Thanksgiving…Again. ALREADY???

Who are you and what have you done with my year?  It sure doesn’t seem like a year since I tried turducken for the first time.

So I have a loaf’s worth of bread cubes drying in the oven for my favorite dressing recipe ever…My mom’s. *insert heart shape here*

There is a 15 pound bird thawing in water in the kitchen sink.

There is chopped celery and an onion in the fridge. Now while that may not seem like a really big deal to you? It is to me. I went to the grocery store last night to snag a bird and the rest of the fixins, and there was not one stalk of celery to be had at the local Food Lion. WTH?  NO CELERY? Two days before Thanksgiving?  UNHEARD of.

I went off to work this morning with that nagging thought in the back of my mind. I even DREAMED about it. Who would have thought that some tasteless zero-calorie veggie wannabe would consume that much of my brain, anyway?

I called home and told Johnny I’d stop at the IGA since it’s right down the way from the hospital. You know, that way he wouldn’t have to go out if he didn’t want to. (Do y’all remember what happened the last time I thought I’d save Johnny a trip to the store?) Fortunately, nothing hit the ground (well, except for the loaf of bread I dropped, but it was going to be cubes, anyway), but what should have been a ten minute excursion took well over thirty minutes.

Note to self: AVOID THE GROCERY STORE ON THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING!!!!  You would think I’d remember that little detail.  I forgot the injectable marinade I wanted to put into the turkey, but you know what? Too bad. I’ll stick butter under the skin or something…I am so not going back out there.

So the good news is that I’m going to share said recipe with you. While you may not be able to use it this year, you might save it and try it at Christmas or even next year…

Mom’s Turkey Day Dressing

Ingredients:
1 loaf dry bread cubes, cut two days before (or the day before and placed in the oven on “warm” until dried);

1 small onion (diced)
2 or 3 stalks celery (diced)
1/2 stick butter/margarine
1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning
Turkey giblets & neck

Process:
Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.

Cook giblets, covered completely in water, until done, about 20 minutes. Chop and stir into the bread cubes.

Melt butter, cook celery and onion over medium-low heat until tender. Stir into the bowl of bread cubes. Add poultry seasoning.

Stir in broth from giblets, slowly, until stuffing is moist/wet, but not soggy. 

Transfer mix to a large baking dish (or two small ones) and place in oven with turkey about 45 minutes before the turkey is done. Cook, covered, 30 minutes, then lid off for the final 15 minutes.

Serve with gravy. YUMMMMM!

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So what do y’all think about Black Friday shopping starting so early tomorrow? I think it sucks for the employees. I do 99.9% of my holiday shopping online anymore, anyhow, so these seriously EARLY bird specials and door busters don’t really apply to me (never have, as I avoid retail outlets like the plague during the holidays), but I feel REALLY badly for the people that have to rearrange their family traditions so that they can go to work. As you know, I work at a hospital, and I know that people are going to be working tomorrow. It’s a fact of life that hospitals never close. Neither do police or fire departments. They really don’t have a choice, but retail outlets?

C’mon!  Have we, as a country, been reduced to such a level of commercialism and greed? I know it’s good to have a job, but the holiday season is hard enough on retail employees without taking away their last day of peace before the big C. *sigh*

Ok, I have to go flip the bird, if you will.

To all of my loyal readers, I wish you a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving.

Until next time…..

Muffaletta, Turducken, and Thanksgiving…

A tweet from my sister:     GoHybridMmmm. Muffaletta Pizza. Yum. Off to have dinner.

My response:    @GoHybrid What the hell is a muffaletta, and is it in season? Is that like Turducken?

I didn’t know what the hell a Turducken was, either, until Jan spelled it out for me.

It’s a turkey, stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken.

Don’t believe me?  Check out this link:  It’s from Food Network, and it’s Paula Dean’s Recipe and you KNOW Paula Dean isn’t lying…anyone that loves butter  THAT much can’t lie. I know this.  I LOVE butter. I don’t lie.  And, no, your butt doesn’t look big in those jeans.  Not a bit. 😉

**Shifting Gears**

So the holidays are coming.  Woot.  Yes, that was, in fact, a serious lack of enthusiasm on the part of me.   Remember, Halloween should be a federal holiday and IS, since you asked, my personal favorite holiday.

Thanksgiving? Meh.  The bird is good…Well, now, anyway.

I remember when I was a teenager living back in California, I petitioned my mother to make a ham for Thanksgiving, as I was not a huge turkey fan. In my teenaged mind, turkey was just a fat, bloated chicken, and ham was ever so much better.  She declined my request for ham.  I told her I was going to boycott the bird. She still declined.  I threatened to eat a freaking PB&J sandwich for Thanksgiving dinner, because, after all, why bother to put that much effort into cooking a bloated chicken if a quarter and most important part (in my mind) of the family was not going to eat it, anyway?  Do you know that she STILL denied my request?  So I went to work. I made posters, one of which was lettered, “The Peanut Butter & Jelly Brigade.”  (Gawd, I thought I was a hundred and ten pounds of pure wit, back then….)  We would be making plans for the holiday, and I would throw out there how cranberry sauce would go well with PB&J, because it’s a JELLY, but sweet potatoes? Not so much.  I carried on for weeks…And ended up sucking it up and eating the bloated chicken, anyway.

When I cooked my own Thanksgiving dinner, my then-husband was NOT going to deal well with a Thanksgiving PB&J, so I ran the whole ham idea past him. I was 19, what did I know about tradition?  All I knew was that I wasn’t going to cook a turkey, ESPECIALLY since those Jenny-O or Butterball or whomever’s commercials about, “Oh, it’s her first turkey. It’s going to be dry” were so popular back then (and please know that I looked for those videos and just could not find them).  When presented with the choice between PB&J and Ham…Well, you do the math.  What’s so pitiful was that it sure didn’t seem like Thanksgiving without the turkey. Damn those traditions, anyway…

I wish you and your families all the blessings you deserve, and then some. (And if you are a really rotten person, I hope you get more than your share of blessings…You probably need them.)

Oh, and for those of you dying to know what a Muffaletta Pizza is:

@JuliesMusings “A white pizza crust topped with muffaletta (a coarsley chopped mix of black and green olives with carrots, garlic, herbs and olive oil), provolone cheese, salami, canadian bacon, red onions and banana peppers.”

Thank you, Sis, for clearing that up, and now I simply must find a recipe! 😉