November 20, 2011

Don't Mess with Perfection

That's a pretty bold statement, I know...   but here's the thing:  the Thanksgiving meal is perfection.  Why do people feel the need to "try out a new recipe" or "change it up"?

I know I sound a bit stodgy but there is only one day out of 365 of them that I'm asking the menu not be "tweaked", "altered" or "updated" with some new technique, ingredient or what have you.

As we are all gearing up for this holiday, the only one that is REALLY food-centric I am standing by my convictions.  Why do people feel the need to change something that is already so good?

It really is perfect...  Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, candied sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce (perfect for turkey sandwiches the next day), maybe a few other vegetable sides,  rolls and at least a few different pies that must include pumpkin as one of them.

Can you really ask for anything else?  As a self-proclaimed lover of all things carb, this is squeal-inducing bliss for me.  Carbs with a side of carbs!  (it's one day, indulge yourself)

Thanksgiving is the meal I really love.  It is consistent and comforting,  the smells and tastes are a rush of memories for me from my childhood up to present day.  Think about it,  I'm sure when you think of Thanksgiving it floods your memories with the same emotions.  Food and family are what it's all about.  Eating way too much and then eating just a little more...

My grandmother's stuffing is something I have to have on Thanksgiving and if I don't have it,  it just feels like another day to me.

My grandma wasn't the best cook, that's as nicely as I can put it.  I'm not spilling any deep family secret,  cooking just wasn't her forte, but the one home-run she could hit out of the park every single time was stuffing.  It may not be for everyone, but this is worth every carb-lovin' bite for me.  It is simple, basic bread stuffing with celery, onion and sage.  It isn't anything fancy or "modern" in the least and that is why I love it.  It reminds me of being a kid and the anticipation of all of us sitting down together.  My grandparents, my uncle, my Momma, my brother & me.

Thanksgiving isn't just about the food,  it is about the time spent with family gathered around each other and being thankful for the people you have in your life.  The size of my family has dwindled as I've gotten older, as I'm sure is the case with most of us and the recipes I have from my family are one of the things I treasure most.  They provide a tangible link to family members that I can no longer share a meal with.

So, this Thanksgiving I will be making my Grandma's stuffing and remembering my family with every bite.

Gram's Bread Stuffing
  • 1 (large) loaf white bread, torn into small pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp ground sage
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 - 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tbsp. butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine celery, onion and chicken stock in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer.  Let it cook for 10 minutes or until softened.
  3. Put bread, eggs and spices in a large bowl and pour the stock mixture over the bread.  Mix to thoroughly combine.  (it is easiest to do this with your hands, so let it cool if it is too hot for you to handle, also make sure eggs are thoroughly mixed in to avoid bits of scrambled egg)
  4. Take a pinch of the stuffing out and fry it to check for seasoning.  Once everything is in the oven, the chance to add more salt, pepper or sage has vanished.  Taste the patty of stuffing and adjust if needed before moving on.
  5. Butter the baking dish and put the stuffing mixture in.
  6. Bake at 350 for an hour. Depending on the depth of your baking dish, you may need to bake for an additional 15 - 20 minutes. 
  7. Baste occasionally with additional stock if necessary to avoid it drying out. 

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Love it! I understand totally! My grandmother's recipe is very similar, and cannot be equaled in all the universe, because it's HERS! And a loud AMEN to your Thanksgiving menu philophy! :)