Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Traditions...

Thanksgiving has always been about family for me, and with family comes food and football. This year was no exception. However, because my parents live out of the country and my Aunt and Uncle live in Florida we don't get to spend as many holidays together as we did when I was little. This year my father rented a beautiful house in Spicewood and we hosted Thanksgiving for my family, my Aunt, Uncle, Cousin and paternal grandparents.

Living Waters on Lake Travis - where we stayed is an amazing private residence located in Spicewood, Texas.

We had an amazing time and had a fantastic meal, which included my permutation of a favorite stuffing recipe.

**Three Bread Sage Stuffing**

12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) sweet butter
2 1/2 cups finely chopped sweet onions
3 tart apples (I prefer Granny ), cored and chunked; do not peel
1 pound lightly seasoned bulk sausage
8 strips thick center cut bacon (cut into bite-sized pieces)
3 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread (homemade)
3 cups coarsely crumbled whole-wheat French bread
3 cups coarsely crumbled white bread (preferably French)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage, salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 1/2 cups shelled pecan halves
2/3 cups roasted chestnuts
1 14 oz can chicken broth

1. Melt half of the butter in a skillet. Add chopped onions and cook over medium heat, partially covered, until tender and lightly colored, about 25 minutes. Transfer onions and butter to a large mixing bowl.
2. Melt remaining butter in the same skillet. Add apple chunks and cook over high heat until lightly colored but not mushy. Transfer apples and butter to the mixing bowl.
3. Crumble the sausage and put bacon into the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until lightly browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer sausage and bacon to the mixing bowl and reserve the rendered fat.
4. Add remaining ingredients to the ingredients in the mixing bowl and combine gently. Cool completely before stuffing the bird; refrigerate if not used promptly.
5. If you do not wish actually to stuff the bird, spoon it into a casserole. Cover casserole and set into a large pan. Pour hot water around the casserole to come halfway up the side. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes at 325°F., basting occasionally with cooking juices from the bird or with the reserved bacon/sausage fat and chicken broth, if necessary. This makes a pleasantly moist stuffing but not overly wet.
Makes enough stuffing for a 20-pound turkey, to make 12 to 14 portions.

Now for the football: as a very proud UT grad the annual A&M/Texas game has larger implications in my family, not just the numbers for the football team but major bragging rights within the family. I am the second Longhorn in over a hundred years (yup that's right 100 years!) and have to fend for myself sometimes. This year was no exception as my Aunt Tory (a proud Aggie) and my cousin Sidney were rooting for that other team and my sister and I were assured of a Longhorn victory. Somewhere between the final pass through the left overs (we eat our Thanksgiving meal at lunch) and the late night snacking Texas beat A&M in a pretty big way and the rivalry (in our house) was settled for the year. Now, if only this whole cluster of the Big 12 South champion gets settled we'd be on our way!


Dee said...

I loved the stuffing, it just keeps getting better & better! The photo of all of us is making me smile...we were mucho lazy & very much stuffed!!

Reeni said...

What a delicious stuffing! Thanks for sharing the great pictures, looks like a lovely place.

Hornsfan said...

The house was amazing - it's made from hay bales and has a beautiful southwestern feel!

Chef E said...

Whoo Hooo on that game my dear! I will be back on line to share my holiday tomorrow. Glad yours was a good one! Love all the pictures!

Chef E said...

How delightful, a mother daughter blog tag team! I heard stories about how my mother was chased by the turkey, but unfortunately I only spent minimul time on both sides family farms...I am a half breed city girl...

Hornsfan said...

I too am a city girl but we spent lots of time at my grandparents ranch - some of it chased by a turkey!

Chef E said...

I am curious and not very technology savvy but how did you get all those photos into one? I want to blog like that, instead of a million shots I post!