Stuffing (Hold the Bird)

Just in the nick of time.

Stuffing (original recipe ingredients):

1 1/2 cups soft bread cubes
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped parsley (what? I don't think I've used this for years. yikes)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup of chicken broth &/or wine (recipe says white, but I think I have been using red lately. really, just what's available and decent. don't use really cheap stuff. it'll ruin the stuffing.)
several cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon each oregano and basil
2 tablespoons butter
olive oil


Here's what really happens.

I at least double all of the above ingredients. Sometimes even more than double.

And I usually get all OCD and decide I have to make the bread cubes myself.

Sometimes I buy them in bags, but they have to be good bread cubes.

I think Pepperidge Farms has come through at times, but it can be tricky. The nicest thing is to cube day-oldish (artisan, sourdough, something with a life) bread and put it in a skillet with olive oil (sort of a lot) and toss it around for awhile until it is fairly crisp and olive-oily. Here is another tricky part: don't eat it all. Don't let anyone else eat it all. Threaten them with wooden spoons if necessary.

Okay, so you have some bread cubes (you could plan ahead for this).

In skillet: heat butter (here, I add olive oil, also) add onion & garlic & cook until almost lightly browned. Add mushrooms and cook 'til soft-ish (but not too long). Add olives. Add parsley (if you want. I don't think I have for years) and bread cubes. Toss it all around well, but gently. Then add basil and oregano (usually more basil than oregano, I think) and toss gently some more. Then you add, carefully spreading it around and not on anything that's too hot, so that it doesn't congeal and look like fried egg, the egg mix. Toss it.

At some point (maybe even around the time of mushrooms and olives), I add wine. Starting with a little (maybe a quarter of a cup) and then adding whatever is necessary. It seems like some years the bread soaks it up and needs a few cups (never more than two but maybe a little bit more; it depends) and some years it just barely needs any.

The thing is that you don't want it to be mushy but you don't want it to be dry.

So you just mess around with this and taste it some along the way and when it's done put it in a covered casserole (or uncovered, if it's a bit on the too-moist side) and let it sit quietly in the oven for maybe 20 minutes to a half hour. At 350 degrees. I think.

Goes without saying that you don't stuff the bird, these days. (I just put carrots and onions and garlic cloves and maybe some celery and a few sprigs of herbs in where the stuffing used to go. And maybe half a meyer lemon goes in, too, because they grow in the front yard.)

If the stuffing's done done early in the day, pop it in the fridge and then cook it just before dinner.

Gobble gobble.

A Moment of Adoration: BibliOdyssey Presents Fuggerorum et Fuggerarum

Yes. I am supposed to be getting ready for Thanksgiving and that doesn't include being on my tiny laptop posting illustrious Augsburgians, but I. Can't. Help. Myself.

I have the coolest little sister, and we spent a good bit of time in Augsburg (along with my marvelous parents) when we were younger. So, when I saw these guys (above) pop up this morning (BiblioOdyssey is, truly, one of the greatest blogs in the entire Milky Way) I had to stop and send them to her (yep, I am supposed to be sending Thanksgiving recipes ... so I send random ancient portraits of people with ruffs and wimples ... let's pretend that's unusual for me).

Well, anyway, I have some recipes to jot down and about a few thousand books to move (or there won't be anywhere to eat at the Thanksgiving table).

The brilliant Peacay has linked to a wonderful article which ran in the WSJ a few months back. It was another of my all-time favorites: a bit about how the family Fugger hasn't raised the rent in a village since 1520. Seriously.

Tinda Binda Alte Kinder: I love you. Truly and always. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and I swear to God I am going to go write those recipes down. Now.