Food for thought

This is a great recipe for stuffing that caters both to vegetarians and non-vegetarians. It is sure to please the pallet and maybe even outshine the turkey.

Traditionally stuffing is cooked inside the bird. This gives it more flavor, but is not necessary. For this, follow cooking instructions for the poultry – don’t worry about overcooking or drying out the stuffing because the juices from the bird keep the stuffing moist.

For a creative presentation or to add a sweet flavor, clean out a pumpkin (large one for a serving piece or small individual pumpkins for individual servings) and bake your stuffing inside of the pumpkin. Depending on the pumpkin’s size, you may want to bake it first, then add the stuffing and continue baking. Be sure to poke a few small holes in the top of the pumpkin or leave the top off so the pumpkin does not explode.

* 30 slices of bread (white, wheat or oatmeal)
* 2-3 T butter
* 1 large onion finely chopped
* 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
* 1-2 C mushrooms, chopped
* 2 eggs lightly beaten
* 2 C of chicken or vegetable broth
* 1-2 tsp of garlic powder
* 1-2 tsp of parsley
* salt and pepper to taste

Toast the bread and allow it to harden for 24 hours. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and if using a baking dish, lightly grease it. Crumble the bread and place the crumbs into a large bowl. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Once the butter has warmed up (about 3-5 minutes), add the onions, mushrooms and celery and lightly saut? them until soft (about 10-20 minutes). Mix broth and eggs into the breadcrumbs. The mixture should be moist, but not mushy. If too dry, add water and if too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Mix in vegetables. Place stuffing inside pan, turkey or pumpkin. Bake about one hour or until the top of the stuffing is brown. Serves 24.

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