Feature Writer Karen Crowder – Making My First Turkey Stuffing

In November of 1990, Marshall and I were newlyweds and it was our first Thanksgiving together. The excitement of the holiday season was in the air. Living in our own home made it extra special, yet I did not know how to prepare stuffing or how long to cook a turkey.

I leafed through the Braille copy of “Our New England Cookery” and found that they had some good stuffing recipes and directions on how long to cook a16 pound turkey. On Thanksgiving Eve, Marshall guided me step by step through making sausage potato stuffing. I was amazed that the preparation took over an hour and we both hoped it would turn out well.

That Thanksgiving morning, our neighbor helped me stuff the turkey and once again Marshall guided me in seasoning the outside of the bird, adding a mixture of butter and seasonings. As the turkey and stuffing cooked, I prepared side dishes of mashed potatoes and butternut squash.

We ate our meal by mid afternoon, all the while with Marshall lovingly complimenting me about how good it was. I agreed and we laughed about the overcooked turkey. Luckily the delicious stuffing and side dishes masked this mistake.

As my Thanksgiving gift to Ziegler readers, here is the revised recipe for Sausage and Potato Stuffing.

Sausage and Potato Stuffing

Ingredients:
One package whole mushrooms
Two medium onions
Four cloves garlic
One stick celery (optional)
One carrot (optional)
One and a half sticks butter
3 potatoes
One package Jimmy dean sausage patties
Bell poultry seasoning
Sage, garlic powder, salt, tarragon (to taste and optional)
One and a half loaves day old bread
One quarter cup water
One egg,

Directions:

In a large 10-12 inch skillet, melt one stick of butter. Break up mushrooms, mince onion, cloves of garlic, and celery and carrot. Cook vegetables on low heat for 25 minutes. While they are cooking, heat water for potatoes and process bread, onion, and seasonings in food processor. Empty them in to a large mixing bowl, adding water and egg. Cut up potatoes and add to boiling water–cook for 25 minutes. As they are cooking, add cooled vegetable mixture to mixing bowl.

Drain and mash potatoes, adding the one half stick of butter and one half cup milk and a pinch of salt. Let them cool, then add to vegetable bread mixture. Fry sausage patties, letting them drain on paper towel-lined plate. Break them in to small pieces and mix them with stuffing. Pour stuffing into frying pan, letting it cook for 5-7 minutes. This gives stuffing more sausage flavor. Put stuffing into two large containers, cover and let refrigerate overnight.

If you stuff the turkey, make sure every trace of it is removed after the meal. You can use the carcass and some left-over turkey for soup the next day. Any stuffing which is left over can be used in a turkey casserole or for leftovers.

I hope this stuffing becomes a family tradition as it has in our family for years.

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