The Sister’s Dressing

Dressing or stuffing?  Cornbread or white bread?  Whatever version you make, that fluffy, starchy, sagey, carby mix that compliments turkey so perfectly is a staple at holiday tables.  In Texas, it’s dressing that graces our spread.  But I married a man from Upper Penninsula Michigan (so far north that he says “eh?”), and they hold strong to actually stuffing the bird.

Like so many of my other recipes and traditions, my dressing comes from a long line of Texas women…that never wrote anything down.  Thankfully, my Mom sat down with several of the sisters before they passed away and accumulated at least a basic recipe.  And after lots of phone calls with my Mimi this week, I think we’ve got a pretty accurate version.

As far as I know, this recipe originated with my Great, Great Granny Prestridge in Franklin, Texas.  While I do have a handful of memories in her kitchen sitting on an old Costco chair, most of what I know of her is from stories and other people’s memories. I wish I’d have known her more, but I do like to think both of my Grannies spirits live on in my kitchen.

As the story goes, My Granny Vera and her sisters perfected Granny Prestridge’s version. Cornbread, white bread and Aunt Doris’ addition of Saltine crackers make this a unique and glorious tradition at our house.

So if you’re looking for a new approach to an old favorite, here’s our version.  Happiest Thanksgiving!  And may dressing or stuffing be the most controversial topic at your table.

  • 5 boxes of Jiffy cornbread
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 2/3 c milk
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 12 green onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 sleeve Saltine crackers
  • 10 slices of white bread (left out overnight or dried in the oven)
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 6 well beaten eggs
  • 40 oz chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • Large roasting pan

1. Prepare your Jiffy cornbread per the directions on the box.  I don’t know about you but I don’t have a commercial kitchen with any bowl big enough to mix it all at once, so I split it up 3 and 2 and cook it in two 9×13 glass dishes.

2.  While that cooks, sauté your green onions and celery in the 1/2 cup of butter until they’re soft, and the celery is translucent. If you’re making giblet gravy set aside about 1/4 cup of the sautéed veggies.

3.  In another large bowl, mix soups, eggs and seasonings.

4.  In a large roasting pan (I use disposable), crumble your white bread, crackers and cornbread.

5.  Mix your soup mixture into the breads.  Add in the veggies, and chicken broth.

6.  In my Mimi’s words, it will be soupy.  With the lid on the roasting pan or covered tightly with foil, bake at 400 for 50 minutes.

7.  Uncover and continue to cook for about 20 more minutes, or until set.  According to the sisters, and I quote, “Bake until it’s soft in the middle, puffy on the outside and brown around the edges.”

I take a very scientific approach to test for doneness….a bite right out of the middle. I figure I can cover that spot up with gravy or some well placed parsley for garnish anyway.

Speaking of gravy, my Mimi’s Giblet Gravy….while not essential to the success of this dressing, it is definitely a complimentary addition.

And!  Did I mention that this stuffing makes a phenomenal leftover sandwich?!?  Honestly, I almost like it better than the original meal….toasted bread, mayonnaise, turkey, dressing and Jalapeño (or Regular) Cranberry Sauce.  Honey hush.

Here’s those links one more time: Mimi’s Giblet Gravy & Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce

Happiest Thanksgiving!!!

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