It would not be Thanksgiving at our house without the usual basics. The recipes may change, but heaven help the cook if any of the standbys are left out!
This year, we are isolating with two WWOOF'ers (willing worker on organic farms), who moved in with us in August and September, after each first quarantined in the tipi. It feels a bit weird to be planning a meal for a small group instead of the usual 12 or so; the recipe and turkey sizes will be proportionately smaller, planned to insure plenty of leftovers!
One of our housemates asked her mom to send their family's traditional favorite recipe for stuffing. I've made lots of different stuffing recipes over the years, but never "stuffing balls!" Can't wait to try them....
(my comments in parenthesis)
Ingredients (Hannah's grandma had 8 kids, and this was jotted down when most of the family congregated with their own kids, etc. Hannah says it was not unusual for 30 people to show up, and they would make double this recipe, or more. She says most people eat two stuffing balls each, so technically this recipe serves 14.... adjust according to your own needs)
Bread-4 loaves, broken into chunky pieces, roughly 1 in; do this several days in advance to let them dry out. Or bake in the oven at a low temperature. We use different kinds of bread, but all the same is fine too. And my grandpa liked them with some raisin bread in there.
Onions- 4 large yellow
Celery- 2 bunches + 4 stalks; celery + onions should be about 12 cups total when cooked
Butter- 3/4lb + more for on top
Savory and Sage leaves- (the daughter interpreting the mom interpreting the grandma defines the measurement here as "lots;" for the sake of a starting point, I'm going to assume 2Tbs fresh savory and 1/2 cup fresh sage leaves)
Broth- About 1 cup per loaf of bread, but it really depends on the kind of bread being used. It could be more or less. Original recipe uses chicken broth. (Hannah is a vegetarian so we will use veggie broth this year. Her mom made specific notes about what she and grandma use. If it were up to me I would use a rich turkey broth made the night before with the giblets....)
Simmer onions in butter until tender, then add celery, cook for several mins.
Season with savory and sage leaf (lots!)
Form them into baseball size balls and place in a casserole dish.
Bake for 30-40mins at 325, don't let them get too dry.
Notice the letterpress paper used to jot down the recipe back in 1999. Hannah's mom owns Full Circle Press. She began to learn how to operate a letterpress machine from her father at the age of 14, and it became her life's work.