Give Me a Side Dish Any Day
For some, a Thanksgiving meal is all about the turkey or the desserts. For me, it’s the side dishes, that highlight the day. But it’s also about family, friends, and even strangers with whom I share the meal.
Gobble ‘Til You Wobble: Eat, Drink & Be Thankful
In my unofficial survey of people and their Thanksgiving plans, I found there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to the holiday. The recipes, the people, the location change as life itself changes.
This year I’ll have 32 at the farm with lots of cooks and helpers. I make the dressing as usual, but other than that, I direct. I point. I taste.
More Than One Way
Some years I’ve been inclined to amp up the turkey dressing with oysters, dried fruit, chestnuts, or, heaven forbid, tofu, but I’ve resisted. Turkey dressing is one thing I don’t tamper with. Call me old-fashioned.
Make the Magic Happen
I begin with a soffritto of onion, celery, and garlic, and a little carrot and apple for sweetness, all sautéed in the sausage drippings.
The mixture, plus eggs, broth, and seasonings, are combined with a variety of toasted breads—sourdough, white, even leftover biscuits. You want the bread dry, not soft. For the cornbread, I toss in a package of Pepperidge Farm Cornbread. Recipe: Cornbread Sausage Stuffing
A Taste of Thanksgiving
Carbs Don’t Count on Thanksgiving 🙂
I recall my father and I preparing the bread for the dressing as my mother prepared the turkey. We toasted the slices in the oven. (Our little, two-piece toaster with the sides that flopped down to release the bread was too slow.)
Invariable, one side of the bread would get “over-toasted”—a euphemism for burnt. When that happened it was our job to scrape the blackened part into the sink. Today’s ovens, that come with a built-in timer and window have lessened the chances of messing up the bread.
Basically, carrots cooked in butter and topped with parsley and bread crumbs. (In French cuisine persillade is a parsley mixture pronounced “per-say-yadd”)