Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Knocking The Stuffing Outta Dressing

First let me say thank you for the prayers for my sweet Grayzilla. She's at home resting with her mama and daddy. She woke up once to tell the Amazon thank you for being such a good mommy and taking such good care of her. She is such a remarkable little girl! Can you tell I adore her?

Now...where was I? Oh yeah!

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

tending to business
There are certain things I expect to be on the dinner table Christmas Eve. For some the star may be the ham or turkey...for me it's the dressing. There are also certain things if it's your turn to cook that I don't want jacked with and that would be the dressing. Don't go all fancy/schmancy on me and start adding things. I don't want oysters, no parsley-sage-rosemary-and-thyme folderol (although I'll get back to sage in just a sec), or anything exotic. The only punching up good dressing needs is giblet gravy and then only a splash...if it's good dressing. I don't know about the rest of the country, but where I come from it's cornbread dressing. Stuffing is the verb for the activity that comes when it's ready to eat....i.e.: "I'm stuffing it in as fast as I can so's I can go get seconds afore it's all gone!". I don't hold with stuffing the South Pole end of a bird with my hands...'course it does make a pretty picture...nor does the idea of eating out of the S.P. end hold any sway over me either, but to each their own. Live and let live I always say, BUT if you ever got a taste of my dressing...I bet a dollar to a donut, I could turn you into a cornbread convert in a New York minute!
I don't talk about my cooking skills very often 'cause frankly I don't have any, but there are four...no wait...make that five things my family asks for. One is whipped potatoes (psst...think Pet milk); two, banana split cake (not the kind with a graham cracker crust); three, deviled eggs (first thing we learn to make down here at the Texas Pole); four, Texas chocolate sheet cake ( legendary and required learning for every Texas girl) and five...my dressing. These are the things I'm asked to bring every time there is a big family gathering and I happily oblige...proud that they even ask.

I've told the girls I'd be happy to share my secret ingredients, but so far....no takers. I'll tell y'all though 'cause I know you're so good at keeping secrets.

All good little Southern girls know the main ingredient is good cornbread, but that's not what makes the difference. What makes all the difference (in my sage opinion) is excellent sage. Never...ever...never be chinchy on the sage, either in price or in the amount you use. Most recipes will call for a tablespoon or two and to that I say hogwash! Might as well go ahead and stuff it in the S.P end 'cause I ain't gonna eat it. People...I want mine green there's so much sage and from the looks of the empty pan after a meal...the family agrees! No boiled eggs...no celery...just plenty of onion, black pepper and sage! Notice I didn't say salt? There's a reason for that too.
I never add salt. Because we always have a ham, I use good, canned chicken stock diluted with water plus a little secret BAM. Depending on the amount of water added, I throw 2-3 Wyler's chicken bouillon cubes into the boiling broth. Somehow, someway this adds just the right amount of saltiness to the dressing and kicks the chicken-y taste up front where it ought to be. Mix it all up and man alive...the smell from the kitchen is heaven on earth.

I know the great debate of dressing vs. stuffing will continue as long as there are kitchens and aprons, but from where I'll be sitting come this Friday evening long about 5PM...there just ain't no contest....

Dressing wins with a one, two punch!
Just so all you stuffing lovers out there don't stop liking me...here's a little dressing you will love me for!

(Photo courtesy of FotoFabulous. Can you believe that name...perfect! I'm telling y'all...I can't make this stuff up!)
Nine reindeer name games

Eight ways to Sunday

Seven secret Santas

This chick a-crafting

These mem-OH-ries

For-ever young

Three generations

Two naughty lists

And a snow-clad lady at W&T's

20 comments:

sissie said...

I with you on the dressing cause that's what I call it too. I don't use cornbread but I do use seasoned bread, celery onions and chicken broth
and of course, sage!

Love your darlings pictures....so sweet and cute.

hugs and Merry Christmas.

Sissie

Margo said...

I love me some cornbread dressing too. I'm gonna try your no salt, bullion instead this year. If it stinks, I'll send em your way. :)
I'm always afraid of not enough vs too much sage. Guess there is no such thing as too much...
so I'll let you know how it turns out.

Have a great one,
Margo

The Texas Woman said...

Here's a thought: Use the seasoning package (or two, depending) that comes with chicken Roman Noodles. It makes rice a real tasty treat for only 15 cents. Throw the noodles away. No, wait. Use the noodles in the next couple of days to make that really good Roman Noodle Cabbage Salad. Dern, I'm getting hungry again!

Malisa said...

