At the first hint of chill in the air, my thoughts turn to Christmas. My mind and heart begin to fill with visions of sugar plums indeed. My weekly menu turns decidedly toward comfort food and I begin rummaging in my brain for homemade Christmas gift ideas for my loved ones. I begin hauling out first the autumn decorations and later the Christmas, decking my halls and every other available surface. I take delight in the season, the magic, wonder and glory of it all. This blog was born from that delight. Here you will find dinner ideas, crafts, decor, stories, memories, and music. Some ideas will be entirely mine, but I will also include anything cute I come across that I think you might like to see, credit given to the creator or source. Please leave me your ideas in the comments and any other feedback you'd like to give.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Brown Bread Squash Stuffing

I'm not a big lover of stuffing. Soggy bread, onions, and celery cooked together totally grossed me out as a kid and it has taken me a long time to get past that. You know that instant stove top stuff? That's my speed- with nothing added to it. But as I've grown up and matured, I've been coming around. A few years ago I copied down this recipe for Brown Bread Squash Stuffing, (I don't remember the source), because I thought it sounded like a nice variation on traditional stuffing. Plus, Brown bread is so quirky and reminds me of my childhood. Most people of my generation don't even know what brown bread is. (When I asked at a certain superstore if they carried canned brown bread the lady started heading toward the bread isle and said, "I'm assuming "Canned" is the brand name?") In fact, brown bread is bread in a can. Mom used to put it in our 72 hour emergency kits. She would rotate it out when it was time for it to be used and we would slide it out of the can, slice it up, and toast it for breakfast.

So when I saw a recipe that called for brown bread, I thought, "I haven't seen that stuff in years! I have to try this recipe!" As it turns out, brown bread can be a little difficult to find. I have yet to make this. BUT, it is on the Thanksgiving menu this year. I found brown bread at the local Piggly Wiggly and I have already cut it into cubes along with the honey wheat bread to be toasted and made into stuffing in a few days. Anybody want to try it with me? I can't recommend the recipe yet because I haven't tried it, but I think it sounds good. If you want to give it a try, here is the recipe. Let me know if you make it and how it turns out.

Brown Bread Squash Stuffing

7 C honey wheat bread cut into 1/2" cubes (7-9 slices)
(1) 16 0z can brown bread with raisins, 1/2" cubes (5 C) (Look for brown bread in the grocery store next to the baked beans)
6 T butter
4C peeled and seeded squash 3/4" cubes (butternut or acorn)
1 1/2 C coarsely chopped celery with tops
1 large red onion, thin wedges
2 1/4-2 3/4 C chicken broth
1/4 C snipped fresh sage {OR} 2 tsp dried sage, crushed
2 T fresh parsley
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

*Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread wheat bread and brown bread cubes in 2 shallow baking pans. Melt 4 T of butter and drizzle evenly over bread cubes. Toss to coat. Bake, uncovered, 15-20 minutes, until lightly toasted, stirring once. Transfer to a very large mixing bowl.

*In a very large skillet, melt 2 T butter over medium heat. Add squash. Cook, uncovered, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add celery and onion; cover and cook 10 minutes more. Stir in 1/4 C broth. Cover and cook 5 minutes more, until squash is just tender. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in sage, parsley, nutmeg, salt, pepper.

*Add squash mixture to bread in bowl. Add 2 C of broth; toss to coat. Add enough broth for desired moistness.

*Transfer stuffing mixture to a greased 3 quart casserole dish. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 to 20 minutes more, until heated through.

~TIP: Bread crumbs can be toasted and kept dry in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Prep: 35 min
Yield: 10-12 serv.

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