Friday, November 4, 2011

Stuffing of the Month Club

There are as many Stuffing recipes in existence as there were Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving. Maybe more.
I thought it would be fun to share a few here. Feel free to add your favorites to the comments below.

Oh, and if you live south of the Mason-Dixon line, Stuffing is the bread dish (plus seasonings) that you serve with a meal--stuffed inside a turkey or alongside. I believe ya'll call is Dressing.

Old World Corn Stuffing
3 c. day old bread cubes
1 can cream style corn
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 t. grated onion
1/2 t. sage
1/2 t. basil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
broth, optional

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. You may need to add a little broth. The bread should be moist, but not soggy. If baking alone, pat into a greased casserole dish and bake at 350* for 30 minutes--covered or uncovered, depending on how crispy you like it.
Incidentally, this is fabulous with pork chops. Brown the chops in olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Add the drippings to the stuffing if you like. Alternate the stuffing and chops vertically in a buttered casserole dish and bake at 350* for 1 hour.

Christian Family Thanksgiving Stuffing
1 c. butter, melted (Yes, they're Norwegian)
3/4 c minced onions
12 c. bread cubes
1 1/2 c chopped celery
1 t. pepper
1 t. sage
1 t. thyme
1 t marjoram
poultry seasoning to taste--about 1 t.
broth to soften

Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Stuff and bake turkey per instructions. Extra stuffing can be baked at 350* till golden, or heated in a Slow Cooker.

Willard Family Cornbread Stuffing
Make Cornbread (use yellow cornmeal and a recipe with no sugar), cool and crumble fine
Boil a chicken (a whole chicken, giblets and all--none of this boneless/skinless breast bit), remove from broth (reserve), cool and shred. Chop giblets fine.
Sage to taste (remember, sage intensifies as it cooks)
S&P to taste

This is all that there is to the recipe, so the rest is personal preference. You can saute the onion or add it raw. Add a little shredded chicken or a lot, but be sure you use at least some of the dark meat. This is a Southern dish, after all. One egg or two? Moisten the stuffing with the broth, but don't make it soggy.
Bake it in the bird, or by itself. Probably 350* until cooked through and beginning to brown on top. *Shrug* It's stuffing, not a thermonuclear reaction. It doesn't have to be precise. Or even the same every time. (Unlike the other side of the family, where it's "Heaven help you" if you try to get creative with a traditional recipe.)

A new one to try (Just so you know, I stole this one out of the current issue of Midwest Living):

Butter-Roasted Corn Bread Stuffing
3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. yellow cornmeal
4 1/2 t. sugar
1 1/4 t. baking powder
1 t. kosher salt (I'm asking myself why it needs to be Kosher since they're going to add sausage later)
1/3 c pine nuts, toasted
1/3 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 medium onion, chopped (okay, it says 1/2 inch pieces, but I'm not measuring), 1/4 c
2 ounces uncooked mild Italian sausage link, cooked and thinly sliced (efficiency isn't their strong suite, is it?)
1/2 t snipped fresh rosemary (don't cut it or chop it-make sure you snip it)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
3/4 c milk
3 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 1/2 t olive oil
2 T unsalted butter, melted
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Okay, all poking fun aside, this sounds ridiculously delicious and I plan to try it this weekend. However, I am not typing out the next 4 paragraphs of instructions, so here's the abbreviated version:

Preheat oven to 425*. Temper a shiny 9x9 pan in the hot oven while you mix.
Blend 1st 5 ingredients. Stir in next 7 ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk egg, yolk, milk and 3 T butter. Add all at once to flour mixture and stir until just combined. Will be lumpy.
Add olive oil to hot pan and swirl to coat. Pour in batter. Bake at 425 for 17-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Invert bread onto rack and cool completely. Cut into 1 inch pieces.
Oven at 400* (I imagine this could even be the next day, if desired). Spread cubed bread in shallow baking pan. Drizzle with 2 T melted butter and toss to coat. Sprinkle with S&P and bake 10 minutes, turning a few times, until golden brown and with crisp edges.

There are so many more good stuffing recipes, for all seasons, so this will like be a repeat topic. Who needs a jelly of the month club when you can have Stuffing?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


...or would it be Leafing?
Anyway, the idea to scatter tatted leaves over our Thanksgiving table has taken hold. M has been gathering leaves from the bushes and trees outside and pressing them in books. I have been tatting Marilee Rockley's small maple leaf pattern until I have it memorized. We went to our local Hobby Lobby and cleaned out all of their fall colors of Lizbeth size 20. That should keep me in thread for a long time.

I hope to have one made for every person that will be here with us that day. We're expecting 24, so I have a way to go. I did make one other leaf, with beads on it (like the one on M's must-have necklace), but I can't find it. I took it with me to match threads, and I suspect it fell out of my pocket at some point. They only take about an hour to make, and I've been rewatching episodes of Sci-Fi shows while doing it, so I won't pout too much about it. I hope that it will brighten the day of whoever happens to pick it up.

I think I have finally conquered the "sewing under caps" method of hiding thread ends, so that isn't such a frustration anymore.

In completely unrelated news, DH and I celebrate our 15th anniversary tomorrow. I can't believe that man has put up with me for this long! If that isn't a perfect example of God's grace, then I don't know what is.
It looks like they might just finish bringing the crops in by then. We are disappearing the girls and running away. We may come back.