Growing up, Thanksgiving always held a special place in my heart. Although we should be thankful day after day, at least there is one day that reminds us that we are to give thanks in all we do! I am thankful for many things, but above all I am thankful to God for giving me life and purpose.
When it came to the November holiday, I knew what to look forward to year after year. My family would go to my Grandmothers house. We would have turkey, never dry, always super moist. The turkey was stuffed with her famous cornbread stuffing. My grandmother would create a fruit salad that was sprinkled with walnuts; I loved that. There would be clouds of mashed potatoes and little carrot balls with butter and parsley.
Thanksgiving meant pies…pies, pies and more pies!! Even though there was only a few of us, there would be a pumpkin pie, a chocolate mousse pie, a cheesecake with cherry topping and many times a mincemeat pie. (I never ate that though!)
Once I moved away to college and away from home, I missed the familiarity of foods like these. I remember the first time I baked a turkey. I was proud of my big bird. I “gave it a bath” and the “massaged” it in the kitchen sink. I basted every hour, just like I saw my grandmother do. But not knowing that her stuffing was “special” I just chose a box of Stove Top stuffing to serve with the turkey. Oh how wrong that was!
The following year, I asked my mom for the recipe. She really didn’t know how to make it and told me to call my grandmother. Of course, grandmothers don’t really have “recipes” they just make great food! She told me that in her stuffing she puts cornbread, biscuits, bread, butter, celery, and onions. Oh okay! For several years, this combination had me stumped. How much of each thing did I need and at what point do I add it? After time, I have found the combination that taste buds remember.
My grandmother died a few Novembers ago and preparing this special stuffing makes me fondly remember her every time. This is my submission to Meeta’s Monthly Mingle – Traditional Feasts. Everyone will be sharing foods and stories about their traditional holiday feasts, so don’t forget to stop by What’s For Lunch Honey to mingle!
- Cornbread (13x9 dish), made ahead
- Biscuits (about 2 dozen), made ahead
- 2 medium onions, minced
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 bunch of celery, minced
- ½ cup of butter
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 6 cups of chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
- Salt and pepper
- Crumble cornbread and tear apart the biscuits. Allow bread to dry a bit (bake at 300F for about 20 minutes if necessary). In a large saucepan, heat butter and olive oil and sauté onion, garlic, and celery. Add thyme, then broth. Place bread in a 13x9 baking dish and pour broth over bread. Stir carefully to combine. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.
Serve with Thanksgiving dinner!