Butter / Egg Usage – November 2016

4 November 2016 –  Walnut Tartlets – 16 Tbs (8 for crust / 8 for filling) / 1 large egg

4 November 2016 – Sour Cream Pecan Sandies – 8 Tbs / 1 large egg

4 November 2016 – Keebler’s Pecan Sandies – 8 Tbs / 1 large egg

12 November 2016 – Lemon Buttermilk Cupcakes – 1 large eggdd_1645

13 November 2016 – Parmesan Walnut Crackers –  8 Tbs

18 November 2016 – Nut Tassie Dough – 16 Tbs

18 November 2016 – Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies – 16 Tbs / 2 large eggs

23 November 2016 – Cornbread for Dressing, two pans – 2 eggs

23 November 2016 – Sugar Cookies with Hershey’s Kiss – 8 Tbs / 1 large egg

23 November 2016 – Butter Crust – 5  1/3 Tbs butter

23 November 2016 – Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie – 4 Tbs / 6 large eggs (yolks only)

23 November 2016 – Sunday Sweet Potatoes – 5 1/3 Tbs / 2 large eggs / 4 Tbs

24 November 2016 – Cornbread Dressing – 3 Tbs / 2 large eggs

25 November 2016 – Lemon Bars – 8 Tbs / 5 large eggs

 

114.9 Tbs butter = 14.3625 sticks = 57.45 ozs = 3.59 pounds

7 eggs

 

Cornbread Dressing

I think I have finally found the closest recipe to my mom’s dressing. Either way, I am pleased beyond words on this Thanksgiving night. I have my mom’s recipe via phone from a few years ago, but I really do not have the recipe – just bits and pieces. Things you just listen to and sort of write down. But not really.

This is a recurring theme for me. I know, there are just so many questions that I have unanswered. It is frustrating – very. Well, at least this year I feel I have made progress and that is something.

So here is the 2016 version of dressing. And it was really amazing. There were no left overs after of a couple of days – that should tell you something.dd_1661

1 Tbs olive oil
2 smallish yellow onion, chopped*
5 ribs of celery, peeled**, chopped
10 cups broken up cornbread^
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cups chicken broth, or more as needed
3 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 250 degrees and toast cornbread for an hour rotating half way through. Increase oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a 12 inch skillet, saute onions and celery until soft, but do not let them brown. Add some water now and then, like my mom did, to steam the vegetables. These smells are Thanksgiving to me and that is what you need to wake up to on Thanksgiving day.

In a really big bowl, mix together vegetables, cornbread, rosemary, thyme, 2 cups of broth and 2 Tbs melted butter. Season with salt and pepper. Important fact – taste this now and adjust seasonings. Then add eggs. My mom’s paranoid ideas about raw eggs.

Spoon into prepared dish. Top with the last Tbs of butter. Bake until lightly browned, about 40 minutes or so.

Source: Modified lots from Taste of the South

* Baseball-sized yellow onion, I hate when a recipe does not give a size. It is annoying.

** Peeled, we, and by that I mean you, do not want strings on you celery. No you do not. At all.

^ bake 2 9″ x 9″ pans of simple plain cornbread – Jiffy mix will work in a pinch. A pinch which I have been in a Thanksgiving or two. But it totally works. It seems like a sell-0ut. Once again, I over think things. Yep

Butter Usage – by month (November 2015)

D&D_0971

Carrot Cake Cookies

It is always great when I start a butter usage post with using butter the first day of the month. It’s the little things in life that make me happy.

1 November – 8 Tbs – Chocolate Chip Blondies
6 November – 4 Tbs – Star Crunch
7 November – 8 Tbs – Toffee Snickerdoodles
11 November – 8 Tbs – Bolzano Apple Cake
12 November – 8 Tbs – Butterscotch Thins – totally, ugh, disaster
13 November – 16 Tbs – Carrot Cake Cookies
13 November – 8 Tbs – Carrot Cake Cookie Cream Cheese Frosting
13 November – 16 Tbs – Pecan Tassies
14 November – 8 Tbs – Cheddar Pecan Crisps
19 November – 16 Tbs – Chocolate Chip Pretzel Bars
And now Thanksgiving ….
25 November – 13 1/3 Tbs – Sunday Sweet Potatoes
25 November – 12 Tbs – Sweet Potato Biscuits
25 November – 6 Tbs – cornbread
25 November – 6 Tbs – cornbread
26 November – 5 Tbs – Cornbread Dressing
26 November – 3 Tbs – Corn Pudding
26 November – 14 Tbs – Upside-Down Butterscotch Apple Sour Cream Cake

159.3 Tbs = 19.91 sticks = 4.98 pounds

As it should be. November is a high butter month. Let’s see how December goes. Hoping for good numbers. Even better than this.

