The Lexingtonienne

November1st

3 Comments

DSC_0010

Hooray, Halloween is OVER. I am always amazed at how much people love Halloween. I’m not into scary stuff or dressing up, and I can buy myself candy anytime I want. So I love moving past Halloween, further into Fall, and onto THANKSGIVING.

DSC_0012

It’s never too early to start thinking about Thanksgiving, you know.

DSC_0014

DSC_0019

My planning starts the year before. I make myself notes — How many sweet potatoes I used. How many bags of corn I bought. Whether more people ate pecan pie or pumpkin. — and email everything to myself so that I might improve my Thanksgiving spread the next year. Every year I find myself thanking my Past Self for her thoughtfulness. I know she was tired and could have plopped down on the couch, said, “Whooo-weee!” and not given it another thought; instead she wrote out a carefully conducted analysis and post-mortem of the Turkey Day meal. This year, I give thanks for my Past Self. She’s always looking out for me.

DSC_0017

DSC_0021

And I am looking out for you. Which is why we’ll spend some time this entire month talking about Thanksgiving (don’t worry, we don’t have to talk about it every day). But this way, whether you’re preparing the entire feast or bringing a potluck dish or two, you can feel prepared. And if you’re just planning to eat whatever everyone else cooked, then you can deepen your appreciation by getting a glimpse into all the work that goes into Thanksgiving.

DSC_0022

DSC_0025

Practice runs are encouraged for anything you haven’t made in the past or are generally unfamiliar with, which is exactly what you’re seeing in this post.

DSC_0028

DSC_0029

DSC_0031

According to Past Self, the dressing (some call it stuffing) fell a little short last year, and she recommended we try a cornbread dressing this year. This one is super basic, pared down even from the Joy of Cooking’s “basic” cornbread stuffing recipe. We may serve a more involved version on Thanksgiving Day, perhaps with some sausage and cranberries thrown in, but first I wanted to find out what sort of canvas I was working with.

DSC_0044

It turned out very basic, as expected and desired, but truly delicious and certainly worthy of any Thanksgiving table as is. Hubba Bubba roasted a chicken to go with it, and managed to pick up our new dresser, move some furniture around, and hang up some shades too. My hero. 😉

DSC_0046

BASIC CORNBREAD DRESSING
Serves 6-8 for a non-Thanksgiving meal and probably 8-10 people for Thanksgiving.

12 cornbread muffins (I prepared mine using 2 boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix) or equivalent
1 onion, finely chopped
3 celery ribs, finely chopped
1/2 stick butter
1/3 C (approx) fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp dried sage (I showed fresh in the photo above but changed my mind and used dried. Easier.)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 eggs
1/2 to 1 C chicken broth, as needed

Cube cornbread or break up into pieces. Toast on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven until lightly browned. Mine took about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and cook until the frothiness from the butter subsides. Add onions and celery and saute about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley, sage, salt, and pepper.

Transfer cornbread pieces to a large bowl and stir in celery mixture until thoroughly combined. Add eggs and chicken broth, mixing thoroughly, until mixture is moist but not wet. Transfer to a greased 9×13 inch pan. You can cover the dish and store it in the fridge for up to a couple of hours, until you are ready to bake it.

Bake uncovered at 350 until the dressing is browned around the edges and the top, about 30 minutes.

Happy November,
Hannah

P.S. Happy Birthday, Ross! (aka Little Brother, aka Poopface in the Comments section). He was born on All Saints Day, and the irony is not lost. I love you, Poopface, and will always remember how happy I was on the day you were born.

3 Comments

  • Comment by Shae — November 2, 2010 @ 11:25 am

    I’m so glad you’re doing this since I’m cooking thanksgiving this year! Let’s talk turkey soon… :)

  • Comment by laser vision — November 6, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    poopface has entered retirement

  • Pingback by My Thanksgiving Schedule - The Lexingtonienne — November 18, 2010 @ 12:34 pm

    […] bread appetizer with cinnamon cream cheese Turkey (Hubba Bubba handles this – hooray!) Cornbread dressing Gravy Mashed potatoes Sweet potato casserole Southern-style green beans Cranberry Jell-O salad* […]

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

RSS