Turkey Dressing: A Family Legacy

Etching of Tom Turkey, Hen and Chicks.FOOD

Yes, food is a lovely and delicious thing.  Not only essential, but a strong element in developing and maintaining a family’s legacy.   Jeff Anderson writes:

“Food is much more than our body’s fuel; it is an integral and sacred part of human culture that unites families and transcends generations. Many families strengthen their bond and maintain their identity by passing on recipes from generation to generation.”

For full article see <http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/preserve-your-familys-living-legacy-12-12-12/>

There seems to be one recipe that stays alive for me – it’s DRESSING.  No, not the tasty liquid stuff you put on top of green leaves, but the one made in a pan with turkey drippings.

As far as I know, the recipe has been handed down word of mouth for at least 3 generations.  The ingredients are simple but how much to use of them contributes to the legacy.  I don’t think they’ve ever been measured and recorded.  Here’s an attempt:

  • 1 round skillet of cornbread (cooked ’til brown in a cast iron pan)
  • bread pieces torn in little pieces (some hotdog buns for good flavor)
  • turkey drippings (a lot)
  • 1-2 onions (I think white ones are best, Vidalias aren’t strong enough)
  • 2-5 stalks celery (crispy fresh stalks are preferable to old, wilty variety)
  • 1-4 eggs, raw

Tear up all the bread and mix together.  Blend (meaning: whiz in a blender until you can’t tell what it is) the onion and celery with the turkey drippings (from a turkey that’s been cooking for about 8 hours in a low oven inside a foiled sealed roasting pan).  Add the blended-up liquidy mixture to the bread – and this is important – mix with your fingers.  Add enough turkey drippings/broth to moisten all the bread sufficiently so it has the consistency of partially congealed jello.  Add eggs and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir it all up (again, make sure to use your fingers).   Bake for about 40-50 minutes in a 350F oven until it starts to brown on top.

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One comment on “Turkey Dressing: A Family Legacy

  1. Grandpa Charles told me to add LOTS of fresh-ground pepper. Also, if the dressing is too runny, you can add grits to thicken it to the right consistency. We’re into a fourth generation – my granddaughters fight over who gets to squish up the breads to mix into the turkey drippings. I had five of them with their fingers in it this year – very
    messy but very cute.

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