I grew up in the greater Seattle area. Crinkly cellophane bags of dried and cubed Langendorf bread were the basis of our turkey stuffing. (Franz acquired Langendorf in the 1980s, so don’t go out and look for it now.)
Thanksgiving morning, we measured the water, added margarine, onions, celery and sage and into our biggest Revere Ware pan and placed it on the stove. When the simmering scents had assaulted our senses just long enough, the pan was set into one side of the double sink, and two bags of bread cubes were added.
You had to stir carefully to mix it all up and over, making sure every piece was moistened uniformly. And then the turkey, waiting patiently in the other side of the sink, was stuffed and sewn up tight with dark green yarn, wrapped in miles of aluminum foil, and placed in the oven.
We never put “giblets” into our stuffing. Cornbread was out of the question. And don’t even think about adding oysters, as they often do around here! No cranberries, apples, raisins, no walnuts, pecans or sausage. Stuffing was simply stuffing!
And then came Pepperidge Farm, with quite an eclectic variety of bread cubes in the box, including rye and pumpernickel. And then… what the heck?… Stovetop arrived on the scene. Simpler, faster, no fuss, and no turkey ever had to come close to the bread cubes.
And about this time “the government” decided to “warn” us about putting stuffing inside the centerpiece bird. Seriously? Hel-lo? How tasty-sounding is a moisten bread cube dish on the menu? What would you call stuffing that’s not stuffed?
I’d call it an abomination, and you can bet your boots it won’t be happening at my house… ever. In my world, you can always choose not to eat it (more for me), but you can not choose not to follow tradition. And Thanksgiving is all about tradition!
Happy Turkey Day, everyone!