Mama’s Cornbread Dressing

If you are in the kitchen while a skilled chef is at work, be sure and take good notes.

My mom made the best cornbread sauce ever. I was patting a pan of her wet and delicious clothes against the clothes made by the country’s best chefs, and I know without a doubt that Mama’s recipe will come out the winner. Mama carefully planned the culinary holiday a military exercise; She made a detailed list of dishes to prepare, bought her groceries weeks in advance, calculated how long it would take for the turkey to thaw, and put the frozen bird in the fridge not a day early or too late. Most importantly, she cooked the cornbread for seasoning a day or two in advance, so she will have time to dry, which is an important ingredient in making high-quality cornbread sauce.

The one thing Mama didn’t do? She did not write her recipe. Like many talented home chefs, my mom cooked from memory, smell, taste, and touch, and even though I spent many vacations by her side in the kitchen, talking through the recipe while preparing it, I never wrote it. I recently ran through Southern Living’s recipe for South Cornbread Dressing and I think it’s as close to Mama as anything I’ve been able to bake.

Food memories can take you back to another place and time. A few weeks ago, I smelled baked cornbread in Southern Living Test kitchens and was immediately taken to Mama’s kitchen. This version uses the same ingredients as Mama used – eggs, onions, celery, herbs, and even breadcrumbs (she usually uses leftover biscuits or two). The method and ingredients for this recipe are just like Mama’s, so the texture and taste are the same … well, approx.

This recipe is similar to Mama not only in terms of flavor and texture but in terms of quantity – it makes a lot. We have a large family that has grown bigger over the years with the addition of in-laws, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Mama finally turns to baking a double recipe of cornbread sauce on a large blue-splashed toasting tray. You don’t have to use a toasting pan for this recipe, but you will need a 13 ” by 9 ” baking dish and an 8 ” square baking plate. Bake both if you have a holiday crowd, otherwise bake one and freeze one for another meal.

Everyone has the memory of a favorite dish that reminds them of home. If you’re in the kitchen this season while making this recipe, take a pen and paper and jot down the recipe.

* Ingredients :

° 2 cups onions ( chop )

° 2 cups celery, (chop)

° 1/2 c butter …

° 4 cups finely crumbled toast (I do not use biscuits, too gum, knit 10)

° 4 cups cornbread finely crumbled

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