This year I am grateful for my family’s health, our willingness to spend time together, and that even though I miss having our kids close, we’ve empowered them to soar to their own destinies. Sounds so nice, doesn’t it? But in reality it’s hard, tough work, as any parent will attest. It makes me think of my mother, and her mother, and my great-grandmother, who immigrated to the U.S. when she was 14! She never saw her parents again. They loved her enough to send her off to a greater life.
With the thoughts of the love it takes to raise a family, and it being Thanksgiving, I’m sharing a gift with you–my mother’s stuffing recipe. It’s very basic and I’m sure you can find it elsewhere, but it’s her love and memories added to it that make it special for me.
Mom’s Turkey Stuffing for Thanksgiving
1-4 loaves of store-bought bread, white or wheat, torn into small pieces*
Dried Sage (in the spice container!)
One stick of butter or several tablespoons of olive oil (or a combination)*
1 white onion, chopped to your preference
3-4 stalks of celery, chopped
1-2 eggs, depending on how much bread you tore up the night before*
*what’s great about this recipe is that you can substitute gluten-free bread, corn bread, whatever works for you, as well as sub in vegan shortening for the oil/butter. It’s very adaptable. I’ve made it without eggs, too, and it’s fine.
The night before you’re going to roast the turkey, tear the loaves of bread up and put in a large stockpot or bowl. Young children especially enjoy helping with this part.
In the morning, sprinkle liberal amounts of the sage, poultry seasoning and pepper onto the bread. Put as much or as little as you think you’d like. Add a little salt to taste. Crack open an egg or two and mix with the bread (your hands work best here but then be sure to remove rings first and wash thoroughly afterwards. Raw eggs and all).
Melt the butter and saute the onions and celery until the onions are tender and opaque. Pour mixture over the bread, mixing until all of the bread has been moistened. Stuff the bird of your choice and/or bake in a separate casserole type dish, covered. If you’re only making stuffing, I’d suggest baking at 350 degrees for an hour, covered, and then maybe bake the last few minutes uncovered to brown. Please note that if you’re going to bake this stuffing in both your bird and a casserole dish, you must separate what’s going in the dish first, to avoid cross contamination from the raw turkey. When baked inside the turkey, the stuffing is crispy on the outside and deliciously moist and flavorful.