Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Every Thanksgiving for the past 25 years, I have been pulling out of the recipe file, a now tattered three pages ripped from the November 1984 issue of Mademoiselle magazine containing my favorite stuffing recipe.
The lovely and wistful girl in the picture stands in her swell New York single gal kitchen, the Thanksgiving Day Parade is on her (prehistoric rabbit-eared) television. She gazes over a beautifully garnished Thanksgiving spread and arranges seasonal flowers while chatting on her corded phone with her startlingly handsome French boyfriend, Guy. (Pronounced "gee.") She has stem wear for 16, sweet serving dishes, a horn handled carving set and an Agnes B. checked blouse. She is an eighties Thanksgiving goddess.
I know that my 20 year-old self was secretly hoping that executing the recipes on these pages might cause some of her perfect life (I know she’s just a model, but still) to rub off on me. That Mademoiselle magic never did work itself on the details of my life, (and I have the photos to prove it) but the stuffing recipe has been a consolation prize that keeps on giving. It is easy and wonderful and always a big hit.
The Recipe For The Stuffing You Should Be Eating On Thursday
8-oz bag Pepperidge Farm Dry Herb Stuffing Mix (I’m pretty sure this hasn’t existed for many years. Any 8-oz bag of any seasoned stuffing mix will work.)
1-1/2 cups chopped, dried apricots
1 cup water
8 Tbs. butter
½ cup currants
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion, minced
1 egg, beaten
First, insert Purple Rain into the cassette player. Then, in a large bowl, toss together stuffing mix and apricots. In a small saucepan, combine water, 6 Tbs. butter and currants. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower and simmer until butter melts. Add to stuffing mixture, toss well. In a medium skillet, melt remaining 2 Tbs. butter. Lightly sauté celery and onion; add to stuffing mixture and mix well. Stir in egg.
Makes enough to stuff a 12 pound turkey. Extra stuffing can be placed in a baking pan and baked for 30 mins. At 350. For moist stuffing, cover pan with foil. For a crustier stuffing, leave pan uncovered. Apply more mousse to your perm and pour yourself a frosty glass of Tab.