Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Stove Top? Really?

I was watching an episode of South Park last night and in it there is a stuffing shortage.  Cartman freaked out and dragged his mom to the store in search of this oh-so-perfect side dish.  But alas, the shelves were bare.

Luckily, this would never be an issue in my family because while we'll use pre-packaged stuffing at other times of the year, where it comes to Thanksgiving, we make it from scratch, using a recipe that has been handed down through the ages.  A recipe that I now pass along to you in hopes that it will make your Thanksgiving just that much more awesome.

Yes, I know this really doesn't have anything to do with working in an office - but since I am not in the office this week, why should my posts be about a place I am not in.  That would be like me blogging about Hawaii or Wal-Mart.

~ The Office Scribe

Family Bread Stuffing

My family can trace this recipe to 1911 when my Great-grandfather,  then a 16-year-old teenager, worked in a lumber camp outside of Eugene, Oregon as an assistant to the camp cook as he was not old enough to do the actual lumbering.

·         1 loaf white bread
·         1 bay leaf
·         2 apples, peeled & grated
·         1 tbsp baking powder
·         1 onion, peeled and grated
·         ½ - 1 lb. butter
·         1 egg
·         1 tbsp dried sage
·         salt & pepper to taste
·         Water, if needed to moisten

The night before, tear the bread into bite-size pieces, place bread pieces in a bowl and cover with a towel. Set the bowl on the countertop overnight and allow the bread to dry out. The next morning, after rinsing out the turkey, mix together all ingredients in a large bowl and add water to moisten, if needed.

Stuff the turkey cavity and bake per instructions on the bird. When turkey is done, using a large spoon remove all stuffing and place in an oven-safe bowl. While the turkey is resting, place bowl in oven until top slightly browns. Remember to remove the bay leaf prior to serving.

Some shortcuts that have evolved over the years are:
• Once bread is torn it can be placed on a baking sheet or in a 13x9-inch pan and placed in the oven overnight as this allows for more evenly drying out
the bread. There is no need to turn on the oven. If you are in a hurry, the oven can be turned to the lowest setting and the bread should dry out within 20
• Use a natural chunky applesauce in place of peeling and grating the apples.
• Use turkey or chicken broth in place of some of the butter for flavor and less calories. This is especially good if you are making dressing rather than stuffing as it will have the poultry flavor. Broth can also be used in place of water to moisten if needed.
• Chopped celery can be added to the onion. You can begin the recipe by sweating the onion and celery in some melted butter, remove from stovetop, and then add the remaining ingredients.
• I have never used packaged, pre-cut bread cubes, but do not see why they would not work.

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