Thanksgiving is upon us! Where has 2017 flown?
The wonderful thing about Thanksgiving, as most people will tell you, is the scrumptious food–some of which I only get to eat once a year on Thanksgiving. Today I’m sharing one of those “once a year” recipes. Not that it couldn’t be eaten on any other day. But I find it a little labor intensive and with my working and writing schedule, it’s something I undertake only on Thanksgiving: Big Mama’s Old Fashioned Cornbread Dressing.
Big Mama is what I (and all my dad’s family) called my grandmother. My grandfather was Big Daddy (of course I hadn’t read Tennessee Williams when they were alive) and I grew up right next door to them.
Big Mama’s cornbread dressing is the only one I’ve ever seen that takes two days to make and comes out in little cakes rather than a casserole dish full. Each time I eat it I am immediately transported back to my childhood, to our Thanksgiving table. My father worked shift work, so I never knew when he would be home for dinner. Most days I ate by myself in front of the television. However, Thanksgiving was the ONE day in the whole year that I knew my father and mother and I would be sitting down together to eat.
Boy, it was quite a spread. And always with my grandmother’s dressing. The sage and poultry seasoning are what give it that pungent taste that lingers on the palate. The savory cornbread from which it is made is to die for on its own. I used to sneak pieces of it while my mother was waiting for it to cool.
Just thinking about it I can’t wait for next week!
Big Mama’s Old Fashioned Cornbread Dressing
1 1/2 to 2 cups self-rising corn meal
1 TBS flour (I substitute gluten-free flour for mine)
1 TBS baking powder (Rumford’s is all I ever use)
1/4 package Pepperidge Farms Cornbread Stuffing Mix
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup chicken or turkey broth
2 eggs, well beaten
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
Sprinkling of Sage and Poultry Seasoning
Heat oven to 300 degrees.
Grease baking pan on bottom and sides.
Mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, oil, warm water, eggs, celery, onion and seasonings together well. Pour into pan and bake 30-45 minutes. Cool completely. (This step was usually done the day before in my mother’s house so the cornbread could get good and cold.)
Crumble cornbread into large bowl. Add 1/4 package of stuffing mix (for a gluten-free version I have used gluten-free croutons. This year I’ve found actual gluten-free stuffing mix!) and enough chicken or turkey broth to moisten. Shape into cakes and put in greased pan. Bake at 300 for about 40 minutes or until firm and cooked through.
Since I won’t make mine until next week, I don’t have a picture of mine exactly, but I did find this pic that is very close to my finished product. (I’ll have a picture of mine after Thanksgiving.)
Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed my little walk down memory lane. Come back next week for another recipe full of southern comfort. 🙂