Favorite dishes

My thoughts are all wrapped up around the Thanksgiving meal as of today. I love to plan the meal. It’s almost as fun as the eating. Maybe (truthfully) more fun. The planning goes on all week but the eating, well, you know how long THAT takes.
The dish that I look forward to the most? Is the stuffing. It’s a meat stuffing that is my family’s tradition. What I would have previously called a “french Canadian thing”. but now know to be An Acadian thing. Meat stuffing, not a stuffing at all in the traditional sense, truly a “dressing”. But we shall NEVER ever refer to it again as a dressing, capish?
My family’s version has ground beef, ground pork sauteed with onions, salt and pepper, drained and cooled. Then I break apart a stuffing bread, wet it with water and squeeze the bread into the meat until mixed well, using the whole loaf of bread. This part is wonderfully messy. Love it. Sprinkle generously with Bell’s seasoning (poultry seasoning to you non New Englanders) then add basterfuls of turkey broth until the stuffing is moist.
When I got married, I realized that the rest of the world did not eat MY meat stuffing. I was crushed. If I wanted it as part of my adult tradition, I would have to bring it to the table myself. I serve both the meat stuffing and the turkey stuffed bread stuffing on the day. Something for everyone.
I love family traditions almost as much as I love the stuffing itself.
SO, I’m curious. Tell me what dish you are looking forward to the most? What is YOUR family tradition that you carry on or that you miss dearly? (and should start yourself from now on, says me!)


Filed under Sandy's Cooking

8 responses to “Favorite dishes

  1. I love the stuffing but for me it’s all about bread, bell’s and celery. Oh, and the mashed potatoes and gravy. And homemade cranberry sauce. Yummy!

  2. For me it’s not Thanksgiving without grandma’s oyster stuffing. They live on the Gulf Coast and Dad worked on the docks at Mobile Bay shucking oysters when he was a kid. It’s a cornbread stuffing. She used Campbell’s Oyster soup, fresh Gulf coast oysters, bits of turkey meat, heart and liver, celery and onions. I use freshly made turkey stock instead of the soup. We ate at her house many times when I was a kid and then I continued to go as a grownup until I moved to MA and it was just too costly to get way down to Alabama. I also must always have pecan pie and recently I’ve found I can buy paper shell pecans online just like from Grandma’s tree so I have even better pies that I used to.

    Back in the early 90’s I tried a Southern Living recipe for spiced whole berry cranberry sauce and it became a tradition. When Jason and I first got together and I made it for him he was instantly twitterpated. He will not let me try anything new, we *must* have that cranberry sauce. He also likes to have some sort of pumpkin dessert but it doesn’t matter what form, usually a pie but sometimes cheesecake with praline topping.

  3. I love the stuffing too, but it is the bread kind. I don’t like the “wet” way my mom makes it, nor do I like the “crouton” style — I like it more crumbly and more dry, with Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix — the crumbly kind, not the crouton kind, as I said. I have to keep saying this, because if I send David out to get stuffing mix, he inevitably comes back with the WRONG KIND. Lots of onions and celery, and sometimes mushrooms in it. But mostly it is the sage, butter, bread, celery flavors that I love.

    And homemade cranberry sauce.

    I do love all the flavors, and always think I’m craving pumpkin pie, but when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, I end up having no room for pie and though I will (true confession time) stuff it down an already-overfull gullet, I don’t enjoy it that much. For breakfast the next day is when pumpkin pie is the best. And apple too. 😀

    I really do want to try Carole’s cranberry-pecan pie this year, though. Not that I need it, mind you.

  4. It’s got to be pumpkin pie and the turkey and the dressing and the cranberry sauce. My favorite dressing is cornbread dressing, made from scratch.

  5. Elaine

    I can never decide whether I want oyster or sausage/chestnut stuffing…. so I usually make both. And I add mushrooms to the oyster stuffing. I love Thanksgiving!

  6. Mmmmm oyster stuffing is nice but I like my homemade sausage stuffing too. At Christmas I make Bread Sauce. That is my all-time favorite!

  7. Barbara M.

    Bread stuffing is our tradition, kind of like what Norma described. Lots of melted butter and sage, salt and pepper and onion….. yum!

    And olives, black and green both. A family story, always retold lovingly at holidays, is that one year I was scolded soundly for taking way too many olives. I insisted I had not taken more than my share, but the evidence (the pile of olive pits!) on my plate was held against me. It was several years later when I discovered that my sister had deposited her “extra pits” on my plate! I still love her, but I tease her about this one every year.

  8. Jenn C.

    I love finding someone else who does a meat stuffing! Everyone always looks at me funny, but it’s what my french-canadian Mom grew up eating – and my Dad was an easy convert. I LOVE it, and can’t imagine Thanksgiving without it.

    As we’ve added SOs and spouses to the table, my mom has added a bread stuffing to the table to make sure they have the Thanksgiving that makes them happy as well, but the bird is always stuffed with the good stuff!