that I like my desserts, and one of my favorites we always have at family dinners is a blueberry cobbler. It’s super-simple, but it’s super-good.

You put blueberry pie filling in a pan, cover it with yellow cake mix, cut two sticks of butter into little pieces and put that on top of the cake mix. Bake all this at 350 for 35 minutes and you have a real crowd pleaser.

Another one that’s popular in my family is a homemade version of a peanut butter pie. Almost everybody likes Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, so you melt 10 of them in a sauce pan, pour that in with two containers of Cool Whip, pour all that into a pan with graham cracker pie crust and let it sit in the freezer until it firms up. Soon as it sets up I’m on it like a bass on a one-legged frog.

At my house we also have the traditional pumpkin pie, angel food cake, chocolate cake, cherry pie and all that good stuff. But we always throw a few different things in there too.

One thing I can’t forget is sugar cookies. That’s one of my favorite Christmas treats. Whether I’m watching TV or testing baits in my pool, I usually carry some sugar cookies with me.

Now, we can’t just talk about desserts, so here’s how my family’s dinner plans roll out. Basically, Christmas turns into a three or four day deal for us because the days leading up are so hectic with everyone going in different directions, visiting with in-laws and other relatives and such.

To make it easier, we have one big family dinner, usually the Sunday before Christmas. Then we gather with our individual families for Christmas Eve. These family Christmas dinners are really nice because we have 15 or 20 of us all together and the food is outstanding.

We’re true southerners, so we have the usual side dishes like corn, green beans and stuffing. But, my mother makes my absolute favorite holiday dish – homemade mashed potatoes and homemade noodles. Most people put gravy on mashed potatoes, but those noodles go really good on top, too.

That’s super good and super fattening!

When it comes to my contributions to the meal, I’m a meat guy, so I’ll smoke a ham on the Big Green Egg. That’s a pretty traditional Christmas item, but something else I do is a little out there in left field. I smoke a couple racks of ribs and coat them with red and green pepper jelly.

Both of those jellies taste just alike, but when you blend them together, you get the Christmas colors. The red pepper jelly gives it a bold red look and the green pepper jelly gives it a green tint. This gives you the Christmas spirit on a cook out.

I like St. Louis style ribs because they have more meat on them, and a good amount of fat, too, so they’re tastier. When I make them for Christmas they have a sweet, spicy kick, but it’s not overbearing.

Christmas morning, I’ll have the grandkids over to open presents and play with their new stuff. I bought my 7-year-old granddaughter an Easy Bake Oven, so I’m sure I’ll be doing some baking with her.

We might even make some of more sugar cookies. I guess if the kids ask me to help decorate those cookies, I’d probably go with a chartreuse colored icing with a little fluorescent orange on the edges for visual appeal. (When’s our next tournament?)

Of course, we always have plenty of leftovers and my favorite is that smoked ham because it’s something you can eat on for up to a week after Christmas. I like to make sandwiches with those King’s Hawaiian rolls. You put a little mustard in there, microwave it for about 20 seconds and you’re good to go.

Later that night, I’ll get together with my mom and a few other people and we’ll go to dinner at the local Cracker Barrel. I’ll probably get the ham dinner and I like their sweet baby carrots.

This is just a casual dinner and good time to relax after a busy Christmas week. I think that’s the key to enjoying this season – it’s all about taking it easy and spending time with family. People tend to get too wound up around Christmas, but good food and good times with your loved ones – that’s a Merry Christmas.