Thursday, November 19, 2015

Countdown to Thanksgiving, Day 8: Stuffed...

Roomie: They can keep the turkey, but it's not Thanksgiving without stuffing!
Poll: Your Thanksgiving table would be incomplete without...
Comment: ..."prefer cornbread stuffing with sweet basil..."
Comment: ..."my mom's sausage stuffing,..."
Comment: ..."I may try oyster stuffing..."
Comment: ..."my grandmother's cornbread dressing with apples, pecans, pimientos, spring onions, boiled eggs...can't go without!"
Comment: ..."cornbread dressing... I remember my mama saving bread scraps for weeks and drying it out to make dressing."
Comment: ..."oysters rockefeller stuffing..."
Comment: ..."bread stuffing..."
Comment: ..."my mom does the cornbread stuffing..."

Today we delve into the stuffing (or dressing) for a Thanksgiving favorite. 
To start, most folks taking the poll were commenting on cornbread stuffing. I went looking through the historic cookbooks and didn't find a recipe calling specifically for cornbread or any of the not politically correct titles used in the 19th century. Lest anyone think Great-Granny's recipe was slighted, the type of bread to be used was often not specified. We'll all of us with a family tradition of cornbread stuffing assume Great-Granny had an excess of stale cornbread. ;-p

The trend for stuffing this year seems to be herbs, apples, sausage, and different breads as a base.
Apple Walnut Stuffing from

In The Presbyterian Cookbook, the Presbyterian ladies of Dayton Ohio shared stuffing recipes with apples, potatoes, herbs along side traditional chestnuts and oysters.

From: The Presbyterian Cookbook, by the First Presbyterian Church of Dayton Ohio, 1873
Potato Stuffing.
Mrs. J. Harris.
Take two-thirds bread and one-third boiled potatoes grated, butter the size of an egg, pepper, salt, one egg and a little ground sage. Mix thoroughly.

Apple Stuffing.
Take half a pound of the pulp of tart apples, which have been baked or scalded; add two ounces of bread crumbs, some powdered sage, a finely shred onion; and season well with cayenne pepper. This is a delicious stuffing for roast geese, ducks, &c.

Chestnut Stuffing.
Boil the chestnuts and shell them; then blanch them and boil until soft; mash them fine and mix with a little sweet cream, some bread crumbs, pepper and salt. Excellent for roast turkey.

Turkey Dressed with Oysters.
Mrs. W. A. B.
For a ten-pound turkey, take two pints of bread crumbs; half a teacupful of butter cut in bits (not melted); one teaspoonful of sweet basil, pepper and salt, and mix thoroughly. Rub the turkey well, inside and out, with salt and pepper; then fill with first a spoonful of crumbs, then a few well drained oysters, using half a can for the turkey. Strain the oyster liquor and use to baste the turkey. Cook the giblets in the pan and chop fine in the gravy. A fowl of this size will require three hours cooking in a moderate oven.

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