Thanksgiving

Stuffing

by  Katherine Reback

nyc_1900.jpg My grandfather and several of my great uncles had a fur store in N.Y.  It was called Windsor Furs (to indicate, one can only guess, a regal presence previously unknown to 14th Street and 7th Avenue). Uncle Simon and Uncle Harry kept Windsor Furs well into their 90’s. And I would like to tell you all the funny, memorable stories I know about them and the shop.  But the thing that springs to mind at this moment is their business card. 

“Windsor Furs - Shop Here! Soon you will know the reason why.”

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Apple and Walnut Cornbread Stuffing

Aunt Lovey’s Turkey Stuffing Recipe

Bob Willett's Stuffing

Bruce Aidells' Cornbread Stuffing

Felicity's Oyster Stuffing

Lori's Thanksgiving Stuffing

Mama Montgomery's Rice Stuffing

Mom's French Meat Stuffing

Sausage, Dried Cranberry and Apple Stuffing

tdaywine1Choosing a wine for the Thanksgiving table does not have to be as difficult as many make it seem. With the variety of competing flavors of Thanksgiving, it may seem difficult to find the perfect pairing. Finding a wine that goes with everything is key. And there are plenty of wines available in the market that accomplish the task. But you definitely don't want an overpowering wine or a lightweight wine that doesn't stand up to the many different dishes. Look for a fruity medium-bodied wine with good tartness or crispness. It has to cut through the rich autumnal flavors as well as complement the roast turkey. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are among the best wines for Thanksgiving, but a few other, more unique choices are available too. The following wines are all fruit-forward, food-friendly, and suitable for a whole range of tastes. Surprise your guests with one or more of these picks.

Beaujolais Nouveau is one of the most popular wines this time of year. Every third Thursday in November France releases it into the world with much lauded fanfare and drop ships it to locations worldwide. After the grapes are harvested, the juice is only fermented for a few weeks before becoming wine. The wine from négociant Georges Duboeuf is the easiest to find in wine stores across the country, but many other brands can also be procured. Beaujolais is made from the Gamay grape in the Burgundy subregion of the same name. The resulting wine is very fruity with a light to medium body with nice tartness but low tannins. It's the perfect red wine to go with poultry, especially turkey or chicken. This wine is possibly one of the only reds that can benefit from slight chilling, but try it at different temperatures to see which is more appealing. Drink it while it's young, the wine is not meant for aging.

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basic-stuffing.jpglaraine_newman_cameo.jpgIn my book, Stuffing has held its place in my penalty box along with green bell peppers; cilantro, cumin and lime flavored Life Savers. For me, it’s the Buzz Kill of Thanksgiving.

I have never met a Stuffing I’ve liked, but not for obvious reasons.  I find the premise of a food item that’s made from torn up bread to be, somehow, cheating, not to mention being a food group that’s utterly unappetizing to me.  Justin Wilson, The Cajun Cook from a while back once made something that even he copped to being the height of poverty cuisine; faux potato salad! It was made with old torn up bread.  Nothing wrong with poverty cuisine by the way.  Southern fried and most Jewish food is exactly that. But substituting potatoes with bread is just sad.
 
Wikipedia outlines the history of stuffing dating back to Roman times where you could get anything from a chicken to a dormouse stuffed with vegetables, herbs, spices, nuts, spelt (which is described as ‘old cereal’ by Wikipedia) and a variety of organ meat still considered palatable today. 

Nothing wrong with that, I say. But, as it had evolved and morphed, it has picked up and been dominated by bread.  Gross. Especially when you consider the quality of bread in our country.

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From the LA Times

Roasted TurkeyWe've been writing about dry-brining turkeys for four Thanksgivings now and the response from readers has been overwhelming. Most say it's the best turkey they've ever made. But there are always some lingering questions. Here are answers to some of those most frequently asked. If you've got one that's not covered here, drop me a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll add it to this list:

How did the turkey get its name? The "Judy Bird" is named for famed chef Judy Rodgers of Zuni Café in San Francisco. It was inspired by her method for preparing roast chicken, which is legendary among food lovers.

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Salt-and-Pepper-Turkey-made-in-an-Electric-Outdoor-Roaster-a-quick-and-easy-processI have always been a big proponent of deep-frying a turkey. It has been, until now, the juiciest turkey I have ever made. However, the biggest turn-off of the whole deep-frying process is the $50 of oil you need to buy and then have to dispose of...it's kind-of-a-pain and always feels like a big waste.

However, there is nothing better than not tying up the oven on Thanksgiving Day with a turkey that needs four hours to cook. Therefore, deep-frying the turkey continued for a few years until I just couldn't get myself to buy those large vats of oil anymore. So the turkey made it's way back to my indoor oven and last year I did make one of the most delicious turkey's ever.

But, over the past year I kept seeing this Char-Broil The Big Easy Electric TRU Infrared Smoker and Roaster everywhere I went. Mostly at large warehouse stores like Lowe's. Seeing it so many times wore me down and I finally decided to buy one. It was a sign, right? I wanted to get the turkey cooking back outside where it belongs. This way the oven is reserved for all the beloved side dishes. Good idea? Yes. I thought so too.

This past weekend I finally fired it up to give it a test run. It requires a 30-minute seasoning cycle before using, which was not a big deal to complete.

I wanted to make a "no-frills" recipe. No exotic rubs and/or seasonings. No brining (which I always do). And no expensive free-range, local, special-fed, gobbles in seven languages turkey. I wanted to see what this machine could do on its own with a simple, frozen Butterball, rubbed in peanut oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. That's it. The results were kind of astonishing.

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