Not Quite a Recipe: Cornbread and Biscuit Dressing

Photo from lanascooking.com
Photo from lanascooking.com

I wanted this to be a recipe but realized I don’t have any quantities, so this is more a description of a recipe, or a memory.  My mother made the best cornbread dressing ever.  She did not believe in stuffing a turkey or chicken, feeling that the stuffing took much longer to cook and that it was unlikely to get done and be safe to eat.  I know a lot of people are fond of stuffing, but not my family!  So the way we always had it was baked separately in a pan, after the turkey was done and was resting.

Here’s what I recall went in it:

1 skillet cornbread (homemade), crumbled

1 pan biscuits (either homemade or canned), crumbled

1 or 2 onions

celery

boiled eggs, chopped, I think about 4

salt

pepper

poultry seasoning

sage (just a little, she did not like too strong a sage flavor)

some juice from the cooked bird to stick it all together and make it soft

maybe a little bacon grease or melted butter to give flavor (margarine, in those days)

All this was mixed up in a huge bowl.  Then she spread it on a baking sheet with sides or another roasting pan, and baked it in the oven, I think at 350 degrees, until browned. 

Mother also made gravy to pour over it, from the pan drippings, the giblets and neck (which she sauteed and chopped), more onion, celery, butter, salt and pepper.

I was always pleased when we had chicken and dressing, and the dressing was my favorite part of Thanksgiving.  We always ate it until we felt sick the next day, because Mother insisted on throwing out the leftover dressing after Friday.  She thought it wasn’t safe to keep because of the eggs.

So I’m remembering my mother, and wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!  I’m grateful for my family, my friends, my cat and all my other blessings.

A Beautiful Day

Here we are on Black Friday, having survived the feasting and football of Thanksgiving Day.  I’m not participating in the shopping frenzy this year.  I can’t stand crowds and pushing, and my gift-giving this year is limited.  So I have a radical proposal:  Let’s all just enjoy a beautiful day, especially if you don’t have to work today.

The sky is blue.  The last of the leaves are still clinging to the trees, golden, orange, red and brown.  Ignore the Christmas decorations and stay away from retail stores with jarring music and radio stations playing endless Christmas carols.

It’s still autumn.  It’s not too cold in most of the country.  Take a walk in your neighborhood or a park and relish the last of fall.  Eat leftover turkey and dressing — I love dressing, and this is the only time of year I have it.  DON’T WATCH CHRISTMAS SPECIALS.  If you spot a wild turkey, tell it it’s lucky to be on the loose.  Try to figure out which birds are still here and if your favorites have migrated.  I’ve been looking for the mockingbirds, and I think they have gone south.

Watch old movies with family and friends.  Play silly games with family and friends.  Stroke your cat, pet your dog, hug anyone you feel like.  Let’s give autumn one more day before the holiday madness begins.  Forget about Black Friday!