I would love to try that dressing...what time should I be there Saturday? I totally agree on the cornbread only dressing! I put jalapenos in my dressing along with some other secret ingredients,but never ever giblets or eggs!

That little Bella is the belle of the ball in her Christmas dress!

MALisa

VINTAGE HOME lifestyle said...

I'm with you...cornbread dressing is the best! Your little angels are just beautiful.
Have a wonderful holiday...
ox
Cahtleen

Pam @ Frippery said...

Debbie, I was away a day and missed the tonsillectomy! Grayzilla is sooo beautiful!(not to mention the oh so bella Bella) I am glad all is well. But I hope she gets to sample your dressing on Christmas! To us it has always been dressing...with sage...but not always cornbread. This Christmas we are changing up from ham although I am making a couple of ham steaks because my brother might fall over from withdrawal.(Easter is ALWAYS ham.) My kids have never been ham fans so this year pork loin with cranberry sauce and CORNBread dressing. Gosh I can't tell you how I love sharing these holidays from afar with you. We are soooo alike I can't fathom how we never met except through this wondrous blog world! Happy Merry Lovely Christmas and Mucho Grande Hugs, Pam

Dar said...

First, the darling angeleyes of the Loves...precious.
Dressing here too way up north. We make a giblet bread dressing with chicken stock, celery, onion, sage and more sage. I have had the Cornbread Dressing very similar to yours in my TX sisters kitchen, and I haveta tellya, I'm converted.
Very Good Eats.
BlessYourHearts and MerryChristmas

Anne Lorys - Fiona and Twig said...

Your dressing sounds out of this world amazing!

Give those grandbabies a hug from me. :-)

Merry Christmas to you and CD!

Anne

Daphne Nicole & Lynda Cade said...

So glad to hear that the surgery went well, and Gracie is back home! Now about that cornbread dressings... it sounds wonderful.
Merry Christmas to all~~ Daphne

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

I'm with you on the dressing except just one thing...no sage please (now don't go hatin on me for saying that), but I do agree with the rest! I'll take a piece of pie now please! So glad Gracie is doing good and Ms. Bella, well they are both so pretty!

FILIGREE MOON said...

Beautiful grands!!! So glad Graycie is home and doing well. And for your recipe...perfect!!! ~ Angela

Deb said...

oh my gosh you are my kinda gal...only cornbread dressing for us also...and the sage well it better be good...cause without you don't have dressing...

Peridots Garden Blog said...

Oh my gosh...a woman after my own heart...you cook just like me! What time is dinner?

My Maw Maw had a Texas chocolate sheet cake and girl it was to die for...your mouth actually hurt after eatin' it but boy that didn't keep me from goin' back for more!

Such beautiful grandbabies! So glad the prayers worked...let the healing begin!

Thank for sharing...you make me smile and often!

Sandy

FRENCH LAUNDRY said...

Darling, you can call it stuffing or dressing...as long as you make it and I eat it, we are good! Hope you and your beautiful family have a wonderful Christmas. And when I make my "stuffing", trust me, I'll be thinking of you!

Merry Christmas my friend,
Judy

sharron said...

Yes maammm..... Dressing all the way!!!
Now I am hungry darn it!!! :)
May you and the shugar plums have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh yea!........Paula Dean lookout! That Dressing sounds wonderful!
Love....prayers and well wishes to Graycie.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Bountiful Blessings Always.................grace

Prior said...

What beautiful fab fotos...and I like my dressing same as you, but I do add the celery, lol! You are right on about the things us Texas gals learn to cook up! Have a very very Merry Christmas!
Lezlee

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

You absolutely hands down have the most gorgeous grandchildren! Those eyes! Beautiful! So glad she is feeling better...

My mother's dressing I yearn for...every year...I can't make it like she did and I don't have her recipe...heck, I don't think she had a recipe...it was in her head! But it sounds a WHOLE LOT like yours...and began with good cornbread! I will be writing down your recipe!

Thank you Debbie, and I hope you have a Wonderful Christmas!

Lou Cinda

Chateau Chic Boutique said...

Hi Debbie,
Thanks so much for commenting on my blog. This recipe sounds delicious! I love cornbread anyway so it sounds good to me! I also love the fact that there aren't any onions or celery. BUT, I do call it stuffing, ha-ha!
Have a blessed Christmas and New Year! Sounds like your little Graycie is in good hands.
Missy

Debra@Common Ground said...

Oh Honey, Texas Sheet Cake! I've been makin' it for years, it was my Daddy's favorite! For a midwestern girl, I'm really a southerner at heart!
LOVE. love. love ya!
Have a wonderful Christmas!
Debra