The Turkey might be the star but the sides are what really makes Thanksgiving dinner special. There are a few staples that are a must at the Spalding’s spread and my Southern Dressing (no stuffing around these parts!) and Cranberry Applesauce are on the top of the list. Every time I make my mama’s dressing recipe (with a few changes here and there) it brings back memories of her in the kitchen. I miss her the most during this time of year but thank goodness I had her teach me how to make dressing because there was no recipe written down (and there still isn’t but I will give you a good outline of how I make it. The secret really is cooking it in iron skillet.
I won’t touch that canned cranberry jelly like stuff that my mom would slice and put on the table year after year. (I know some of y’all love it but not me) When I started hosting Thanksgiving dinner I decided to find something with cranberries that I would enjoy. So after a few tries, I finally nailed the recipe down and now it is a family favorite. The first couple of years I served it hot like baked apples and then decided to try it cold like applesauce and it was even better and you can make it a day ahead to save time.
- 4-6 granny smith apples (peeled and sliced)
- 1 bag of fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon butter
Mix everything in bowl and pour into a 9 x 12 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Take out and stir every 10 minutes or so. I like mine chunky so I don’t over cook but you can cook it longer if you prefer it to be a smoother consistency.
Kelly’s Southern Dressing
Bread mix is a combination of lightly toasted bread slices, a couple of biscuits, cornbread and a sleeve of saltine crackers. I do all of this the day before, crumble it up, spread it out on a cookie sheet and leave it on the stove all day to dry out…..seriously dry out. If you don’t have time for that, turn the oven on 300 degrees then turn it off and put the cookie sheet in the oven for 20 minutes or so. Next I put a stick of butter in an iron skillet and cook my chopped celery and onions until they are translucent. I put my bread mixture in a big mixing bowl and pour veggies on top. I add salt and pepper to taste, 2 teaspoons of Sage, 1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning and some finely chopped parsley. Once that is mixed well I add about 6 to 7 cups of chicken stock (I make my own but you can use store bought). Here is where I go by instincts. I don’t want it too soupy and I don’t want it too dry….so I stop adding stock when it looks right. Cook at 350 for an hour or so…..again until it isn’t wiggly in the middle (super technical cooking terminology)
What are your favorite sides?