Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Dressing . . . By Any Other Name

I couldn't resist this photo--I'd look worried, too, if someone attached a red felt turkey wattle to my chin. But this little guy reminded me of Jonah, the yodeling therapy dog in Disaster Status. And his predicament leads nicely into the gist of my holiday post: Turkey Dressing vs. Turkey Stuffing. A minor difference in wording. And probably more of a family custom when choosing which name you give to that traditional and buttery-sagey, delectable Thanksgiving side dish. Whether it be made of bread, cornbread, or . . . ?

Which let me to a little research on the whole Dressing vs. Stuffing issue. Here's some rather strange things that I discovered, thanks to Wikipedia:

Names for stuffing include 'farce' (~1390) 'stuffing' (1538), 'forcemeat'(1688), and (after 1880) the word was changed to 'dressing' in Victorian English. And . . .


It is not known when stuffings were first used. The earliest documentary evidence is a Roman cookbook which contains recipes for stuffed chicken, hare, pig, and dormouse (!) Most of these consisted of vegetables, herbs and spices, nuts, and spelt (an old cereal), and frequently contain chopped liver, brains, and other organ meat (eew, sorry about that). And . . .

It is sometimes claimed that medieval chefs sometimes stuffed animals with other animals--and we are not just talking "Turducken" here. More like a ram stuffed with small bird. And (deep breath): There was reportedly a recipe for a camel stuffed with sheep stuffed with birds stuffed with carp stuffed with eggs. I needed to sit down and hug a bottle of Tums just thinking about that! No. Thank. You.

So, back to the original two questions: 'Dressing' or 'Stuffing'--which do you call it?
And: Bread or Cornbread? Which do you prefer?

For my part, my family always called it 'Dressing,' and it was made from torn day old bread (I still remember  sitting with an old washpan and a loaf of Rainbow Bread the night before. Tearing, tearing . . .). Added to it would be butter-simmered onion and celery and some poultry seasoning. No oysters. Ever. No giblets either--the cats got those.

This year I'm making 'cornbread stuffing' (cornbread 'dressing' doesn't sound right), a recipe from Emeril Lagasse via Martha Stewart Living. It includes green onion, sweet red peppers, and crispy bacon.

I'm looking forward to the fun of preparing the meal, the scents wafting through the house . . . and especially to having family here--including our two tiny grand daughters. Blessings, for sure. And while I'm counting God's blessings and feeling grateful, I'll be thinking of YOU all, too. Your encouragement, support, and friendship have been a beautiful part of this year.

To celebrate that blessing, I'd like to do another book giveaway. Right here, right now:  Five signed and personalized copies of my current ECPA bestseller, CODE TRIAGE. If you win, keep it for yourself or gift it to someone who'd like an exciting, inspiring story of hope. One less gift to buy!

So, for your chance at one of five free books, leave a comment below telling me whether you call it 'stuffing' or 'dressing,'  and whether you prefer bread or cornbread as the main ingredient. Simple as that.
You MUST include your e-mail for contact. I'll do a random drawing on Tuesday November 29th and notify the lucky winners by e-mail.

Good luck and have a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving, friends!

30 comments:

Ashley Gray said...

Stuffing and with bread:) Love your books!! Happy Thanksgiving!
jdpinkgirl@gmail.com

Wilma said...

It has always been called dressing in my family & made with cornbread & day old bread , onions , celery, & seasoned with sage & turkey broth & melted butter. Never baked in the turkey but as a side dish.I love it along with all the rest of a Thanksgiving dinner.:) Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Wilma

wilmamet6@gmail.com

Ann said...

I call it dressing. We make it with cornbread. My mama always made fresh cornbread to use and also bought Stoffers (spelling) dried bread crumbs. Hmmm, I can almost taste it.
streetcrew@comcast.net

lesa m said...

It is old fashioned dressing made with buttermilk cornbread and just enough sage to give it flavor...just the way mother used to make it.

CandaceCalvert said...

Ashley, thank you for stopping by--and pairing my family's bread ingredient with the word "stuffing"!
Love it. :-)

CandaceCalvert said...

Wilma, mmmm--love your description. Amazing that yours was always a side dish (which is now recommended,healthwise). My family stuffed that dressing (now there's the combo of words!) into that turkey every time! Have a wonderful day yourself, friend!

CandaceCalvert said...

Ann, so good to see you here--cornbread dressing it is!

CandaceCalvert said...

Lesa, buttermilk--the secret ingredient for yummy cornbread. The scent of sage always takes me back. Blessings to you and yours, and thanks for stopping by!

proverbialreads said...

Since I grew up in Britain we had turkey and trimmings for Christmas. I'd never heard of 'dressing' until you mentioned it. Thankfully, my American in-laws call it 'stuffing' as well so there was no lost in translation issue there!

As for the other... no cornbread in Britain. Sad to say, my mother's stuffing came from a packet mix. But the in-laws use bread and that's fine by me.

Sally

Casey said...

*not an entry*

This is really SO funny, because we had dressing today: and we ALWAYS use bread and cornbread. Every time. LOL! Your dressing sounds just like ours. Sounds like if one visited the other for the holiday we would feel right at home.

