Mama’s Cornbread Dressing

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Just in time for Thanksgiving, here is Mom’s recipe for cornbread dressing.

(1) 9×9 pan of crumbled cornbread [2 cups cornmeal (if not self-rising add 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda) , 2 eggs, 2 tbs oil, 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, salt to taste but I don’t add any salt to cornbread used for stuffing, bake at 400 for 20 min in oiled pan or black iron skillet]

(1/4) loaf white bread

(3) eggs

(1) stick butter

(1) can cream of chicken soup

(1) cup milk

(3) cups chicken broth

(3/4) cup chopped green onion

(1/4) cup bell pepper

(1/2) tsp sweet basil

(1/2) tsp rubbed sage

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Sweat green onion and bell pepper with butter until soft, let cool and combine with all other ingredients.  Mix together until soupy

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Pour in greased 9×13 dish and bake at 350 degrees until starts to brown on top.

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Be sure to watch the cumulative amount of salt.  I don’t add any seasoning to these ingredients because there is usually enough salt in the stock and there will be plenty of seasoning in the gravy made from the turkey drippings and deglazed pan.  Mom always made her own chicken stock for this dish.  Homemade stock is always better.

Sweet Potato Souffle

IMG_3554   . IMG_3558 I decided to make a trial run of sweet potato souffle before Thanksgiving.  It’s got all the same stuff that Mama’s casserole does, just put together differently.

Use 1 tbs butter, 1 tbs flour to make a quick white roux and add 1/2 cup cold milk to the roux for a classic Bechamel sauce.  Let cool.

Combine white sauce with 8 oz (by weight) of cooked, peeled and cooled sweet potato, 2 tbs sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 egg yolks and blend/whisk smooth.

Begin whipping 2 egg whites, add 1/2 tbs sugar when they begin to stiffen, continue whipping and add another 1/2 tbs sugar when it starts to hold a peak and continue to whip until it resembles the sheen and stiffness of shaving cream.

Fold half the meringue into the the sweet potato mixture at a time making sure not to be too aggressive mixing them together.  Simply fold until all the white color has turned the same color as the sweet potato mixture.

liberally butter and sugar the bottom and sides of (4) 8 oz baking Ramekins (small, straight-sided bowls), scoop mixture into bowls and bake in 400 degree oven until tops just start to brown ~20-25 minutes.

Present it hot and finished with powdered sugar before it falls, but let cool some before enjoying.  Again, the same flavors as Mom’s but now with the lighter texture and elegant presentation.

Mom’s Sweet Potato Recipes (for Thanksgiving)

Mom's Sweet Potato Pie Back

With Thanksgiving coming up it’s time for some home cookin’.  This is 1/2 the recipe at the bottom of the back of the card.  Mix well and cook in buttered dish at 325 about 45 to 50 minutes until middle rises.  Move to bottom rack if you add the pecan topping.

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I prefer it without the topping.  Also don’t be afraid to brown the edges, the sugars caramelize and get nice and gooey.

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The interesting thing about all of Mother’s recipe cards is that she dated and credited them.  Also, how they changed over time and how her communication was really intended for her and intent is not always clear. There are a lot of secrets NOT on the cards.  For instance, she sweetens her sweet potatoes after they are cooked and peeled and still hot, adding 1 1/2 cups of sugar per quart.  Sweeten to your taste, I only use 1 cup.

June’s No-Crust Coconut Pie

Fresh from the oven:  Mother’s no-crust coconut pie.

(1) 6 or 7 oz can shaved coconut

(4) eggs, well beaten

1 /2 cup self rising flour

1 3/4 cups sugar

1/2 stick melted butter

(1) tsp vanilla extract

(2) cups whole milk

Combine and mix well.  Pour into (2) well-greased 9″ pie pans.  Bake at 325 degrees for about 40 to 50 minutes until lightly browned.