Upon getting married 22 years ago I informed my husband that I would never stick my hand into a turkey cavity. So for the last two decades he has prepared our holiday turkeys in addition to many other items featured on our menu. However, dinner rolls and dressing quickly became my responsibility.
I usually buy no-brainer brown and serve rolls, but I do make more of an effort with the dressing. My favorite, and relatively easy, recipe is over fifty years old. My mother used it when she and her roommates made their first Thanksgiving meal away from their childhood homes. Mom had never attempted dressing before and bought a November, 1950ish issue of Ladies HomesJournal and took a chance. Her dressing has been a big hit ever since and is definately worth a try.
12 slices of toasted bread
1 pan cornbread
Butter or margarine
1 onion chopped
5 stalks of celery, sliced/chopped
Chicken Broth (from a can, the turkey, or from bouillon)
Tear the toasted bread and cornbread into bite-sized pieces and put into a large bowl or pan. Saute the onion and celery in the butter until tender and stir into the bread. Add sage, salt, and pepper to taste. Add broth to desired consistency, moist or dry. I usually cook my pan of dressing in the oven or on the stove top. I don't ever stuff in the bird because, remember, I don't stick my hands into turkey cavities.
This recipe makes a fairly large amount of dressing. if you have 4 or 5 in your family you'll probably have leftoevers. However, if you are cooking for a large number, this recipe may be all you need. It is also very easy to double or half depending on your needs.
Since my culinary expertise is severly limited to the easy and most basic, I've found a simple was to add a special flare to our holiday dining pleasure. When my children were little I started using some fancy red goblets handed down from my mother as part of our holiday dining experience. My boys who are now in college and high school still get excited about the goblets and non-alcoholic sparkling juices that grace our table on Thanksgiving and Christmas. These "fancy" drinks create a fun and festive atmosphere for our simple celebration and are still a much anticipated part or our dining tradition.
It's a good thing Jesus isn't as wimpy as me. I think it would be a huge sacrifice to stick my hand inside a turkey carcass, yet Jesus died for me. Everytime "turkey day" rolls around I am so creeped out by the things (neck, gizzard, etc) that emerge from the bird that I almost have to leave the kitchen. Jesus faced something way more horrifying than turkey parts, but stood strong and was willing to not only sacrifice, but to be the sacrifice if it was the Father's will.
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus, at one point, threw himself on the ground and prayed," My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want" (Matthew 26:39 NRSV). Now that is devotion; not only to God, but to every one of us. Jesus was an incredible figure when He walked this earth and is still just as incredible while He currently sits at the right hand of God the Father.
As we enter the holiday season, be thankful that we serve such a wonderful God. Be thankful for His sacrifice. Be thankful for the men and women of our armed forces who sacrifice so much for this great nation and its citizens. Be thankful for the small things...like, for me, a husband who loves me enough the wrestle our Thanksgiving turkey so I can focus on brown and serve rolls and this wonderful dressing. And, lastly, be thankful that if we are called to sacrifice in any area of our lives, that we will have a loving Father rooting us on from heaven.