Lunchtime poll – the stuffing kerfuffle
November 23rd, 2010
12:45 PM ET
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Excerpt from today's e-mail exchange with Stacia Deshishku, CNN's White House Sr. Supervising Producer: "I am obsessed with the cornbread v. sausage v. oyster stuffing debates!"

You and me both, sister. As so many Americans did, I grew up on Stove Top Stuffing. Then, as probably the vast majority, uh, didn't, because I fancied the flavors so much, I took to making myself little after-school snacks of toasted bread stirred with margarine, a splash of instant bouillon and a sprinkle of Bell's Poultry Seasoning. I fixated on those flavors the 364 non-Thanksgiving days of the year. (There are reasons I've chosen the career path that I have.)

This all goes to say that until I started celebrating Thanksgiving with the families of college pals (Kentucky was a long, expensive schlep for a broke art student in Baltimore), I had no idea that stuffing - or "dressing" if you roll that way - had any sort of regional variations. Who knew you could branch beyond bread, sage, thyme and the usual seasoning suspects and add oysters, andouille sausage, chestnuts, rice, giblets, raisins, White Castle Slyders or even peanuts? For that matter, cornbread was suddenly a viable swap for stale white bread and one could dally with pumpernickel if the mood were right.

Hey – it's a free country, after all. (Unless you're sticking dried cherries in there. That's just nasty.)



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soundoff (169 Responses)
  1. James

    Fresh bread (white, wheat, rye, challah) Bell's Seasonings, 1 stick butter, celery salt, celery, onion, apple (all grated into the mixture raw), cold turkey broth, chestnuts (but only if I feel like it). Stuff, roast, n' eat!

    November 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  2. Bill

    A variety of whole grain dark breads, carrots, celery, mushrooms, onions, leeks, oregano, thyme, sage, eggs, duck stock. Bake 40 min at 3:75, top with a mixture of melted butter and duck fat and bake for another 15.

    November 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  3. Janet

    My stuffing is sour dough bread, artichokes, mushrooms, and black olives with onion & celery and poultry seasoning. Family won't let me try any other recipes

    November 21, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  4. Chelle

    Oh, I forgot to say I use the rest of the broth and turkey drippings to make the gravy.

    November 26, 2010 at 6:27 am |
  5. Catherine B.

    Peppridge Farms herb stuffing cubes, italian sausage, onions, celery, fresh mushrooms, 1 apple diced small or 1 small can apple sauce (to cut the acid of the sausage), garlic, garlic, garlic, turkey broth, eggs. Cook as much as you can in bird, the rest in large casserole, and mix at last minute to get that "in the bird" flavor throughout. Thanksgiving dinner is all about the stuffing!

    November 26, 2010 at 5:15 am |
    • James

      Ah! You're a red bag girl. Personally, I prefer the blue.

      November 21, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  6. honor always

    Not stale bread, but week old bread and mashed potatoes, onion, butter, egg, celery, poultry seasoning, etc. is used by the Pennsylvania Dutch also (and it's the BEST). But it is not called stuffing or dressing; it's called filling!

    November 25, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  7. Redneck chef

    Use beer instead of chicken broth or water.

    November 25, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  8. calgary_canuck

    My future mother-in-law's recipe is made about half and half, stale bread and mashed potatoes. I toss a little more bread in but it's fantastic!!! From what I understand it's a big thing in eastern Canada (maybe in the US too).

    November 25, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  9. Jenni

    No time to read through LOL... making it after typing this. There'd better be some SAGE love in these posts. Grew up in Texas. Cornbread, onions, celery, sage, eggs, and chicken broth/stock. Family made it really wet, packed it down so that you ended up slicing it. These days I crumble it looser and bake it so it's a little dryer, crisper. The rest of the (plain white bread) country is missing out :) Cornbread's where it's AT. I'm thankful for cornbread.

    November 25, 2010 at 10:19 am |
    • IHEG

      Amen to that

      November 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • blessingsenterprises

      I was in my 20s before I even knew there was another kind!

      November 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Ashley

      Exactly how we do it!

      November 21, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  10. McBrooklyn

    2 bags or Arnold's Herbed stuffing, onions, celery, and a pound of Jimmy Dean's Spicy sausage.

    November 25, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  11. Dapps

    Instant stuffing/dressing is terrible, compared to almost any homemade. While we also like a sausage and mushroom stuffing, the recipe below is an "old county" favorite from my great-grandmother:

    3 loaves bread, 4 onions, 4 stalks celery, a dozen eggs: boil the neck/heart/gizzard for stock, saute the liver and chop finely, saute the onions and celery until tender, add the eggs/liver to the bread/onioins/celery, mix very well with the stock as needed to make it the bread fall apart (should be moist throughout but not with puddles) and cook inside or out as you like. Makes 4 quarts.

    This takes time and effort, but the reward is worth it.

    November 25, 2010 at 9:41 am |
    • Dapps

      Don't forget herbs to taste; we use parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

      November 25, 2010 at 9:47 am |
  12. Liutgard

    Bread cubes, onion, celery, pecans, mushrooms, golden raisins, cranberries, sage, rosemary, thyme, flat-leaf parsley, and a dash of mace. Moistened with broth, and stuffed into the turkey. Of course, the trick is getting all of that into the turkey!

    November 25, 2010 at 1:41 am |
  13. Brian

    We use bacon in our stuffing / dressing. My wife is allergic to both onions and sausage, and none of us likes oysters.

    November 25, 2010 at 12:50 am |
  14. LDS

    Sauted green pepper, celery and onion; browned Bob Evans sausage with sage; stale white bread crumbs; chicken bouillon cube dissolved in ~1 cup water; parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (hehe... but seriously)... mix & bake til crunchy on the top!

    November 25, 2010 at 12:35 am |
  15. alb

    We have to have celery, mushrooms and craisins with the Pepperidge Farms stuffing mix, otherwise it isn't Thanksgiving!

    November 24, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  16. Yvonne

    Bacon, mild sausage, celery, onion, frsh rosemary and thyme and some chicken broth along with the stuffing cubes. Try it- you'll love it!

    November 24, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
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