When it comes to Thanksgiving, some dishes are required eating.
Serving anything besides turkey is unthinkable, gravy is a must and cranberries are required on the menu at least during this one time of year.
But don’t forget the stuffing!
It seems that no two families are able to come to agreement on what is the correct way to prepare stuffing. And even the name differs from region to region: Northerners eat “stuffing,” Southerners call it “dressing” and there are some Pennsylvanians who enjoy “filling” on their Thanksgiving tables.
There’s no way to really know if the Pilgrims actually served stuffing at their original harvest feast. But considering the abundance of both wild game and rice, it’s very possible that the first Thanksgiving dinner featured some sort of bird with a wild rice dish alongside it.
This discussion of “stuffing” and “filling” would be considered a sacrilige to good Southern cooks, who would insist that “dressing” be served—and that this dressing be cornbread-based.
A popular Southern tradition, especially along the islands of the Carolina Coast, is to serve Oyster Dressing on “Turkey Day”!
So here is a popular recipe for Oyster Dressing Southern Tradition:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the cornbread, combine all ingredients and pour into a greased shallow baking dish. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
To make the dressing, crumble dried white bread slices, cornbread and crackers. Mix together and set aside. Saute chopped celery and onion in butter until transparent, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Pour over corn bread mixture. Add stock, mix well and add salt, pepper, sage, and poultry seasoning. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Add oysters and mix. Pour into a greased pan. Bake for about 45 minutes.
1 cup self rising cornmeal
1/2 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
7 slices white bread, dried in warm oven
1 sleeve saltine crackers
2 cups chopped celery
1 large onion, chopped
8 tablespoons butter
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
5 eggs, beaten
2 pints or 1 quart oysters, drained