So long ago that the recipe cannot be googled (I know, I just tried), back in the day when the SF Chron and Examiner actually shared a Sunday edition, I found a recipe for a stuffing that has been "my" stuffing recipe since about--trying to guess here--1985. I have long since lost the official recipe, but let me tell you that this stuffing contains: bread, bacon, mushrooms, slivered, toasted almonds, parsley, sage, thyme, onion, celery, bacon fat, butter, butter, butter, and homemade turkey broth.
In more days of yore, we used to actually stuff the turkey, but since that became outlawed, we don't. We add a bit more broth and it has become a dressing, not a stuffing. And it is, without a doubt, delicious, even when I managed to screw it up. Once, I got my herbs wrong and put in rosemary, that strong, piney taste that somehow worked. I've added too little fat--all the bread clunking off the plate--and I've browned it too long (a little burnage). Still, the stuffing is gone by the end of the day or by the next day. It has since become by stepdaughters' favorite stuffing (when they don't come for the actual day to eat, they request doggie bags for a meal they didn't consume here). My sons request it, as does my mother. Only my husband is not wildly fond of it, though my ex-husband talks about it with some regret. Often, I've thought, he truly misses the stuffing more than anything else about our marriage.
Today, I've already assembled the stuffing, and it waits for its time in the oven. I'm soon to move on to bigger, more difficult tasks (the turkey itself), but it's the stuffing that tells me it's Thanksgiving. It's the dish that has brought people together more than anything. It's become the topic of conversation. It's something that is known about my family and me--this is our stuffing. You come here, and you get it. It has become the stuffing of at least a couple of other families who have had it, the stuffing now connecting us all.
So so most say it's a turkey that marks the day, but for me and mine, it's this stuffing. With a lot of gravy. And everything else. And each other, too, of course.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org