|Ready for Thanksgiving last year.|
I love the Holiday that is Thanksgiving. I love the food and the fact that it is a Holiday about giving thanks and that there is Someone to whom we give thanks. If I could change one thing, I would celebrate it at the same time as our Canadian neighbors when Autumn is in full color. But we take what we get... this Thanksgiving there is snow in the forecast.
Preparations have already begun as my turkey has been in a large casserole dish (defrosting in the frig) since Wednesday evening. I like to give it a good week to be fully defrosted. It is, of course... the star of the show. Unless you are a vegetarian. ;)
If you have read this blog for long, you will know I have waxed poetic in the past about creating memories for our families and friends. And Thanksgiving is one of those times when the aroma coming from the kitchen and the tastes at the table come together more than (to me) any other time of the year.
I was sharing with a friend recently how each year when I pull the large skillet out and begin slowly sauteing butter and celery and onions together, I always think of my mother. It is the aroma of Thanksgiving morning, especially when the crumbled sage joins the party. I wonder if there is a candle with that fragrance?
Slowly I've been putting together some favorite recipes to print and assemble for my family. I will include the Heritage recipes of both my mother and mother-in-law, even if the younger generation cooks a little differently than their Southern and Midwestern grandmothers did. They are an essential part of our family's history.
This year, as you are preparing the feast or partaking of it... take time to write down the Heritage recipes. You will be glad you did. Although I know there are blog friends who have already prepared, printed out, and have bound their collection!
Here is the way my mother prepared her dressing, although she doubled the recipe to make two 9 x 13 dishes. That way those who did not want oysters added would still be happy. This recipe is oyster-less. ;)
My Mom's Thanksgiving dressing recipe almost as it appears on my "recipe blog":
Mamaw's Dressing Recipe
Dry one large loaf white bread* (or a loaf of white bread and a loaf of cheap whole wheat bread) overnight. When dry, break up into a big bowl. (Sometimes I tear the bread up first and leave them in my very large bowl for as much as a few days.)
In large skillet, melt two sticks of butter. Add one chopped onion and a few stocks of celery, sliced. Slowly cook just until veggies are soft. Do not overcook.
Pour everything into a large bowl. Whisk one egg and pour into bowl or mix egg into broth below and pour in together.
Mush all together along with 1 to 2 T. poultry seasoning. Add salt, and pepper (to taste).
Pour in just enough broth to make moist. (I end up using about 2 cups.) This is a time you can use store bought chicken or turkey broth to make it easier without anyone really noticing. I have used both store bought and homemade turkey broth.
Place into 9 x 12" buttered dish. Bake until brown, about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
*I once decided to go "uptown" and make a nice, rich homemade bread for this recipe. It didn't taste right at all! I buy the cheapest large loaf of white bread I can find just like Mom did now. Sometimes, as shown above, I use a regular size loaf of white bread and a regular size loaf of cheap whole wheat bread (not the heavy duty chewy kind!).