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Archive for November, 2015

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of my family recipes, but, since I had a friend recently ask me for a copy of my turkey stuffing recipe, I figured I might as well share it here too.  That way he can just get it this way … and I can pay homage to the generations before me that stuffed and roasted a turkey this way.  I don’t know how far back it went, but I know that my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother all made turkey stuffing the same way.  I imagine that it went further back than that, but that’s as far as I know for sure.

 

My only issue with providing this recipe is trying to create it in writing so that someone else can follow it.  I tried very hard to measure what I do; however, since I do it with my hands by feel and by measuring it “until it looks right” … like my maternal ancestors did … it is as exact as I could make it.  I used to watch my mother do it when I was little, but I never really knew precisely what to do until I was newly married to my first husband.  We had moved to the Chicago area and were unable to go “home” to California for Thanksgiving.  This was way before the internet and texting and email … and back when telephone calls across country cost an arm and a leg, so I wrote her a letter (you know about those, I hope … you know … with paper and a pen) and asked her how to make the stuffing.  She wrote back a wonderful long letter where even she said she had trouble trying to come up with exactly what she did, but I could follow it because I understand her terms and her measurements.  People outside of our family probably won’t.  I kept that letter for years until it disappeared in one of my moves.  I wish I still had it.  It’s full of history.

 

Anyway, I wrote what I do on 3 X 5 index cards a while back and I still use those to remind me of certain things to do.  I can’t just type it as I wrote it, though, because most people won’t know what I mean by a “glug” of this, a “handful” of that, “count to 3 while you pour” or “pour till it seems right”.  I somewhat measured this year when I made my Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing so that I could give it to him as well as put it in my blog.  I was so busy though, pictures never were taken … but … suffice it to say that everyone raved over my 22 ¼ pound turkey and stuffing.  Maybe next time I do it, I’ll remember to take a picture … or … better yet … I’ll get Roy to take pictures … and I’ll attach it to this post.  I generally can’t take pictures, because I cook with my hands so I’m generally too messy to be fooling around with a camera.  Besides … Roy absolutely loves my turkey stuffing … so I’ll put him in charge next time.

 

So … after that long and involved “story” … here to follow is “Big Gramma’s Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing”.  Is it fattening?  Of course it is, but isn’t good old-fashioned tasty food generally fattening?  As long as any food is eaten in moderation, it’s all good … unless there is a health issue that prevents certain things from being eaten.  Just know that this is good old-fashioned American comfort food at its best.  I’ll just end with this … if something doesn’t make sense in my recipe, feel free to ask in the comments.  I’ll answer as best I can.  It really is fairly easy and isn’t as hard as it may first look.  That’s why I like it so much … because it is so easy … and tasty.

 

*~*~*

 

Big Gramma’s Corn Bread and Sausage Stuffing

Ingredients

  • 1 batch of cornbread
  • 1 turkey
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 3 sticks of butter
  • 1 lb of pork sausage
  • 2 heaping tbsp baking powder
  • 2-3 large eggs or 3-4 medium eggs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sage
  • 1 clean rag/cloth (not of towel/terry cloth material) that you won’t want after the fact as it will be thrown out

