“Find that place that’s a bit uncomfortable… then pause and breathe into it” ~ My yoga teacher
In yoga there is a central goal of merging the body and mind and consistently pushing each to a place that is slightly deeper, slightly more aligned, and slightly more purposeful. And, the more I practice yoga the more I am finding myself applying this same philosophy to other areas of my life as well.
This stuffing is the perfect example. Two years ago, our first thanksgiving after mom died, I attempted to make her stuffing. It was a simple stuffing that had only the basics – bread, some veggies, and lots of spices and yet it was a flavor that defined thanksgiving. I always loaded my plate with an unnecessary percentage of stuffing and secretly snuck late night leftovers from the fridge when no one else was looking. (Anyone else enjoy cold leftover stuffing as a midnight snack?)
That first Thanksgiving without mom I knew that I wanted to make stuffing but the result was a complete disaster. I followed what I thought she had always done but the result literally brought me to tears. It’s amazing how just the memory of flavor can remain so strong. That day it was as if I was expecting to drink milk but gulped down orange juice. This fear kept me far away from stuffing the following year. I didn’t know how to make her dish and I wanted nothing to do with it.
After much researching I found THIS great simple stuffing recipe from the Olive Blogger. The advice that she gave me and this resulting dish was AMAZING! This stuffing was simple but packed with spice. The flavors got better overnight and the top layer of crunch was the perfect amount. I think the key differences was that I dried the bread overnight, added some egg, used poultry seasoning (rather than just pantry spices), and threw in some sausage. Everyone has their own favorite stuffing varieties and I’m so glad I can finally say that I do as well.
For many of us the holidays bring up a range of complicated emotions and with this recipe I am reminded that good things can come from leaning in to that uncomfortable place.
- 1 loaf of bread (I used wheat)
- 1 large onion –
- 1 cup of celery
- ½ Tablespoon of poultry seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon Rosemary (dried)
- ½ Tablespoon of thyme
- 1 cup butter (unsalted)
- 8 oz breakfast sausage
- 2 eggs
- 1.5 cups of chicken broth
- Salt and pepper
Steps and Notes:
- 2-3 days ahead of time remove the bread from the package and spread evenly on a baking tray. Rotate/flip the pieces of bread a few times a day to naturally dry out each piece
- then, on the day of serving, start by fully sautéing the sausage in a pan. Remove to a plate with a paper towel and drain the grease.
- Note: Don’t over mix the sausage as it is nice to have chunks in the final dish
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Cut the bread into cubes.
- Chop the celery and onions to your desired size – I like a small-medium sized bite.
- In the pan, sauté the onions and celery in the butter. Then, add the herbs, salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the onions are translucent.
- Note: In the original recipe she notes that you can cover the veggie mixture and place in the fridge overnight if desired.
- Next, add the broth to the veggies and bring to a simmer.
- In a large bowl add the veggies to the bread. Mix well with your hands. Whisk up the egg with the remaining stuck (1/4 cup) and add this to the mixture as well.
- Place the stuffing into a greased glass baking dish and top with a bit of butter cubes.
- Bake covered in tin foil for 45 minutes and then uncovered for an additional 30.
Thoughts for Next Time:
- I was happy to have added the sausage and shout out to the Olive Blogger for her additional tips with this addition
- Next time I’ll continue to experiment with nicer bread but I actually don’t need a fancy stuffing. There is something comforting about a hearty and foolproof variety!