Sunday, November 22, 2009

Keeping my fingers crossed....

I have not acquitted myself well in my past two years of dressing-making at Thanksgiving dinner. Wait, no.... Make that three years.

1) Three years ago, my dressing tasted okay, but it came out of the baking dish crumbly instead of in the slab-like texture preferred by my family.

2) Two years ago, I used a Martha Stewart recipe, and let me just say that if there's a bullet that could bring down Martha Stewart Omnimedia like a fragile clay pigeon tracked by a high-powered rifle with a scope, that dressing recipe could do it. In a word, hoooouuuurrrrrppp. If that's a word. Maybe it's more of a sound. Only splashier. With chunks.

3) Last year, the recipe wasn't so bad, but the texture was terrible, still with the crumbly instead of the slabby. But worse, it was wet. Wet and smooshy, like something Gollum would serve at Thanksgiving dinner.

It's been a critical disappointment, because a plate of turkey and dressing is really all I want at Thanksgiving. We have mashed potatoes often because my husband is terrible partial to them and potatoes are cheap. We have green bean casserole for Sunday dinner several times a year; sweet potatoes are okay, and corn pudding I could never eat again. I am not a fan of dinner rolls, and I keep myself away from the pies because of my blood sugar. The only other Thanksgiving food I really pine for is the multi-layered Jell-O salad my aunt always brings. I adore Jell-O.

I'm not sure why it's been such a hard thing to get right. I mean, bread crumbs. Onion. Celery, sage, salt, broth, a couple of eggs... What's so hard about that? If you want to get really fancy, you throw in some dried cranberries and some walnuts. I've heard of people using sausage, too. So WHY CAN'T I GET IT RIGHT?!

Pat and Angie have been making fabulous turkeys for the past few years, and I think turkeys are much harder than dressing. Pat says it's easy, though. His fail-proof recipe is to roast it (in a bag? I think one of those bags is involved), using more butter than you ever thought possible, some salt and pepper and one can of Sprite poured into the cavity.

Maybe I should use a can of Sprite on my dressing instead of broth? Hmm.

Well. Anyway, I do have a recipe. In fact, I have two: One for cornbread dressing and the other for sage & onion dressing. I don't want to post either one for fear that they'll turn out awful and that I'll be exposed to the ridicule of the seventeen people who read this blog, most of whom are related to me.

I went to the store today and bought all my ingredients, which totaled something utterly ridiculous like $34.17. Until Thursday, then. Pray for me.


Amy said...

I'm no help. I've never cooked Thanksgiving dinner. I did ask Mike's grandmother for her stuffing recipe once. Brown some sausage, make some Stove Top, mix it together. LOL! Good luck!

Shauna said...

The year after my grandpa remarried we had Christmas dinner with his wife's family at their house. One of my grandpa's wife's kids made the dressing with FISH in it. It was awful. AWFUL.

We never ate the dressing there again.

I usually make mine from a box because I haven't figured out the stuffing-a-bird part yet. Maybe next year. :)

Sharon said...

$34.17?! HOW? I am impressed. I have spent WAY more than that, and I thought I was pretty savings-savvy.

I bought the oven bags, too. Never used them, but then again, I have never made anything for Thanksgiving other than the green bean casserole. I am nervous but hopeful it will all turn out well!

Sprtie? Hmm. I have heard of that, It makes sense. Maybe I'll try it.

Shelley said...

Sharon, the $34.17 is just for the dressing. Arrrghhh. Not the turkey or the green beans or the dinner rolls or anything. Just the dressing. CRAZY.

Shauna, dressing with FISH in it sounds a thousand million times better than anything I've done for the past three years. I feel a bit better.

Amy, remember the email you sent me with your grandma's recipe? Well, that's the one I'm using. Shhh. Don't tell!