Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I thought I'd get paper cuts, I was flipping through my 3-ring binder of recipes so fast.  Said binder is four inches thick, easily, when it's closed.  Not surprising since it contains 30 years of recipes carefully garnered from magazines, newspapers, friends, family members...

I was searching for a specific recipe for Thanksgiving turkey stuffing which I made exactly once.  Not because we didn't like it or it wasn't any good.  No, once was enough when I had to shell two cups of pistachios for the damned thing.  "One for the dressing, two for me" ... you can imagine it took awhile.  Today, my bacon is saved (figuratively) as Trader Joe sells bags of shelled pistachios!  With that good news, let us sally forth ...

1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup Calvados*
1 /4 cup olive oil
6 cups cubed baguette
2 cups shelled pistachio nuts
1 stick butter
3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teas. nutmeg
1/2 teas. paprika
1/2 teas. dried thyme
pinch of cayenne
2 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup chicken broth

1.  Marinate the raisins in the Calvados
2.  Preheat oven to 350 and toast the nuts for 8 minutes - cool and save
3.  Melt the butter and saut√© the onions, then add the mushrooms, garlic and seasonings
4.  Moisten the apple chunks with lemon juice and toss'em in with the onion mixture.
5.  Add bread cubes and pour on the chicken broth.  Stir it around and bake until it's a golden brown on top.
Makes 12 cups of dressing. 

*Calvados is a French apple brandy from the Normandy region.  Locally, it's called "le trou Normande"  (the Normande hole) because of this odd fact:  You can plow heartily through an entire Thanksgiving dinner and loll in your chair groaning but if you drink 1/2 oz. of Calvados, you will sit up briskly and do it all  again!

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