Friday, November 21, 2008

Good Stuffing

Stuffing is one of the symbols of Thanksgiving. The big bird is nothing without it anyway. There are several different ways to make It.We found that my grandfather's Swabian recipe, from Southern Germany is the best. He got it form his parents who were new to these shores but quick to incorporate it into American holidays.

Stuffing meats have been around since Roman times when even the occasional mouse was stuffed(my cats would love this! Meow!) The English have been preparing it since the 1600's as well as the French who first called it farce or stuffed meat. Stuffing or dressing got a renaissance in 1972 when Ruth Siems,a home economist was able to take breadcrumbs and flavorings and package them in a boxed mix called Stovetop Stuffing. Stuffing went from a once or biannual dish to something that could be made on a weekly basis.

What makes a good stuffing? The bread you put into it. Challah or any egg bread is the best but you can also add rye or pumpernickel for chewiness and more intense flavor.Some add chestnuts or sausage as well for body and flavor. Germans like to use sage in their dressing. This is what I grew up on and it is a wonderful flavor. My family recipe also includes sauteed celery and egg. This last almost makes for a cakelike stuffing that can be cut into squares. It's also easy to reheat int he microwave too.

Stuffing is what makes Thanksgiving hum. Even if you don't like turkey or yams, you;re sure to like stuffing. Who doesn't after all?

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