It’s nearly here! The food day of all food days!
Thanksgiving Day is a few days away. Currently, we are expecting 10-12 dinner guests. I could not be more thrilled! I am ever grateful that I will have an abundance of great food and cheer to share with family and friends.
One of our anticipated guests asked if she could bring the “dressing.”
I said yes, which was immediately followed by, “I assume you mean the stuffing?” We had a chuckle over the differentiation between stuffing and dressing. My family always called the bread mixture that was packed into the cavity of the turkey, stuffing. What didn’t fit into the turkey, was added to a baking dish, and even though it was served separately, we still called it stuffing.
My Texas-raised friend didn’t recall a difference between the mixture packed into the turkey or the mixture packed into a baking dish. It was all called dressing. We decided that in the end, it didn’t make a difference, what one calls this bread mixture, it depends on whether you say “y’all” or “you all”.
I guess we know which side of the Mason-Dixon line Google lies! More sleuthing did indeed confirm that mostly it does depend on whether you’re a Northerner or a Southerner which term is used. While it’s an accurate description, It seems southerners think “stuffing” is rather crass, and so the term “dressing” is preferred.
A little secret from this writer.
I love snitching the crunchy pieces of stuffing off the top of the baking dish of stuffing! Yum! Yum!
Generally speaking, Southerners use cornbread and Northerners use white bread.
My mother cubed and dried homemade white bread. Other ingredients vary widely. I use whole wheat bread, onions, celery, Bell’s poultry seasoning (a New England tradition), vegetable broth, and butter.
Basic Bell's Poultry Seasoning Stuffing Side Dish
- Large skillet
- Large mixing bowl
- Paring knife
- Mixing spoon
- 12 Tbs Butter 1 stick
- 2 c (300g) Onion Raw, diced
- 2 c (300g) Celery Raw, diced
- 3 c (675mL) Broth Vegetable or Poultry
- 1 tbsp (15mL) Bell's Poultry Seasoning
- Salt and Pepper "to taste"
- 8 cups Diced, cubed bread Try to use non-white bread as it tends to come out mushy.
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C).Melt 4 Tbs butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced celery to the butter and cook until just beginning to soften. Now add the diced onions, Bell's seasoning, and salt and pepper - cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 mins. Into a large bowl, add 16 slices cubed stale wheat bread. Melt the remaining butter. Pour the melted butter, vegetable broth, and veggies mixture over the cubed bread. Toss together until combined, then let set to allow the bread to absorb the moisture. Toss a couple of more times and allow the moisture to be absorbed in between.Stuff the turkey and bake according to directions. OR transfer to a buttered 3-quart (2.4) (9" x 13") baking dish and dot with more butter. Cover and bake 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until golden, 20 more minutes.Optional: To the first mixture of celery and onions, add ¾ c (115g) cup golden raisins or chopped apples.
- If you don't have stale bread, cube the slices and spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Dry the bread in the oven at 350F (180C) for about 15 min or until dry. Proceed with the rest of the recipe.