Taste of Tuscaloosa: Tasty Fall Family Traditions

29 Oct 2019 Sheena Gregg
Dad Kyle Jernigan with his daughters Ashley (7) and Joanna (3) last Halloween. Dad Kyle Jernigan with his daughters Ashley (7) and Joanna (3) last Halloween. Laura Jernigan

Having a little one in my squad now has made me become extra intentional when it comes to Halloween/autumn traditions, especially because every holiday involves eating delicious food. Since I am relatively new to the mom scene, I’m still establishing some fall family traditions. So, I thought I’d ask some of our local mom pros in to share their own family traditions (food involved, of course). 

Laura Jernigan, Tuscaloosa 

Fall is my favorite time of year. Candy corn and peanuts is an acceptable meal, Saturdays are spent grazing on all kinds of tailgating food – even if you are “tailgating” at home with friends, and it seems to reprioritize family and friend quality time.  

Over the years, we’ve had family costumes, individual desired costumes, and sometimes, just our girls dress up. One thing has remained constant, we all eat chili, homemade treats, and the women take the kids around to all the neighbors’ homes while the men man the front porch and pass out candy to all who come by. 

Ashley Ratliff, Coker 

Ever since our twins were born 12 years ago, we have taken October 31st out to dress up in fun Halloween costumes and invite all our family and friends over to trick-or-treat with us. My husband, being the cook in our family, makes his yummy taco soup with all the fixings, and my mother-in-law makes Mexican cornbread.  

Our kids usually wear coordinating Halloween costumes and load up on a hayride with all their neighborhood friends. Since a lot of our neighbors participate in the fun, you never know where you might run into more pots of chili – or who might have some warm apple cider to drink.  

The Ratliff kids, Sidalee (12), Sawyer (9) and John Hendrix (12) dressed up with the theme of The Greatest Showman. Photo: Ashley Ratliff

Abby Horton, Tuscaloosa 

We enjoy the magic that this season of celebration sparks. The costumes and candy bring out our inner carefree spirits without the added stress of gift-giving. Every year, we visit the UA Sorority Row Trick-or-Treat Event. Its become a family favorite, and it is one of our first established holiday traditions. Halloween wouldn’t be the same without a visit to campus.  

Before or after any Horton Family celebration, we try to have a pizza dinner. Some of our favorite pizza places are Broadway Pizza, Heat Pizza, and Marco’s Pizza. We are a family of pizza connoisseurs. 

Abby and Chris Horton with their children Recie (11), Jack (9), Gramm (9), Maryclaire (7), and Charlie (7) during Trick-or-Treat on Sorority Row. Photo: Abby Horton

Sheena Gregg is a registered dietitian and local “Filipino Foodie.” Follow her adventures at afilipinofoodie.com. 

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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.



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