Thanksgiving celebrations are the stuff that makes great memories. Watching football, eating until you get sick then watching the buttons fly off the trousers.
But eventually you get tired of turkey and yams and pumpkin pie. I see turkey everywhere I go. Turkey bologna, turkey bacon, turducken. Give me a break
This year the freaks and I are doing something different. instead of roasting a turkey we’re doing swan. Though you’re getting short changed on the breasts, I think you get more stuffing. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m a breast man from way back.)
There is one staple however for any Thanksgiving feast and that is the stuffing.
Some may call it “Stuffing”, others may call it “Dressing.” I call it “Good stuff”.
Everybody’s mother or grandmother makes the best stuffing, just like baked beans, potato salad or Jello. But there remains today after centuries of Thanksgiving meals three basic kinds of stuffing. The basic stuffing recipe that follows has been in my freaky family since 1952 in Jupiter, Florida.
Basic Bread Stuffing
1/4 Cup finely Chopped Onions
1/2 Cup Chopped Celery
1/3 Cup Butter
4 Cups Bread Cubes
Sea Salt/Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Eggs, Beaten
1/2 Tsp. Ground Sage
1/2 Tsp. Poultry Seasoning
Turkey or Chicken Broth
Sauté onion, giblets and celery in the butter until softened. Combine onion mixture with bread, pepper, eggs, salt, sage and poultry seasoning in a large mixing bowl. Stir in broth until well moistened. Enough for an 8 to 10-pound turkey. Or, bake in a greased covered shallow casserole at 325° for about 35 to 45 minutes. Take the cover off the last 5 minutes to brown.
Some of the remaining freaks down South use oysters and/or cornbread as the base for their stuffing. Either way, this is some killer stuffing.
Cornbread Oyster Stuffing
1 Cup Chopped Onion
4 Scallions, Chopped
2 Celery Stalks, Chopped
5 Cups Crumbled Cornbread
1/2 Cup Minced Fresh Parsley
Sea Salt/Freshly Ground Pepper
2 Lrg.Eggs, Beaten
1 Pint Shucked Apalachicola Oysters, Drained, Reserve 1/2 Cup Liquid
Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Sauté onions and celery in the butter until tender, not browned.
Combine cornbread and bread crumbs in a large bowl; mix in sautéed onions, salt, pepper, and parsley.
Add beaten eggs and toss more; moisten with the oyster liquid until moist but not soggy. Gently stir in the oysters.
Pat the mixture into a large lightly buttered rectangular baking pan (it should make a 1-inch layer in the pan). Dot with remaining butter and bake about 45 minutes, until golden brown and set in the center.
Still other clowns use rice as a staple for their stuffing.
4 Cups Chicken Broth
1 ½ Cups Uncooked Long Grain Rice
2 Cups Onion, Chopped
2 Cups Celery, Chopped
3 Tbs. Fresh Parsley, Minced
½ Cup Butter, Cubed
2- 4 Oz. Cans Mushroom Pieces
2 Tsps. Poultry Seasoning
Sea Salt/Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Fresh Sage & Thyme, Snipped
In a saucepan, bring 3-1/2 cups broth and rice to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, saute onion and celery in butter until tender. Stir in rice, mushrooms, parsley, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper and the remaining broth. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes. Garnish with sage and thyme .
Well this years gathering promises to be an epic one, no matter what stuffing we decide to make. Hell, we might just make all three. Oh and I invited Uncle Hannibal over this year but he declined. Said he was having an old friend for dinner.
Check out the slideshow for highlights of last years Pishnery Thanksgiving.
Happy Swan Day everybody.