Dressing Up Thanksgiving
It’s not the turkey or the mashed potatoes or the pumpkin pie, that I look forward to each Thanksgiving, it’s the Cornbread-Sausage Dressing. (The flavorful mixture is called “stuffing” when it goes inside the turkey cavity, but “dressing” when it’s cooked in a baking dish.)
Finding a Recipe
I settled on a stuffing recipe more than 40 years ago. It was given to me by word of mouth from my hairdresser. I wrote it down on the back of my electric bill, as she backcombed my fashionable beehive into shape. I’ve made it on T-Day ever since and included it in my cookbook: The Mansion: It’s Memories and Menus.
I know there are those who would like me to amp it up with oysters or, heaven forbid, tofu, but I’ve resisted. This Southern version is closest to the memories of my childhood. Admittedly, I’ve thrown in a few chopped apples in recent years, but nothing major has changed.
Bread—But Which Bread?
When it comes to the bread, I use part Pepperidge Farm cornbread dressing and part herb, along with some sliced, oven-toasted white bread. My Internet search suggested Arnold’s Country Classic as being the best suited for turkey dressing. It can be found at Target and Walmart.
Diving In; Fork First
The stuffing mixture takes on a heavenly aroma after mingling several hours, amid sausage and poultry juices. When my turkey comes out of the oven each Thanksgiving, the “Kitchen hawks” dive, fork first, into the stuffing before the bird is ever dismantled. I can’t blame them; I’m their leader!
Ahh. . . I’ll miss that fork-stuffing contest this year.
Just Remember. . .
Sometimes you have to deal with lumpy potatoes, a dry turkey, charred carrots, or runny casseroles. That’s when a good turkey dressing can save the day.