Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Passing the Torch

I've been waiting for this day for quite some time. 

I remember the first time I made Nan's stuffing for Thanksgiving. I was newly married and it was the first time I was hosting my family for the holidays. I had gotten the stuffing recipe from one of my aunts. She had taken the time to watch Nan one year and wrote the recipe down as Nan worked, making the stuffing in that yellow Tupperware bowl.

I think the problem with the process was that Nan had done this so many times she was able to work at the speed of light. So maybe a few steps got left out.

Steps like, saute the onions in the salt pork grease.

The recipe I had didn't even tell me what to do with the two onions listed in the ingredients part. 

So I guessed.

(*Disclaimer - I was newly married and not an experienced cook.) 

I just tossed them into the stuffing, chopped and raw.

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Fast forward to Thanksgiving dinner. My entire family is gathered around. Everything looked wonderful and smelled quite delicious. We pass the bowls, taking generous helpings of our favorites, and settle in to enjoy the meal.

Almost in unison, my grandmother and my aunt say, "What's in the stuffing?"

As they spit out the offending morsels. Onions. Raw onions.

"You didn't cook them?" they asked.

"Well, uh, uh....the recipe didn't say to cook them!" I cried.

Needless to say, I made some corrections to my copy right after dinner. After I finished clearing off plates with little piles of chopped onions left on them.

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I decided this wasn't going to happen to K. It was time for her to learn how to make Nan's stuffing. So she made the stuffing today, with just a little bit of assistance from me. The torch has been passed.

It was fun working with her, showing her how to mix the stuffing to get the right consistency. It has to feel right. There's a certain thickness and smoothness to the stuffing when you get to that point. You have to keep adding the water, a little at a time, to get there. If you miss it, you add a little more bread. Until you get the feel just right.

Then you get to do the same thing with the taste. You add a little bit of Bell's seasoning, along with the salt pork grease, and keep mixing and stirring and tasting until it's just right.

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K did a great job. The stuffing tastes just like Nan's. 

That's the best compliment she could receive.

3 comments:

  1. How sweet! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. ♥♥

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  2. It's nice that she enjoys doing it. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  3. @ Val and Lisa - Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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