The scent of stuffing = the holidays for me. I remember the excitement of Christmas buzzing through the air on Christmas Eve, all of us kids waiting anxiously for the night’s festivities. I spent so many hours looking at our tree with it’s twinkling lights and examining every detail of the special ornaments that were just for me. The backdrop to these memories was the smell of my mom’s stuffing filling the house and igniting our excitement for what was to come.
I have now inherited the responsibility of stuffing-maker for all our family get togethers and I am so glad. Of all of the Christmas smells, stuffing cooking in the background is my favourite. And, even if I’m not the one cooking the whole meal, my house gets to smell like Christmas and those old feelings and memories come rushing back. It’s amazing how food has the capability of capturing these innocent, magical moments and helping you relive them just through smell. It’s one of my favourite things about food – the memories they hold.
My mom’s recipe is still my go-to for family events but on nights when it’s just my little family of four, and there’s a chicken in the crockpot, it’s nice to have a quicker option up your sleeve. Plus, my mom’s recipe admittedly has a TON of butter. Better to save that for special occasions. ;)
This recipe is simple to make and if you grew up with Stove Top Stuffing Mix this will be right up your alley. The texture and flavour are very similar. My hubby grew up with the boxed mix so it has always been his preferred way to enjoy stuffing. But since making this he agrees, it’s just liked the boxed mix. Only better.
Is there a food that stirs up childhood memories for you?
Use gluten-free bread for those with a gluten intolerance.
- 8 slices bread (whole wheat sourdough is my preference)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 stalk celery, sliced thinly
- 1/2 onion, diced small
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 3/4 teaspoon ground sage (or poultry seasoning)
- 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
Place bread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 350˚F for 16-20 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until toasted. Allow to cool then chop into small cubes.
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add celery, onion, salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables have softened. Stir in parsley and sage, stir until coated. Stir in chicken stock. Bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, stir in bread cubes along with any crumbs. Stir until evenly coated. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir gently before serving. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
Serves: 4-6 (about 5 cups)
Adapted from Savory Reviews.