- Holidays and Celebrations»
- United States Holidays
Traditions - Best Turkey Stuffing
The Best Turkey Stuffing
One of my favorite meals to cook for my family is Thanksgiving!
I love making the big meal - with lots of our families favorite recipes to go along with it. One of the recipes that can involve everyone is making the stuffing for the turkey. Ever since my girls could climb onto a chair, they were helping me make the stuffing! I don't "measure" anything anymore. We just go by how everything "looks" and "smells" (there is a great aroma when there is just the right amount of sage)! This lens will share my personal turkey stuffing recipe (which I think is the best!) and a couple of other places to find some pretty cool stuffing recipes also.
I have written another lens on another Thanksgiving Day tradition: Traditions - Deviled Eggs.
Personal Family History with Turkey Stuffing - "Time to Make the Stuffing!"
Today we have a whole network devoted to chefs' and their cooking shows, but when I was growing up there was only ONE TV chef - Julia Child. I loved watching her show. I loved her accent and how she seemed to just "throw" things together and make a wonderful meal. So how does Julia Child relate to our personal history with making stuffing? The night before Thanksgiving is when we make the stuffing. My family "KNOWS" its time to make the stuffing when I start running around the kitchen (in my best Julia Child voice) saying "Time to Make the Stuffing!" They never say "Mom, that is so embarrassing!" They just go along and know it's time to help with the stuffing.
We use a big Tupperware bowl to put all the ingredients in. It is the biggest bowl Tupperware made about 20 years ago. It helps to have something big, not because we make a lot (but we do!) but because it then is big enough for 3 (or 4) spoons to get in and mix. The girls take turns tearing the bread into small chunks (when they were younger the "chunks" were about the size of a piece of bread!). I run around melting butter and beating eggs. When I determine that enough bread has been torn up - usually about half or a third of the bread we will use - I get them to put in some of the other ingredients. Since there is no measuring, they can just "dump" ingredients into the bowl. They take turns adding the different spices - we judge if there is enough spices by the aroma - if you can smell the sage - it is done!
When all the ingredients have been put in - it is time to stir. We use wooden spoons to stir the stuffing. Why did I choose wooden spoons? I had 3 or 4 of them so everyone gets the same "type" of spoon! Everyone stirs at the same time. Now I know - you might have a shocked look on your face about now! (You're assuming that stuffing is flying out of the bowl and onto walls, ceilings, etc!) You are right - when they were younger - stuffing did find it's way out of the bowl a few times. But this is a good way to help teach them some self-control. Less is more!
When everything looks like it has been mixed together sufficiently - it's time to add more bread and the rest of the ingredients. We continue with this process until all the bread is used. This bowl came with a lid, so it gets covered and put into the fridge (never the turkey!) until the morning. Then it is put into the "bird" right before the bird is put into the oven. Of course not all of the stuffing that I make "fits" into the bird - so I have to put into a casserole dish and bake it.
Photo: John Swords
My original recipe is from my Better Homes & Garden cookbook and is titled "Old-Fashioned Bread Stuffing". I simplified it (it called for cooking celery and onions in butter till tender but not brown) by eliminating things that I didn't like (celery) and substituting (onion powder for onions).
- 1 / 2 c. butter (melted)
- 1 t. onion powder (or flakes)
- 1 t. paprika
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1 loaf bread
- 1 c. poultry broth
- 1 t. sage
- 1 t. poultry seasoning
- Everything is tossed into a large bowl until well mixed.
- I start with one loaf of bread, 1/2 c. butter, 1 t. poultry seasoning & sage, and 1 c. broth. With every loaf of bread I add the appropriate amounts(ish) of seasonings.
- Photo: Plucktree
"What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?"
~Erma Bombeck, "No One Diets on Thanksgiving," 26 November 1981
THE Better Homes & Garden Cookbook - The Original!
"May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!"
Dressing or Stuffing?
You Say Tomahto, I Say Tomayto!
I have head the terms - dressing and stuffing - used interchangebly for years. I was curious if they did indeed "mean" the same thing - the breaded concoction that is usually served with turkey on Thanksgiving.
So I did a search on Google for the definition for dressing this is what came back: stuffing: a mixture of seasoned ingredients used to stuff meats and vegetables.
When I searched for the definition for stuffing this is what came back: a mixture of seasoned ingredients used to stuff meats and vegetables.
So it looks like they do mean the same thing! Big relief there! I'm not a culinary clod!
Other Things You Need for Thanksgiving!
Mandatory Ingredient for Your Stuffing
I am a traditional stuffing person (ie= old-fashion!) but many people use other things in their stuffing. What is your favorite ingredient in stuffing?
What is the major ingredient for your stuffing?
Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes.
Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.
Other Stuffing Recipes
In case you need some other stuffing recipes - here are a couple of sites that showcase some good ones.