Upside down, Thanksgiving is being planned later this year than ever before. With Mom in the hospital we had the holiday meal on hold, but thank God she is improving so it's Katy Bar the Door... menu planning full steam ahead! One thing for sure... Daddy's Cornbread Dressing will be on the table. It's a family favorite made with homegrown sage that comes from my Mom's farm. My Dad planted that sage over 40 years ago and even though he's gone now, the sage thrives in the garden at Lead Hill. Every fall before frost I pinch off several stems of the fragrant herb, bring it home and dry it. The fragrance of that sage reminds me of years of happy Thanksgivings on the farm.
My Dad loved preparing his famous chicken and dressing for the holidays. It was his offering, as much from his heart as from the simple ingredients that went into the dish. He had made it so many times for family and church potlucks that he could have made it in his sleep! If you’re from the South, dressing is made from unsweetened cornbread, sauteed onions, celery and sage; slow simmered broth from the chicken and generous amounts of butter make this a cardiologist's nightmare! But it is “Slap Dab Delicious” and comfort food at it’s finest! This is the time honored recipe that Daddy used to make and has been passed down to me and to our daughters to share with their families. It is remembered fondly in our family and immortalized in the Risley Family Cookbook.
Memories... my Dad always used the Crockpot, it smelled so good when we would walk into the house on Thanksgiving!
1 pan crumbled cornbread (no sugar in cornbread, please!)
1 pan biscuits
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 bunch celery, chopped
1 stick butter
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons dried whole leaf sage
4-5 cups rich chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare cornbread and biscuits the day before. Cook onion and celery in butter and broth covered until tender. Pour over the crumbled breads in a large bowl, add beaten eggs. Rub the sage between your palms to release the flavor adding to bowl. Add broth to make a very moist consistency (almost soupy, as this bakes it will dry out). Adjust seasonings adding salt, pepper and more sage if desired. Bake 350* for 45 minutes until hot, or place mixture in crock pot on HIGH until hot then turn to LOW to keep warm.