reverb10 Prompt: Soul Food

One of the most important parts of the Christmas Dinner we have at my parents house is the stuffing. I’ve had a lot of different kinds of stuffing – some healthier, some fancier, but none better. My mom was kind enough to walk me thought the process of making a small vegan batch. I did my best to copy down the recipe, although she doesn’t really follow any instructions – by now the stuffing is mostly accomplished by feel.

She calls it Stuffing. (People who call it Dressing are just strange.) It’s based on the Apple-Raisin and Pecan variations of the Bread Stuffing recipe in the Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, circa 1969. It ends up begin very similar to a savory French apple pie, so I think it should be given a proper title now that I’ve vegan-ized it.

And I am so happy I did try to make this vegan! I sat down to Christmas Dinner and realized that A) the stuffing tasted just as it should, and B) I had completely forgotten about the Field Roast, my meat substitute. I didn’t need it. I had stuffing and all was right with the world.

Mom’s French-Style Stuffing

½ stick non-dairy butter (I used EarthBalance)
1 small white onion, chopped
4 sticks celery, chopped
1 apple, peeled and chopped
3 cups dried breadcrumbs
½ cup vegetable broth
¼ teaspoon dried sage
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Raisins (Optional, and to taste)
Nuts, like Pecans or Walnuts (Optional, and to taste)

Melt butter substitute in saucepan. Sauté onion, apple, and celery until soft. Add dried breadcrumbs and vegetable broth and stir to moisten. Add sage and thyme, salt and pepper. Stir to ensure spices and moisture are evenly distributed. If desired (and why wouldn’t you desire it?) add raisins and pecans. Stir gently. Put into a covered casserole dish and bake at 325 for 1 hour.


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