Dressing, aka stuffing, is both personal and emotional.
Because it embodies place, race, family tradition, memories and more.
The best I can find out, the term stuffing didn’t fit the decorum of the Victorian upper class, so they started calling it dressing. Today, it depends on where you live or from where you originally hailed whether you call it dressing, stuffing or filling. It will always be dressing to me. Is that okay?
If you are from the eastern/northern/southern coast regions of the United States, you most likely like oysters or other types of seafood in your dressing. Maybe rice or bread is the base you prefer to use.
From the South/Midwest, you might use cornbread or a mixture of stale bread – even leftover biscuits – and cornbread as your main ingredients, plus lots of sage.
Italians bring their love of sausage to the “dressing table.”
Germans stuff potatoes in just about everything, and that includes their holiday stuffing.
Norwegians may use apples, almonds, and cinnamon to spruce up their bread dressing.
Every culture that ever settled in the United States has a different version of dressing. Combinations seem to be endless.
Most people make dressing just like dear ‘ol mom or grandmother or Aunt So and So. No two people seem to agree on what makes the perfect dressing. Many interesting family feuds have started over these differences-of-stuffing opinions at holiday time.
I remember cooking a Thanksgiving meal solely with my former sister-in-law. Now, we were in our early twenties and very polite to one another. However, we had a bit of a stare-off when it came to making the dressing early that morning. She was from New Orleans, and no way, naw suh, was she going to have stuffing without oysters. And as sure as I was standing there with my stubborn Southern roots, we were not making dressing without cornbread and sage!
We compromised by dumping in everything we both had to have, and you know, it was quite delicious! Different . . . but tasty! Later, we sipped lime Kool-Aid laced with a touch of vodka and complimented ourselves.
Yeah. Kool-Aid. we were that young and naïve.
One thing most of us can agree on is that we love our dressing sitting proud beside *or inside* the turkey, chicken or Cornish hens at Thanksgiving and Christmastime. It’s comforting. It’s delicious. It’s traditional.
Vive la dressing!
My personal recipe for dressing is in the Chuckwagons and Campfires section of my blog. It has cornbread, sage sausage, black olives, celery . . .
Feel free to wander around my website. It's guaranteed non-toxic.
If you like Sassy, Danger and Mystery, you'll love my any-age novels. Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT and Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: CANYON OF DOOM are available at your nearest Barnes & Noble Bookseller, on this website, Amazon, B&N.com and more. For your convenience, it’s also available on Kindle, the Nook and most other eBook readers.
Book Three of the Silki trilogy, VALLEY OF SHADOWS, launches fall 2016. Here's a quick synopsis:
Bummed that yet another summer has passed all too quickly, Silki and her best friend Birdie head out for one last hurrah at the Navajo Nation Fair. When the fun is overshadowed by the theft of a famous horse, Silki is plunged into a baffling adventure teeming with international undercurrents and intrigue. What’s more, boy-crazy Birdie is fluttering her eyelashes at Silki’s good-looking, visiting cousin at every turn, and Rez legend Old Man Concho is coughing up secrets dating back to 1942. What possible connection could he have to the Japanese tourists, and will Silki discover an ancient truth about the Valley of Shadows in time to save Lava, the leader of the Ghost Herd, as well as salvage her own broken heart?
Meet my CANYON OF DOOM AND VALLEY OF SHADOWS illustrator, the Drawing Hands.
Jodi Lea Stewart was born in Texas and grew up in Apache County on a cattle ranch near Concho, Arizona. She left the University of Arizona in Tucson to move to San Francisco, where she learned about peace, love and exactly what she didn't want to do with her life. Since then, Jodi graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Business Management, raised two children, worked as an electro-mechanical drafter, penned humor columns for a college periodical, wrote regional western articles and served as managing editor of a Fortune company newsletter. She currently resides in Texas and New Mexico with her husband, two Standard poodles, two rescue cats and numerous gigantic, bossy houseplants. SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT is Jodi's debut novel and Book One of the Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves trilogy. CANYON OF DOOM came next, and VALLEY OF SHADOWS hits the shelves summer of 2016, completing this exciting and fun adventure-mystery set in the Navajo Nation. Next on the horizon? A historical mystery novel set in the 1930s told through the eyes of a sharecropper's daughter.