Thanksgiving

My biggest food memory of Thanksgiving is waking up to the smell of onions and celery sautéing for cornbread dressing. My mom always made two pans of cornbread a couple of days before, usually while I was in school, but the dressing wasn’t made until Thanksgiving day. That’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow – and it will be awesome, at least in my mind. I made my cornbread tonight, pretty boring stuff that I wouldn’t eat on its own because I have the best cornbread recipe from one of my very good friends, Dawn. It is such a good recipe that I toast a piece with salted butter for breakfast. Yep, it stands on its own.*

Many years ago, I started making my own cranberry relish – that I also shared half of it with my friend Dawn, so now another Thanksgiving food memory is the smell of orange juice, cranberries, and then the addition of horseradish. I made my second batch tonight – gave away the first batch because so many people like it. It really hit me, making it tonight, how much that is part of my memory. I don’t think it would be Thanksgiving without it – no, I’m sure it would not be.

I think I’ve read the memories of smells are most evocative and I really believe it. Celery and onions are my perfect example, but so is, totally unrelated, diesel fumes in cold weather – to me that will always be London. It happens every time, unbidden, but it always makes me smile. And miss England, again

plain cornbread drying for dressing

Drying Cornbread – for Cornbread Dressing

So here is the cornbread recipe for tonight – just for dressing. The one I plan to leave out overnight to get a bit stale – you need to do that to make the cornbread dressing work. It does make some degree of sense.

Cornbread

1 1/3 cup cornmeal
1 1/3 all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 large eggs
6 Tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/3 cup buttermilk

Mix together the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. I whisked with a fork. Melt butter and let cool a bit.  Mix into the dry ingredients the buttermilk, and then the three eggs and finally the cooled butter.

Pour into a baking sprayed 8 x 8 pan and bake for 30 minutes, rotating half way through until the edges pull away from the baking dish and the top and bottom seem brown-ish.

Keep in mind this is only for dressing. I don’t think you want to eat this otherwise. Just tried it, and the answer is  – ugh, no.

*See related post that I have yet to write, but since it might (?) be getting close to chili weather, it could happen.

It is a rant … Dressing vs. Stuffing

It is that time of year … the time when people seem to be very confused by two terms. Stuffing & Dressing. Come, come people! This is not that frigging difficult.
Stuffing – seasoned bread (onion, celery, etc.), used to stuff a bird of some sort and then roasted.
Dressing – seasoned bread (onion, celery, etc.), esp. cornbread in the South, baked in a casseroles dish – read: not inside a bird.
Please do not use these terms interchangeably. They may have, mostly, the same ingredients, but the methodology makes them very different.

Chicken & Rice – should be so simple, but …

I tried to come up with a version of chicken & rice like my mom used to make and it didn’t quite make it for me. Sadness ensued.

I have no recipe from her – I don’t even think she had one, but I’ve seen her make it a million times, only a slight exaggeration. This was a dinner my mom made if I didn’t feel well. If I ever turned it down, she knew something was seriously wrong.

This dish was simple and to me, only slightly less than amazing. I would eat it weekly if offered and often ate it for every meal when there were left overs. Without a doubt, to me, it is amazing and I just love it.

But, damn it, I can’t figure out how to recreate it. I do know one part of the problem. It’s terribly hard to find a baking hen, aka an old chicken. This time I thought using dark meat – legs and thighs (bone in & skin on) would work. But one taste and I knew I was not at the promised land.

So now, my choice comes down to one thing – searching for a hen. This is a thankless task as most people (men) who work the meat counter don’t even know what a hen is after all. I had one guy try to tell me a cornish game hen was what I wanted – just wanted to smack him in the back of the head for that “bright” idea.

But I shall not give up. I just can’t. And once I figure this one out, it’s chicken and dumplings next. They are flat dumplings – I think kind of a biscuit dough – at least that’s what my mom always said. Which I also have no idea how to make.

People, if you have a recipe that you love – please get it in writing or make good notes. You will have no idea how quickly things will go away. I also do not have the recipe for Thanksgiving cornbread dressing. I have a few random notes, but …. sigh. Another recipe to recreate. Oh, and roast beef, well that’s another story entirely which includes the smoke detector going off – it is really part of the recipe. But I’m up for the challenge. Don’t get me started about pork and bean salad.