THE stuffing

Four (?) Thanksgivings ago, I was assigned stuffing for the Morser potluck housewarming/Thanksgiving. I found two recipes for the occasion that looked promising, one with a cornbread base and one with a lot of sausage. I was leaning towards the corn bread one but sadly could find no cornbread, or corn bread mix, in this great land. And so, half by accident, I stumbled into the Greatest Stuffing Recipe in the World.

It was the darling of Thanksgiving 2005, and has made star turns at each subsequent Thanksgiving – Canadian or otherwise. I’m not allowed to bring any other to stuffing-mandatory meals. But why would I want to? It’s perfect.

Instead of reprinting the recipe, I’m just going to direct you to it. And give you the wisdom of my experience.

  • Good sausage is critical. This is the first year I’ve found Italian sausage, as the recipe calls for, but each time I’ve used a different, well-spiced sausage (or variety of sausages). I’d avoid ones that include leek or apple since the recipe already calls for a lot of both.
  • The epicurious reviewers are divided on the matter of poultry spice. I’ve used it and not used it, and can’t tell much difference. Today I used creole seasoning instead, we’ll see how that goes.
  • That’s right, I said today, Christmas eve. Make the stuffing a day ahead and let it hang out in the fridge unbaked. Add the eggs and liquid just before baking.
  • The recipe says to add the apples/leeks/celery etc to the sausage. I say no; add the sausage to the mix while it’s still over a medium-low flame. Same with the bread and the rest of the ingredients. Keep stirring until all the bread looks like it’s absorbed the stuffing goodness, then turn off the flame and let it cool before refrigerating.
  • I became convinced of that last tip the year I accidentally left the whole thing on the stove for an hour+ while I thought it was cooling. Oops. But the stuffing was amazing that year. A bit too mushy maybe, but great. Which is another thing: the recipe is very forgiving. I screw up at least one part every year and it’s always fantastic.
  • If you cook it outside the bird, make sure it’s well moistened before baking. I’ve never actually stuffed it into anything (other than my mouth), would love to try it one year when I’m in charge of stuffing and bird.

And that’s it. Go forth and enjoy.



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