Friday, November 7, 2008

Me Me’s Thanksgiving Dressing

From the Kitchen of Alice's Grandmother, Hazel Long Lackey Cooksey (Me Me) 1906-1991
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

Every year, our family spends 364 days looking forward to eating this dressing. We have oyster fans in our family too, so when we make this for Thanksgiving, we divide the breadcrumb mixture in half and make one half with oysters and we leave the other half "plain." (The oyster variation is at the bottom of this recipe.) To save time, Mother uses her food processor to chop the celery and onions. This recipe makes enough for big room full of thankful family and friends. The bread and cornbread crumbs can be prepared at least a day in advance, so on the big day, all that's needed to do is to shoo the men out of the kitchen, put the dressing together, bake in the oven.

3 batches cornbread, crumbled

2 batches biscuits or bread slices, crumbled

(This should make approximately 20 cups of crumbs. Leave crumbs in a very large bowl on the counter, cover with a towel and allow crumbs to dry.)

After the crumbs are dry, preheat oven to 350° F and add: 

5 large eggs

1 ¼ cups celery, diced

½ cup onion, diced

2 sticks unsalted butter, cut up

1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 Tablespoons fresh sage, minced or 1 teaspoon dried sage

Mix well.
Add stock from turkey (leave enough stock for gravy) and add hot water to moisten the dressing. Me Me used to say, “Make it sloppy.”

Bake for 45 minutes until dressing is slightly brown and is bubbling around the edges.

*Variation: Omit sage and add 1 container (approx. 1 cup) oysters, chopped, along with the oyster liquid to one half of the dressing.

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