Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Southern Cornbread Dressing

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!


Daddy's Dressing
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

7 comments:

  1. Its the homegrown sage that does the trick. Do the same thing myself!!!

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    1. Love the flavor, I have my biscuits and cornbread made for dressing on Thanksgiving! I like for them to get stale so they don't absorb all the broth.

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  2. Joy! I saw this on Pinterest and repinned it and came here to see the recipe. I didn't know this was your blog until I saw your name above! And what a lovely story about your father. It was very heartwarming. And it is lovely of you to share the recipe, very generous of you. Those authentic family recipes are the best! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Joy, and see you on Pinterest! ;)
    Best,
    Gloria

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  3. Yummy recipe...thanks for sharing. I like easy!
    Happy Holidays

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    1. It is easy! Dressing/stuffing is one thing a new cook worries about but it's pretty simple. The flavor is a once a year thing for me though. I rarely make dressing except Thanksgiving, probably why it tastes so good!

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  4. Joy, I am sorry your Mom is in the hospital and do hope she recovers quickly. Will you be able to bring her to the house for Thanksgiving?

    Your Dad's dressing is exactly like Mom's except she baked hers in the oven. I do it the same....except over the years I have eliminated the eggs and added a can of cream of mushroom soup to mine and I do "sweet" cornbread (Mom sure didn't).

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    1. Thanks Glenda, she is greatly improved and back to eating and drinking again. That worried us so much. We celebrate with her at Jamestown on holidays, it's one of the many things that have changed as her dementia has progressed. I have started this morning (Monday 19th) doing some of the cooking ahead. If I don't I won't be able to get it all done! You too, huh?

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