November 21st is an ideal day for National Stuffing Day with Thanksgiving right around the corner. Since we are already thinking about the delicious turkey stuffing that is a traditional part of Thanksgiving dinner.
Some cooks choose to stuff the bird with crusts of bread, vegetables, herbs, and spices. Others prefer to prepare a similar dish alongside the turkey using the drippings to moisten the dish. Either way, each preparation is a personal preference or family tradition. The difference is the first is called a stuffing, but the latter is referred to as a dressing.
The usual turkey stuffing consists of bread cubes or crumbs combined with onions, celery, salt, and pepper. Further spices and herbs such as summer savory, sage, or poultry seasoning add flavor and variety. Other recipes add sausage, hamburger, tofu, oysters, egg, rice, apple, raisins, or other dried fruits.
The first known documented stuffing recipes appeared in the Roman cookbook, Apicius “De Re Coquinaria.” Most of the stuffing recipes in this cookbook included vegetables, herbs and spices, nuts, and spelt (an old cereal). Some recipes also included chopped liver and other organ meat.
In addition to stuffing the body cavity of poultry and fish, various cuts of meat are often stuffed once deboned and creating a pouch or cutting a slit in them. A few examples of other meats frequently stuffed include pork chops, meatloaf, meatballs, chicken breast, lamb chops, and beef tenderloin.
Stuffing isn’t limited to the butcher block. Vegetables are excellent containers for stuffing. Peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and cabbage are just a few of the shapely veggies that make stuffing a fabulous part of your meals.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalStuffingDay
Who makes the best stuffing in your family? Some families debate this question and never settle the question. That’s why they end up with multiple versions on the table at the big meal. No one complains, though! How do you like your stuffing? Challenge yourself to try a new recipe. See if you can get the family to agree to breaking with tradition. Better get in the kitchen and test those stuffing recipes before the big day. Give your stuffing some holiday flair with this classic stuffing recipe. Use #NationalStuffingDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL STUFFING DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar® continues researching the origins of this food holiday.
Q. What is the best bread to use when making stuffing?
A. Stale white bread is the best bread to make stuffing. Its fluffy porousness absorbs all the unctuous juices and savory herbs producing a stuffing that allows the ingredients to meld for outstanding flavor.
Q. Why does the bread need to be stale or dry?
A. Dry bread absorbs more flavor and holds up better when the juices are added. Fresh bread will turn to mush when the wet ingredients are added.
Q. How can I quickly dry my bread to make stuffing?
A. If you forgot to dry the bread a few days before making homemade stuffing, don’t fret. There are a couple of ways to get that bread ready.
First, cube the bread so more surface area is exposed to the air.
- Overnight: Place bread cubes in a basket or on a baking sheet and cover with paper towels or cheesecloth. Place in a warm area and leave out overnight.
- Oven method: Heat oven to 250°F and place baking sheet in the oven uncovered. Bake for 30-45 minutes.
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