Monday, November 25, 2013
Thanksgiving is coming! Thanksgiving is coming!
It's the Monday before Thanksgiving. My family is staying put this Thanksgiving. There will be no 6 hour car trips to visit family. Or 12 hour car trips (which, obviously, take even longer and involve way more crying on my part and way more potty breaks for children with small bladders). This means that I will be cooking a Thanksgiving meal all by myself.
The good news is that I appear to have enough motivation to actually prepare things on time! I have done almost all of my grocery shopping (I think I still need some fruit cocktail, but psssshhhhh. What's a can or two? It could be a turkey and some potatoes and some olives and pecans and pumpkin and whipping cream and celery and carrots and, and, and. . . . So I feel like I'm doing very well.
Also, today I made cubes of bread for stuffing. And I took pretty pictures. And now I'm WRITING about it! So that means I am doing VERY WELL INDEED. Now, I know that I have previously written a post about making stuffing, but that was several years ago and just contained one lousy picture. So I'm going to post the instructions again . . . Enjoy!
By the way, you really will be happier if you do not put off making your bread cubes until Wednesday. You know, the way I usually do. Because on Wednesday you will be busy making pies. So make your bread cubes today and spread out the baking a little. Unless you have 6 ovens. And 3 copies of yourself.
So, to make fabulous stuffing for Thanksgiving (or any other time), first make a batch of my bread recipe (or your own favorite bread recipe). Just in the interests of full disclosure, I actually made a double batch of that bread recipe, using 2.5 cups of our EGF Mix and 1/2 cups of oat flour per recipe. Spread the bread batter in a well-greased (or parchment-paper-lined) 13x18 pan using a spatula. (For my double batch of bread, I put about 2/3 of the bread batter in the 13x18 and put the rest into a regular bread pan. If you want, you could also use the rest of the bread batter to make rolls for Thanksgiving.)
Let it rise for 20-30 minutes in a warm place. (My oven has a proof setting that keeps the oven about 100 degrees. If yours doesn't have a proof setting, place a bowl of boiling water in the oven with your rising bread to help the oven stay warm. Just don't forget to take the bowl out before you start baking the bread.) The bread batter will just about double.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes. (Have you ever noticed that GF bread is really noisy? If you open the oven and it's still making a lot of popping bubble noises, LEAVE IT IN A LITTLE LONGER. Otherwise it is very very likely to fall.)
Remove from the oven and let it cool.
Isn't that pretty? Once it's cooled, use a pizza cutter to cut it into 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch cubes.
Break the cubes apart, then return them to the oven for 15 or 20 minutes to toast/dry the cubes. (Or you can just let them sit out overnight.) Use the dried bread cubes in your favorite stuffing recipe, or use this one:
½ c. finely chopped celery
¼ c. chopped red onion
¼ c. shredded carrots
¼ c. margarine or butter
½ tsp. poultry seasoning
1/8 tsp. pepper
3-4 dashes of salt
4-6 c. dried bread cubes*
½ to ¾ c. chicken broth or water
Sautee celery, onion, and carrot in butter until soft (but not browned). Remove from heat and add poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Place bread cubes in a bowl. Add onion mixture. Pour on enough broth to moisten the bread. Bake in a covered casserole dish at 375° for 20 – 30 minutes. (Or use to stuff an 8-10 lb. turkey).
Some of my cubes were a little big this time. One solution to that problem is to put slightly less bread batter in the pan. The solution I'm going to use, though, is to make the bigger cubes into GF croutons for our Thanksgiving salad. Mmmm. Recipe tomorrow, perhaps?