I love my mother’s stuffing just about more than anything. It says “home” to me in a way that no other food does.
Turkey and stuffing has always been my favorite meal, and when I was a child, we had it three times a year _ Thanksgiving, Christmas and my birthday. If I visit my mother around my birthday now, she still makes turkey. Or, like this year, if I visit her near her birthday, which is also close to Christmas, we’ll have turkey. It’s the special meal that marks our family gatherings.
I know there are a lot of fancy recipes for stuffing that involve gourmet bread, dried fruit and wild rice. I don’t want that. When I go home, I want the carb-laden, made-from-overly-processed-white-bread stuffing that would give my doctor a heart attack if he knew what I was eating. I figure, it’s a couple of times a year at most that I eat this, so why not feed my soul?
I made my own turkey recently because we had one in the refrigerator that we needed to eat. G. gets two turkeys each year, one from a client at Thanksgiving and one from his employer at Christmas. But the Christmas turkey comes soon after Thanksgiving, so we can easily end up with two birds in the freezer. When we received a recent note about the Thanksgiving bird’s impending arrival, I decided we needed to quickly roast last year’s Christmas foul. I did that a week or two ago. To keep the freezer relatively clear, we plan to give our Thanksgiving turkey to G.’s mom, who usually hosts that holiday. Then I will make this year’s Christmas bird sometime around Christmas _ or at least, plan to. That was the plan last year too, but then I was changing jobs and moving and gardening and . . . it’s always something.
You would think that I would know my mom’s stuffing recipe by heart now, but I don’t. I have to call her every time I make it to check on how much milk, celery, onion and sage to include. I’m posting my notes from this year so that I will have them available next time, although in truth, I don’t think she minds the calls.
My Mom’s Stuffing
1 loaf of cheap, white sandwich bread, broken into pieces
1 cup celery, chopped (about 4 stalks)
2/3 cup onion, chopped (1 small onion, or half of a really big one)
1/2 cup mashed potatoes (I use the fake ones, or you can microwave and mash a small potato)
dried sage (a lot)
1 egg beaten
Break the bread into pieces in a big bowl.
Saute the celery and onion in a bit of butter just until the onion starts to turn translucent. Add the vegetables to the bread.
Add the potato, egg, dried parsley and sage. Mash it all together with your hands. Add just enough milk to make the stuffing moist, but not wet. Mash it some more. Add more milk if needed.
If you need to, and you probably will, add more sage. You should be able to smell the sage.
Stuff the turkey and roast it as directed for your oven.