Posts Tagged ‘Stuffing’

Thursday Morning Aromas

November 10, 2011

There are many things about Thanksgiving morning that are pretty sweet, such as the parade, March of the Wooden Soldiers, vacation, etc. However, one thing I’ve yet to touch on is this:

The smells.

Every Thanksgiving morning, as long as I can remember, always had a myriad of heavenly smells mixed together. There may be some readers who may actually hate the different smells, and that’s okay, but I love it. It’s what let you know what day it is, and a promise of what’s to come.

The first major smell I can recall is raw turkey. Gag, huh? Actually, it is the smell of turkey mixed with seasonings. My parents use to splash the combined spices in a liquid onto the turkey and I thought the aroma was addicting, but I haven’t smelled that in many years because I brine my bird and the smell of brine isn’t very pleasing. I must ask my parents for the recipe so that I can at least cook a roaster in that fashion.


Another excellent scent I can recall are baking pumpkin pies. My mom used to make pumpkin pies and used pumpkin pie mix that come in those big cans. The mix had a powerful smell that would definitely hold its own among the others. That smell of pumpkin mixed with clove gets my mouth watering every time I think of it. It’s also a smell automatically makes me think of Thanksgiving no matter what time of the year it is.

Once the can is open, I’m in heaven.

Two smells compete as a side dish because I have either one or the other every Thanksgiving. It’s sweet potato casserole or candied yams. I don’t have them both every year because my in laws and wife make the sweet potato dish and my mother makes the candied yams. I grew up with the candied yams but had the casserole for several years now, so they’re now both tradition. I love both smells and look forward to either one every year, especially since Thanksgiving is the only time I have them.

Another favorite when it’s in the oven.

One of my most favorite smells from Thanksgiving is the smell of stuffing (or dressing). I already stated in an earlier blog that Stove Top is my favorite, and part of the reason why is the distinct smell it gives. It’s something I’ve inhaled my whole life, and the extra ingredients that are added make the aroma that much better. The aroma of cooked apples, celery, and sausage is heavenly. There must have been a bowl of this stuff at the last supper, because there’s no way Jesus is leaving the Earth without one more spoonful.

Requested by death row inmates everywhere.

Finally, as a consolation prize for those who are unable to live in their own houses, a smell that is unique to apartment buildings is the awesome aromas that inhabit the hallways. They come from the other apartments where other families are preparing for their own feasts. If one has to go out to venture into the madhouse that are supermarkets that day because a critical ingredient was forgotten, he or she can partake in the delicious scents of food while leaving and coming back home.

I was wondering how I was going to write a blog post about food smells, but this was one of the most fun articles to write in this countdown yet. If you have any wonderful scents that remind you of Thanksgiving, leave a response in the comments. Thanks!


November 4, 2011

I am happy to talk about stuffing today because it is my favorite dish for Thanksgiving. I know many others proclaim Turkey to be king of the holiday and it probably is, but I loved stuffing my whole life and I would eat mounds of it that special Thursday and deep into the weekend. The side dish can be prepared many ways and I want to look into a few ways it can be served.

Now, some may call me crazy, but my favorite stuffing brand is Stove Top. From past conversations I’ve had, either you love it or hate it. I think Stove Top has a certain blend of spices that I can’t get enough of.

Don't hate, playa!

Of course I don’t eat it plain out of the box. I add extra ingredients to the mix; some that are mentioned on the website and some that I learned from my mother. My usual mix that I add to the stuffing is chopped apples, celery, and sliced breakfast sausage. If I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll add a handful of Craisins to the mix. Craisins is basically dried out cranberries and look like red raisins. Really, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

Makes a good snack as well!

For those who don’t like Stove Top (perish the thought), either they make stuffing with bread at home, or they buy the bagged stuffing with the bread cubes inside. I’ve had this before and it’s definitely good, but I just prefer the boxed kind. It’s probably because I grew up eating it. I’m sure if my mother only made bagged stuffing, I would go crazy for that kind. My wife made stuffing with just bread, chicken broth, and bullion cubes and it wasn’t bad either. I can mess with something different occasionally. I found a stuffing recipe for the bagged kind and I’ll give it a shot sometime soon.

I'm sure it has it's merits

Also, while writing this blog post, I found out that stuffing only has that name when it is cooked inside the turkey. If it is made outside the turkey, then it’s called dressing. I have no idea why and I can only speculate that it was just called that by people who lived in the Wild West. You know, the strange folk who used to have shooting duels and rode around in that hot-ass sun.

Although I used to eat stuffing because my mom used to put it in the bird, I feel safer making it outside the turkey. Alton Brown, the host of Good Eats says it’s bad to cook it in the turkey because to get rid of possible salmonella, the bird has to cook longer and possibly dry out. Since Alton gave me the idea to brine turkey and it always comes out wonderful, I will take his word (and my endorsement check). However, you could always precook the stuffing and then stuff the turkey. Either way is probably fine.

drinkOne last thing; Swanson had a promotion in 2010 called The Great Stuffing Debate. It was basically sharing how you make your stuffing (or dressing), and there was a prize of $500. I don’t know how I did not hear about it, but I’m kicking myself for missing it. I went to the website but at the time of this writing (October 2011), Swanson already took it down. It’s possible that they may do it again so be on the lookout for it. If anything, you could get some awesome recipes out of it. Do you have custom stuffing ingredients? Leave a comment below.

See you tomorrow and eat up!