Get stuffed. Or dressed!

Yep, it’s only September, but now is the time to begin fine-tuning your Thanksgiving feast. And what American turkey-table is often seen without that ever-popular bread-based filler?

In some parts of the USA, folks take their holiday turkey with dressing. That is, of course, if you’re in the South. But if you ask a Pennsylvanian what they want on the side of their bird, they’ll likely tell you “stuffing.” No matter what part of the country you’re in, there are as many ways to make stuffing/dressing as there are turkeys in a pen. Here are three unique and time-tried recipes for this delicious and very American side-dish. (And please, try to avoid preparing that popular, ready-made stuff in a box. It always tastes just like the box!)

You can do better.

Gay Carpenter, of Anderson, South Carolina, says: “Before her death at age 88, my Alabama mother taught me to make the “dressing” recipe passed to her by my grandmother. Now I’ll pass it on to fellow connoisseurs!”

Alabama Dressing

  • 1 8×8 pan of cornbread
  • 1 stack pack of Premium saltines crushed fine
  • 3 stalks of celery/ 1 medium onion both chopped
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 2 or 3 cans Sweet Sue chicken broth or broth from baked poultry
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

Cook celery/onion in chicken broth. Crumble cornbread in large container. Add crushed saltines eggs, broth, celery, onions. Mix well. Pour into well-greased 9×13 baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Gay says, “As in most Southern recipes the measurements may need a little “tweaking”, but it is wonderful!”

Here is an old, old Texan stuffing recipe from Kelly Ehlinger: “This is stuffing the way my mother, granny, Jewell, and great-granny, and now myself make it….My granny told me that this is how her grandmother and great grandmother made it all the way back to when they were garrisoned at Fort Stockton, Texas after the Texas war for independence. Any additions or variations cause a tremendous outcry from the family. I made oyster-rice dressing once and was in fear for my life!”

Texas Independence Cornbread Stuffing

  • 2 pans cornbread, 1 white, 1 yellow
  • Pan of day-old biscuits
  • Celery and onions softened just a little in some broth
  • Green onions
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sage
  • Celery salt
  • Poultry seasoning
  • Chopped hard-boiled eggs

“Mush/mix it all together using chicken stock/broth until very moistened, and bake. Get busy making the giblet gravy.”

This Amish recipe calls for an interesting ingredient: chopped, cooked chicken. You could probably use chopped turkey as well; but if you’re using this to stuff your bird, it might result in ‘turkey overload.’

Amish Stuffing

  • 1 loaf bread, diced and toasted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 med. onion, chopped
  • 3 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. sage
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 3/4 c. diced cooked potatoes
  • 2 c. cooked chicken
  • 1/2 c. shredded cooked carrots
  • 3 stems celery

Put eggs in bowl and beat. Add salt, pepper, sage and thyme. Mix. Add 2 cups milk, onion, celery, potatoes, diced chicken and carrots. Add bread crumbs and enough milk to moisten well. Substitute 1 cup chicken broth instead of milk for added flavor. Bake in well greased casserole at 350 degrees. Variation: add 2 cups cooked ham in place of chicken. Also add 1 large pepper, cut in narrow strips.

And for us vegetarians: you can find meat-free bagged stuffing made by Martin’s and Pepperidge Farms. Yay!

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