catching up

It's been a while - no excuses. Life has been busy and ... interesting ... and blah, blah, blah. Since I last posted, I've done some fun stuff, though - I had a birthday, helped some friends pass out Halloween candy, tied for first in our chili cook-off at work (more about that later), saw the Youth Performance Company's show, Mean, for the second time and attended a fundraising breakfast for them -- and another for Clare Housing, an organization that provides housing and support for individuals and families living with aids. I went to a Lion's club waffle breakfast (noteworthy because the waffles were delicious), went on a great 4-wheeler ride with family and friends, helped start a facebook page for church, and learned a little bit about taking time for myself and some ways to live a life of gratitude from a friend (more on that later, too).

Now that we're all caught up, I figured that I would post something kind of timely. This week, we had a potluck at work - the turkey was provided and we needed to fill in the sides, desserts, etc... and it was Thanksgiving themed, so I offered to bring stuffing.

I, of course, called mom because I've never made stuffing before. The call went something like this:
Me: Can you send me your stuffing recipe? I want to make it for a potluck.
Mom: Sure - I'll send you one from one my cookbooks.
Me: From a cookbook?

Mom: Yes. 
Me: Is it sage stuffing?
Mom: Yes. 

Me: I don't want that one. I want your stuffing recipe.
And, why was I so adamant to have Mom's? Because it's awesome. I don't know what to call it, except the "the sweet one with the raisins." (note: I don't even like raisins, except in this, Raisin Bran, and mom's rice pudding - otherwise, no thanks...) Part of the reason I wanted this one, too, was because if the people at work didn't eat all of it, I wanted this as the leftovers over sage stuffing any day. Turns out I didn't have any leftovers, so crisis averted... or perhaps a flaw in the plan?

This recipe was doubled so I had enough for the potluck, so you can easily cut in half - everything can be to taste, so adjust as needed. 

Stuffing - the Sweet One with the Raisins

1 ¾ lg. onion (you could probably use 1 lg. and 1 med.)
5 celery stalks
1 c. butter
1 ¼ c. raisins
6 Tbsp. Brown sugar
2 bags unseasoned stuffing bread
6 c. chicken broth
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 med. apples, chopped small (I used fireside apples)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Chop onions and celery into small pieces (I used my food processer/chopper). In a med/lg. saucepan, saut̩ butter, onion, celery stalks until soft. Add salt and pepper to taste while they soften. Add brown sugar and stir well until dissolved. Add raisins and simmer for about 10 minutes (I just let it simmer while I peeled the apples and chopped them РI used my food processor for that, too). Let the mixture cool a bit.

Put the stuffing bread in a large bowl and mix in the sauté mixture and the apples. Add chicken broth, 2 cups at a time stirring in between. I added part of the cinnamon with each of the rounds of chicken broth to try to make sure it got mixed in well. I think I used a pinch or so more than a tsp. of cinnamon.

I baked in 3 glass pans for 50 minutes at 350; but my pans were a little small, so you could probably get by with 2. Each pan should be greased well with cooking spray and, on top of the stuffing, I put a few small slivers of butter. Bake until the top is just golden brown and a tiny bit crispy. You can serve it immediately, or put it in a Crockpot, refrigerate, and re-heat the next day.

Or, you can take mom's route and don't bake it at all - she just puts it in a Crockpot for 4 hours – her batch is usually about half of this, so if you make a large batch, it might take a little bit longer but not much. I didn’t have 4 hours to deal with the morning of the potluck, so I baked the night before and re-heated in the Crockpot.

It's delicious. Do it.

Also, we're wondering, now, if this is the recipe that came up in a comment to a previous post that was my great aunt's. Greg - let me know if this sounds like Ruth's stuffing... :)


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