Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Mama Mia’s Stuffing
In 1992, I spent my first Thanksgiving with someone other than my family of origin. Toad and I traveled to visit her sister and her sister’s partner. We had to drive through a raging blizzard to get there, and a trip that usually takes about 8 hours took us about twice that long. The first time I met this particular sister was when toad and I were standing in the kitchen at 2 a.m., trying to get the microwave to work so we could have some dinner. You don't realize how loud those beeps are until you're wrestling with someone else's microwave oven in the still of the night.

This is the stuffing that they made for that Thanksgiving, and it’s the one that I’ve made ever since then, whenever I have reason to make stuffing. It become veg pretty easily (I just drop the sausage, liver, and heart, and use no-chicken broth). I don’t actually stuff the turkey with it, but only because I’ve never cooked the turkey—the first year we had it, part was stuffed into the bird, part was cooked alongside.

Thanksgiving 2003 was the first that I didn’t spend with toad. I didn’t cook, and I’m not cooking this year, either, so it will be a while before I make this again. Maybe I’ll make it for Christmas dinner.

6 links sweet Italian sausage, out of casings and crumbled
Turkey liver and heart, diced
2 large onions, chopped fine
½ bunch celery with leaves, chopped fine
10-12 parsley sprigs, chopped fine
1 loaf stuffing bread, stale, no crusts
1 pkg stuffing cubes (for 7-pound bird)
¼ lb. pine nuts
1-2 cups chicken stock
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. basil

In large skillet, sauté meats in 1 stick butter, and a little bit of oil. Add vegis and spices, and sauté until soft (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat to add bread and stuffing mix. Keep light and fluffy. Fold in pine nuts.

Add stock gradually, then eggs.

Cook in buttered casserole for one hour.

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