Saturday, January 01, 2011

Start of a happier, healthier year

Welcome to 2011. Pry open those bleary eyes, pour a cup of coffee or chocolate or hot soup, and see if you can remember what I blogged about one month ago. Drawing a blank? Okay, here’s a hint.


My husband is eating healthier these days, and he’s ruled out the delicious, fat-and-pork-sausage filled stuffing he’s made for years. The recipes he came across this year failed to excite us. He did fix one for Thanksgiving and it was edible, but nothing to blog about (in a favorable fashion, anyway).

So I put out the call for recipes. And you responded – if your name is Linda. She asked me not to use her last name, so I won’t.

Fortunately, Linda’s response really covered the bases, so I’m sharing it with you. It’s a family recipe based on sage and bread, and stuffs a 26-36 pound turkey. You can cut down on the ingredients for a smaller turkey.

My husband planned to try it for Christmas using some variations, such as substituting commercial cubed stuffing for bread. However, our niece and nephew turned out to be gluten-intolerant, so my sister-in-law made a gluten-free stuffing instead.

Here’s the recipe, in Linda’s words, lightly edited:

Rub the turkey cavity with a little salt.
Get out a very large bowl.
Take 1 large loaf sliced white bread - I get the big sandwich loaf. A whole wheat would do just as well but a rye wouldn't squish. Tear it into hunks about two inches or so; don't measure. At five in the morning, I just rip it all up fast.
Dump the following on top of the bread:
About half a cup of water. Damp but not soggy so the bread will squish.
Add 1 egg, sprinkle 1 tbsp sage, 1/2 tsp black pepper.
Peel, core and chunk 1 big apple and 1 med onion (I food process the onion) and add to bowl.
Add 1-2 cups of raisins. Some in the family add chopped nuts, chopped water chestnuts, chopped celery, cooked giblets, chopped apple pears, etc.
Now squish it all together with your hands. Really squish it to work the sage and apple and onion through the whole works. If it doesn't squish, add a little more water or another egg. If it's soggy, add more bread.
Pack the stuffing into the turkey. Merry Christmas!

Jackie’s note: For safety reasons, never stuff the turkey the night before. Also, make sure the inside of the turkey including the stuffing is thoroughly cooked, because there’s raw egg in there.

We’ll be trying this next Thanksgiving. Thanks, Linda! And a wonderful New Year to all my readers.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Crystal Clear

Perhaps it's the time of year and the soul-searching it always seems to bring. Perhaps it's just me being contemplative for the sake of being contemplative. But, either way, I find myself thinking of ways I can be better in the new year...

A better mom.
A better significant other.
A better friend.
A better writer.

Because I want to be better. Not better than you. Not better than someone in another room. Just better than I've ever been.

Thoughts are starting to swirl for each and every area, special things that'll let my kids know (even more) how much I love them, creative ways to let my friends know how much I treasure them, goals I want to achieve in my writing, etc.

That said, I'm still open for ideas. Particularly surrounding #2. And since all of us love romance, I can't imagine there'd be a better place to set up a few chairs and invite a little brainstorming on this particular topic.

So here's my question for all of you...

What are some creative ways to let your sweetie know how much he means to you?