Happy Thanksgiving to all y'all! I'm thankful today for family, friends and health and for all you folks who read my books, my blog and visit my website.
I'm one of those cooks who couldn't possibly tell anyone how to make my famous baked beans or many other recipes because I cook by taste and by smell just like my grandmother did. And one thanksgiving back in 1967 that got me into big trouble.
In 1966 I married Mr. B and the first year of our marriage we lived in south central Pennsylvania. In those days a Tex/Okie did not need a passport to travel to that foreign land but when Thanksgiving rolled around that year, I questioned the fact. I was in a foreign land where they did not make cornbread dressing. They'd never heard of sage and didn't even put it in their sausage when they butchered hogs after the first freeze.
When in Rome! I ate their stuffing and it wasn't bad but it was not cornbread dressing.
The next year, 1967, we'd moved to Oklahoma for Mr. B to go to college and Thanksgiving came around. I was as happy as a new born piglet in a hog wallow. And then Mama said she was making a sugar cured ham and there would be no dressing.
My world crashed! No dressing. Could a southern girl survive two years in a row without the proper Thanksgiving dinner?
Only one thing to do! I would make chicken and dressing. I'd watched Mama for years and it didn't look so difficult. So I made the cornbread and the biscuits, sautéed the celery and onions, and everything was looking real good.
Back up here. When I went to the grocery store to buy sage those big bottles that hold about a cup was on sale so I bought one of those rather than a little two ounce bottle.
Now move forward. Dressing has everything but the chicken broth and the sage. I added the broth and it looked a little too moist. Mama's dressing wasn't runny; it was just the right texture. So I crumbled two more biscuits and another two cups of cornbread. Then it was time for the sage. Mama always measured out a little in her hand so I did that and smelled it. No way was I tasting it with raw eggs in it. I didn't want to go talk to the feller on the other side of the Pearly Gates the day after Thanksgiving and admit I'd poisoned myself with raw eggs.
It didn't smell like Mama's dressing so I added a little more sage. Still not quite right so I poured quite a bit into the palm of my hand and threw it into the mix. Stuck my nose down close to it and it still didn't smell like Mama's. So I dumped all of what was left in the bottle into the bowl. Now it smelled like Mama's.
We could have shingled the house with what came out of the oven but the bio-hazard folks would have probably put the whole family in prison for having it on the property. It smelled wonderful and taste...
Well, Poppa took it out to the hog lot and they hugged the fence on the far side of the pen until he took it away. It wouldn't burn so he buried it in the back yard. Grass never grew again in that spot.
Several years ago I found a wonderful crock pot dressing recipe and that's what I make now. And I measure every single ingredient down to the grains of salt!