Happy Thanksgiving, Candace!

karenk said...

love the photo, candace...
my family calls it 'stuffing' made w/ 'bread'...happy thanksgiving to you and yours :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

We have always called it Dressing. It has homemade biscuits and cornbread, eggs, turkey broth, sage, onions, salt and pepper. My daughter is allergic to MSG so she always makes dressing to take with her so she can have with her turkey. She injected the turkey which is cooking and it is smelling oh so good..lol
Hope everyone enjoys Thanksgiving and gets out early Black Friday.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Cynthia Herron said...

Candace, we've usually referred to it as "dressing."

When I was a little girl, my Nana would buy bags of bread and spend hours chopping all of the slices into small cubes. She'd then let the cubes dry out for days prior to the big event. Wow! Can you imagine doing all that now? To this day, I've never tasted any dressing as good as the homemade and lovingly prepared dressing as my Nana's. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Keli Gwyn said...

My family called it stuffing, and my grandmother made a delicious batch of it each year. Of all the dishes on her groaning table at Thanksgiving, her stuffing was my favorite. I wish I had her recipe, but she wasn't one to measure things, so I don't even know if she had a recipe written down. What I do have are precious memories of holidays spent at her house.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, Candy!

Anonymous said...

I'm in Canada, so technically we've had our Thankgiving already, but STUFFING with BREAD all the way :)
~ Amber

Anonymous said...

I'm an ex-pat Aussie and since we follow the British traditions have always called it stuffing and used bread. Happy Thanksgiving all!
Jo
ianjolucas@msn.com

Mocha with Linda said...

Answered it on FB but then realized I could answer it here for a chance at an autographed copy! We called it dressing. Never put it in the turkey. It was made primarily with cornbread but it also had some dry toast and day old (i.e., dry and crumbly) biscuits. But it was definitely cornbread dressing. Seasoned with celery and onions, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, and when the turkey was done, some broth from the turkey juices. My mom's was also unique in that she cooked it in a big pot on the stove - there wasn't room in the oven to bake it. Hated it as a kid, Loved it from the time I hit high school/college on.

Mark said...

I call it stuffing - we stuff the turkey. We tried dressing it one year, but the outfit caught on fire :-) - and wondering if you have a hard time finding "Stove Top Dressing" when you shop ;-) - and bread all the way, no cornbread
marcus802001@yahoo.com

Jen said...

At our house it's stuffing and the main ingredient has got to be bread, and the drier the better, then mix the turkey pieces right in with it and bake it together. Can't wait to read more of your books.
Jen
jking23atkent.edu

CandaceCalvert said...

Oh, this is SUCH fun, hearing about both 'stuffing' and 'dressing' and a delicious combination of ingredients. From the US and other parts of the world--and so many evoking special memories from the past. Love it!
Thank you all for your responses. I so appreciate your stopping by to comment, especially considering how busy you likely are. On a personal note, we had a warm and wonderful holiday--blessings indeed. I'm still laughing over our 2 yr. old grand daughter (Ashland Skye) saying to me (with such seriousness), "CeCe, I need pie." LOL. What a memory!
I look forward to signing books for our lucky winners here--here's rooting for you!

TeriRN said...

Sage Dressing made with cornbread. We never stuffed the turkey cooked in pan as a side dish. My favorite part of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas.
Teri

teri.hospicenurse@gmail.com

Edie Creel said...

I'm from South Louisiana. It's cornbread dressing down here and my mom's was the best! I sure do miss it!!
I just found hour books yesterday in the Kindle lending library. I borrowed Critical Care. It peeked my interest, since I work in a hospital...pharmacy. I've already finished it and looking for more!! Loved it and just posted on Facebook suggesting it to my friends! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.
Creelcamping@yahoo.com

Trudy said...

we always called it stuffing. My Mom made it with bread. But I have had cornbread stuffing too, and I like either one.

scootiepatootie55@q.com

Jordan said...

I call it stuffing, and it's always my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal. I had the BEST homemade STUFFING - with wheat bread - this year. Yum!

Thanks for the chance to win Code Triage - I want to read it so badly! :)

Jordan
lizzielaura17@yahoo.com

Lourdes said...

Being from Puerto Rico, one of the stuffings that is my favorite is plantains with pork rinds and garlic, Basically its a dish by itself called mofongo but when put inside the turkey it can be used as stuffing.

Lourdes11743[at]gmail[dot]com

lilac grandma said...

Candace, love, love, love your writing. Here in Canada we call it stuffing and make it with bread.
Love and prayers Melody
msproule1225@gmail.com

Lana said...

My family has always called it stuffing. We get the chicken stuffing and use bread, mushrooms, celery, onions and chicken broth in it. We sometimes put the giblets in with it.

Lana said...

My email address is Schumanns1@berizon.net

Lana

Cafe Lily Book Reviews said...

Usually I call it "stuffing" but I've called it dressing as well....mostly I call it YUMMY! :) lol

Cornbread is a little dry for my taste - I prefer bread especially sourdough!

If we make it from a box, it's "stuffing" but when my mom served it with oysters in it, she called it "dressing" so I'm used to both terms.

Hoping I win a copy of your book!

Cafelilybookreviews (at) gmail (dot) com

CandaceCalvert said...

Thank you all for your WONDERFUL (and nostalgic!)comments--loved them! I put your names on slips of paper and into my crystal bowl for a random drawing. And decided to DOUBLE the winners to make it TEN copies of Code Triage. (Drum roll: the lucky folks are JO, LANA, SALLY, KELI,LINDA, TRUDY, MARK, KALLIE, DENISE, and JEN!
Congratulations!