27th Thanks­giv­ing meal set for Nov. 22

Times-Record - - FRONT PAGE - By MARIE SAV­AGE Food Colum­nist

Thanks­giv­ing has al­ways been one of my fa­vorite hol­i­days. I have mem­o­ries of my mom pre­par­ing for the big day many days in ad­vance. The first step is get­ting the turkey. Many use fresh far­m­grown tur­keys or find a nice frozen turkey in the ap­pro­pri­ate size. The side dishes seem to just fall in line. The next im­por­tant food is the stuff­ing for the bird, home­made or pack­aged. You can be sure that Mom made a large pot of dumplings with juices from the turkey. The turkey has been bought and the stuff­ing de­ci­sion is next. To­day I have two pop­u­lar recipes for you to try.

Fresh oys­ters are in sea­son right now. Talk­ing to a friend of mine who hap­pens to be a water­man, he said he is get­ting plenty and they are good. I love oys­ters in the shell so I can open them as I need them. Sup­port our lo­cal wa­ter­men and the hard work they do to make a liv­ing. For sure they love their cold, stren­u­ous pro­fes­sion. They don’t com­plain about the work, just about the lack of oys­ters.

Oyster stuff­ing

In a medium saucepan, cook 1/2 cup chopped celer y, 1/2 cup chopped onion, and one bay leaf in 1/4 cup but­ter un­til veg­eta­bles are ten­der but not brown. Dis­card the bay leaf. Stir in 6 cups dry bread crumbs and 1 tbsp. snipped pars­ley. Drain 3 cups shucked oys­ters, re­serv­ing the liq­uid. Add drained oys­ters, two beaten eggs, 1 tsp. poul­try sea­son­ing, and salt and pep­per to taste, and mix all of this thor­oughly with the crumb mix­ture. Stir in enough re­served oyster liq­uid to moisten. Spoon into turkey cav­ity. Pull the neck cav­ity open to stuff dress­ing into the breast­bone area. Pull the neck skin back over the stuff­ing and fas­ten with skew­ers if nec­es­sary. Spoon re­main­ing stuff­ing into the tail cav­ity. Tuck legs into skin at bot­tom of turkey. Bake ac­cord­ing to turkey direc­tions. En­joy the de­li­cious smells from the kitchen.

Old-fash­ioned bread dress­ing

In a skil­let, cook 1-1/2 cups finely chopped onion in 1/3 cup but­ter with 1-1/2 cups chopped cel­ery, cook­ing un­til ten­der. Add this mix­ture to 8 cups dry small bread cubes, placed in a large pan. Sprin­kle with 1-1/2 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. black pep­per, 1/2 tsp. poul­try sea­son­ing and 1/2 tsp. sage, and com­bine well. Add 1/4 cup wa­ter and one beaten egg. Toss to­gether with a fork. Stuff a thawed bird im­me­di­ately and bake ac­cord­ing to direc­tions on the turkey la­bel.

Ch­e­sa­peake-style roast turkey

Take one 14- to 16-lb. turkey. Wash turkey with cold wa­ter, dry, and salt and pep­per to taste. Make an oyster stuff­ing con­sist­ing of three stalks chopped cel­ery, one medium chopped onion, 3/4 cup melted but­ter, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pep­per, 1/2 tsp. tar­ragon, 1 tsp. poul­try sea­son­ing, 1 tsp. le­mon juice, 12 slices day-old bread, cubed, and 3 cups shucked oys­ters with juices. Mix well and stuff in­side the cav­ity of the pre­pared turkey. Place in a large roast­ing pan and bake in a 325 de­gree oven about 20 min­utes per pound. Baste turkey with the pan drip­pings about ev­ery 20 min­utes. Tent the turkey with heavy duty foil so it browns with­out burn­ing. Pre­heat the oven and stuff the turkey as soon as the mix­ture is ready.

Clip this col­umn and save for the big day. Next week we will do some quick and easy crust­less pies.

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