Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dressing or Stuffing?

I read (somewhere) that if you cook your dressing inside the turkey, that's stuffing. If you cook it in a separate casserole dish, that's dressing. I knew you would want to be au courant.

Thanksgiving = "Fall" to me ... smoky leaf fires, the hard glare of light... trees bare against the sky (none of which happens here in Southern California incidentally.) Dried fruits mean "Fall" to me -- the fresh robustness of summer's apricots, cherries -- gone in that form, but resurrected (so to speak) in dried form. I serve dried fruits with the Brie ... snicker about fruitcake aka "American Abomination" and then my thoughts turned to dressing.

Dressing is kind of a neither this nor that in that most people also serve mashed potatoes and gravy. I prefer to substitute dressing for the mashed potatoes and slather my gravy over it.

My dressing recipe is very simple - baguette chunks, chopped onion, black pepper, a little sage; all bathed in chicken broth. I'm thinking now of adding a quarter of a cup (or less) of chopped dried apricots, cranberries, pistachios and maybe a handful of raisins. I want the hint of those flavors, not the maximum statement.

Something to mull over at any rate ...

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