Thursday, December 25, 2008

Heirloom of the Week

My grandma Lucy Hodge made the best cornbread dressing. It has passed down the line to all her daughters and sons and now to my generation. One of the more cherished of the family heirlooms:

Hodge Family Cornbread Dressing

· 1 recipe cornbread (a skillet full)
· 1 small can biscuits
· 1-2 bunches green onions, with tops, sliced
· 2-3 ribs celery, chopped
· ½ - 1 green bell pepper, chopped (optional)
· 2-3 hard boiled eggs, chopped (optional)
· Sage, salt and pepper to taste

Prepare breads ahead of time. A 10-inch skillet full of cornbread is about right, plus 5-6 biscuits. Crumble breads into a large bowl.

Chop the green onions (you may add a little regular onion, if desired), celery and green pepper. You should have approximately 1 cup each. You may add the vegetables directly to the bread mixture, or you may prefer to cook the vegetables briefly in boiling water until they begin to soften. Drain the water before adding to the breads. If you wish, chop and add some boiled eggs.

To season the mixture, add about 2 teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper and 2 to 3 teaspoons sage. (When it comes to sage, the feeling at our house is the more the merrier—about ½ of a standard spice bottle is about right for us.) Mix well.

Add chicken broth until the mixture is well moistened, but not soupy. (Think mud pie consistency.) It usually takes 2-3 cans or 4-5 cups of freshly made broth. Pour into a lightly greased casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, until the dressing is firm and slightly browned.

Some folks like to add the chopped, cooked giblets. I’m not one of them, but if you insist, go ahead. Just warn me, if you do.

This is the official family cornbread dressing recipe, created by my grandmother. For many years we accommodated the non-sage eating in-laws with a separate pan without that spice, but we’ve decided that if you want to be in this family, you had better learn to love sage. The giblets in/giblets out battle continues to rage.

1 comment:

dwilcoxen said...

Imagine my anguish when I realized I forgot to take some with me the other day.