Many people boast about the cooking abilities of their mothers. I tend to refer to my mom’s cooking style as “convenience” cooking. Most of the meals that our family ate originated from a can or a box. However she had few recipes that were made from scratch. Those are the ones that my siblings and I talk about and share pictures of on our text thread.
We don’t always remember the recipes in the same light. Meatloaf with scalloped potatoes was a favorite of my dad’s. We were a family of six (on a single income) and mom worked to make a pound of ground beef stretch to feed us. The meat was no less than 70% lean. She used two slices of fresh white bread, and minced her bell peppers. They were shaped into flat patties, and baked with tomato sauce. You will not find this recipe in any renowned cookbook. Still, my brothers and I like meatloaf and scalloped potatoes, together or separately. My sister cannot stand either of them, together or separately.
One recipe we do all hold in high esteem is Mom’s green chili burros. The recipe normally included roast beef that was slow cooked in the backyard charcoal grill by my dad every Sunday. Seasoned with salt, pepper and meat tenderizer, it melted in your mouth. And the leftovers were the base of our undoubtable favorite family meal on Monday night. A roux of a couple of spoonfuls of Crisco and flour to coat the roast beef starts the Green Chili Burros. It may not be a low calorie, but it sure has lots of flavor! My siblings and I continue to try to duplicate the ingredients and the process, but as the saying goes, “Nothing tastes as good as a memory.” And that is true.
Around the holidays, I find it is time to pull out mom’s (or Betty Crocker’s circa 1956) thanksgiving stuffing recipe. Yep, I stuff my bird--even with the food poisoning scare that makes the rounds. (I have gone on to live a good life after eating stuffing pulled from the cavity of a turkey, traveling in a car without seatbelts, riding bikes without a helmet, among other dangerous activities.) Anyway, I would like to share this “key recipe” found on page 337 of the 1956 Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book, revised and enlarged edition.
Bread Stuffing for a 12-lb turkey
First, prepare 12 cups (3 qt) coarse or fine crumbs or cubes, as desired. In a large, heavy skillet, melt 1 cup butter. And ¾ cup finely minced onion and cook until yellow, stirring occasionally. I have always cooked the celery with the onion but my sister says mom’s recipe says to do add celery later…Weird. Stir in some of the bread crumbs. Heat, stirring to prevent excessive browning. Turn into a deep bow. Mix in lightly: 1 ½ cups chopped celery (stalks and leaves), 1 tbsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp sage, thyme, or marjoram (I use sage), poultry seasoning to taste, and remaining bread crumbs.
For dry stuffing, add little or no liquid. For moist stuffing, mix in lightly with fork just enough hot water or broth to moisten dry crumbs. Cool and place stuffing in bird.
2 to 4-day-old bread is best for stuffing. Cut off crusts. Pull in ¼ or ½ crumbs, or cut in cubes.
A 1-lb loaf of bread makes 8 cups loosely packed crumbs or cubes (2 qt).
Plan a cup of stuffing for each pound of ready-to-cook weight.
Make dry or moist stuffing as desired.
Pack stuffing loosely into bird. Packing too tightly makes it heavy and soggy.
If the family has divided tastes about texture and seasoning of stuffing, pack some of each one in body cavity.
Bake extra stuffing separately in a pie pan during last 30-45 min of roasting time.
Baste occasionally with poultry fat.
Stuff the bird just before roasting to avoid possibility of food poisoning. After the meal, remove stuffing from bird, place in separate dish, and refrigerate.
BloomingDaisiesCrafts wishes all of you, our customers, Happy Thanksgiving! May your blessings abound and may you share your day with those that love you best—be it at the same table or from a distance.