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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Leah's Thanksgiving Dressing



This is a moist, heavy dressing that my mother made (without fail) every Thanksgiving.  I love it even more than turkey, rolls, AND pie (and that's saying a lot).  It's a simple recipe without any exotic or unusual ingredients - and my family and I enjoy it with a LOT of (jellied) cranberry sauce.  I'm missing Mom this year - it's the first year without her.   Any holiday is just not the same without her here to enjoy it with us.  




Mom was always diligent about cubing her bread and letting it set out to dry for a few weeks before Thanksgiving.  Now you can pick up bags of dry cubed bread at most bakeries - but it's fun to do it anyway.  I buy the cheapest bread out there - it really doesn't matter.  But I make sure that half of it is wheat bread - which gives it a better flavor and color than all white bread.  Mom saved her scraps and "heels" of bread for her dressing.  

Here it is in all it's simplicity:

1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 cup water (reconstitute bouillon cubes in this amount)
1 pound loaf of bread, cubed
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup melted butter
1 Tbs poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Additional chicken broth

*This dressing is better if you cube the bread at least 1-2 weeks before, to allow it to air-dry.

Brown onion and celery in melted butter.  



Place bouillon cubes in water and microwave until combined.

Combine all seasonings in a small bowl and mix lightly.  Sprinkle over the dried bread cubes in a large bowl.  Toss to distribute seasonings evenly.  Set aside.



Combine bouillon/water mixture with onion/celery/butter mixture - then distribute over seasoned bread.



If baking alone (and not stuffed in a turkey) - place in a buttered casserole dish or dripper pan.  Add a small amount of liquid (additional chicken broth) to compensate and moisten the mixture.  



Cover and bake at 300-325° for about 1 hour.  Uncover near the end of cooking to allow the dressing to "brown". 



My daughter Aryn made sure we had "kids" tables...

The kids had fun "checking off" all they had eaten.

The best we could do as far as photos before everyone enjoyed eating.
No... we aren't a "magazine-worthy" family - but we eat well!

Aryn outdid herself with these beautiful centerpieces.



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