Instructions

  1. Make a large pan of cornbread (the dish I use is 10 X 10) a day or two (up to about a week) early and leave out to get dry/stale.
  2. The day before you’ll be roasting the turkey, remove the gizzard, liver, heart, neck, etc from the turkey, rinse the turkey cavities well, and boil the innards.
  3. Put the turkey into a covered roasting pan and put it in the refrigerator until the next day.
  4. Boil the innards for several hours until they are well cooked.
  5. Drain the water and remove the scum. If you want to use the innards, chop up whatever is wanted and then either discard the remainder or give it to the dog and/or cat. (Personally, I only use the meat that’s on the neck and then feed the remainder to our dog.)
  6. Add water to cover the meat (including whatever innards you may like).
  7. Add celery tops (with leaves) from one bunch of celery (save the remainder of the celery bunch for later), a bunch of parsley, 1 tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and 1 tsp sage to the water and meat items.
  8. Simmer until very tender.
  9. Reserve all of the liquid and celery/parsley/meat mixture.
  10. Chop up the remainder of the celery as well as the two onions.
  11. Sauté the onions and celery in a stick of butter until tender and transparent.
  12. In a large bowl or stock pot, break up cornbread into bite size chunks.
  13. Add 1 lb of uncooked bulk pork sausage to the cornbread.
  14. Add 2 heaping tbsp of baking powder, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and 1-2 tbsp sage to the cornbread.
  15. Whip 2-3 large eggs or 3-4 medium eggs with a fork until yellow and slightly foamy.
  16. Add the eggs, sautéed onions/celery mixture, and celery tops/parsley/meat mixture to the broken up cornbread.
  17. Mix together lightly so that it’s well blended but still in somewhat of a chunky form. I use my hands so that it doesn’t get too broken up and mealy but is blended well.
  18. Moisten with water from boiling the innards/celery tops/parsley but don’t pour in too much. You want it to stick together but not have it too gummy.
  19. The leftover fluids from boiling the innards/celery tops/parsley should be poured into the roasting pan as basting juices for the turkey during its roasting time.
  20. About 10 minutes before you put the turkey in the oven, preheat it to 450.
  21. Just before stuffing the body and neck cavity, use your hands and rub salt & pepper inside.
  22. Stuff the body and neck cavity lightly. Don’t pack it too tightly or the turkey will split while baking.
  23. Sew or skewer the turkey body and neck cavity closed.
  24. Put the remainder of the stuffing that you mixed up into a casserole dish and bake it for about an hour. Baste some of the turkey drippings into it either as it cooks, after it cooks, or both.
  25. Rub a stick of butter on the skin and legs of the turkey.
  26. Melt a stick of butter and saturate an old clean rag with the butter.
  27. Cover the turkey with the cloth.
  28. Put the turkey pan on the rack in the oven and close the oven door.
  29. Immediately turn the oven down to 350 (or 325 for larger turkeys).
  30. Baste the turkey off and on throughout the baking time right over the cloth as it roasts.
  31. When the turkey is done, remove the roasting pan from the oven.
  32. Remove the cloth very carefully so as not to peel off the skin. It’s easiest to dampen the cloth with basting juices as you slowly and gently pull back on the cloth to release it from the turkey.
  33. You will have a golden brown turkey.
  34. Let the turkey rest for at least 1 hour before carving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is a 2nd marriage for both Roy and me.  I’ve mentioned that before, but it’s still amazing to both of us.  Neither of us wanted another marriage for different reasons, but when it happened for us, it just was right.  Period.

So on this day 8 years after we got married, 12 years after meeting face-to-face, and 13 years after meeting randomly online, I offer this to my husband.

  
He’s always there for me and has continually proved it in not only the best of times but also the worst. 

I love you, Roy.  Happy anniversary.

💞

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Glenn B Crowley

I miss you, Daddy.  On this Veterans Day, I miss you more than ever.  

  

I always admired the strength you showed to pull yourself out of the life you were born into to give us a better life.  I wish I’d known more about that life and your WW2 service, but I know you never wanted to talk much about it.  I understood to only listen to whatever you had to say about your military service and not ask questions.  The same thing was true about your life during the Depression.  I know you were a very proud veteran of the US Navy during WW2, and you did everything in your power to give your wife and 2 little girls a great life.  Here, 23 years after you died while my mom (your loving and devoted wife), my sister, and I were all by your side, I miss you still. 

  

I miss you.  I will until I get to see you again. 

  

You are forever a part of who I am. 

  

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My oldest son is 33 today.  He was born at 5:15 am (Pacific Time) on 11.7.1982.  (See the picture above?  That’s me 33 years ago when I was bringing him home from the hospital.).  I’m not quite sure how he could possibly BE that age, since, when I think about how old I feel, I don’t feel like I could have a child that age, but since he was born when I was 28, I suppose that I can’t deny it. When I walk past the mirror and look at the reflection staring back at me, I understand my age, but, truthfully, how I feel within is no different than when I was 23 … 33 … 43 … 53 … and so on.  My mother used to tell me the same thing, but I never really understood it until I got older.   I understand now, Mom.
 

 

Anyway, my oldest son and I have … hmmm … how do I describe it … ok let’s try this: a difficult relationship.  I won’t go into it any further than that.  I’ll just state that I love him without question and unconditionally, because he is my son.  I am constantly amazed by the things he knows and can do, but I don’t always understand his life view.  That’s ok though.  I don’t have to understand, as it is HIS life to live and HIS view to have.  I wish him health and happiness on this birthday of his and his journey in life, and I know that he wishes me the same.

  

He can make me crazy at times and so angry that I say and do things I shouldn’t … and then in the next breath, he can make me laugh till I have tears running down my face.  No matter what, however, I love him.  I started his journey with him, and I did what I thought was best when raising him, even if I made mistakes along the road (which we all of course do).  I know that he is also doing his best at living his own life … and that’s all anyone can do.

 

Happy birthday, Logan!  Roy and I love you. 

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