I remember when I first moved from California to Connecticut I felt like I needed to learn a whole new language. My maternal grandmother had warned me about a few things and so far she’s been right about views of the east coast. Shopping carts are carriages. A liquor store which could be a 7Eleven in Cali is a convince store and we have package stores where you buy your booze. I think after 22 years of living here I have finally stopped saying freeway and now say highway.
At thanksgiving you either call one dish either stuffing or dressing.There really is a correct term and it’s based on how it’s cooked from my understanding. But either way it’s one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving.
I don’t remember how long ago it was that I decided to ditch the box stuffing and make mine from scratch. I do remember that dinner clearly. I made everything from scratch. It was wonderful and each year I tried to top the next. My stuffing/dressing has stayed the same, maybe with a minor tweek or two. But I have cut myself some slack in making everything from scratch. My stuffing though, I just can’t go back to the box stuff.
It really is easy to make stuffing from scratch. I make a cornbread stuffing that is really simple. I just actually pulled my cornbread and biscuits out of the oven and they are cooling. I make them a few days ahead to go stale but no worries, you can make them the same day without too much of a difference.
You only need a few things. Let’s get started.
- one baked and cooled recipe of cornbread (use your favorite)
- one baked and cooled recipe of biscuits
- 1 lb of sage sausage
- 3 ribs of celery , chopped
- 2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 cup of chopped pecans
- 1 cup of dried or fresh cranberries
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tsps of sage
- 2 tsp of thyme
- 2 tsp of basils
- 2 cups of chicken or turkey broth
- Cook the sausage , stirring and cooking untill cooked through. Drain but save about tablespoons of the fat in the skillet. Set the sausage aside.
- In the skillet you cooked sausage in and have fat waiting for you, cook up the onion and celery over medium heat untill the onion and celery are soft. Add your spices at this point and give a good stir or two. Turn off the heat.
- Add your crumbled and broken up cornbread and biscuits to the pan along with the sausage. Give a good stir.
- Begin to add the broth. You want to add just enough to the mixture so that it is moist but not soggy. So you may not use all the broth or you may need a little more depending on how much bread you are using and how stale it has gotten.
- now add the cranberries and pecan. Give another stir. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Now either you can stuff the bird with the stuffing or cook the stuffing outside the bird.
- If cooking outside the bird, pour the stuffing mixture into a buttered baking dish and bake at 350 for about 20-30 mins till it is nice and warm. I usually cover with foil for 20 mins and uncover for the last few minutes to give a crisp top.
So what do you call it? Stuffing or dressing? I read a long time ago the difference is where it is cooked. Pretty easy to figure this one out right? Stuffing in the bird, dressing is outside the bird. I grew up calling it stuffing but I guess I make both. Who knew.
Whatever you make or call your dishes, I wish you a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving!