By Melody Copenny

Cherished Women’s Blog Writer

I knew the holidays arrived when I left the city ways of Atlanta and ventured an hour south to the red clay country roads of Eatonton. This small town is the birthplace of Alice Walker, author of “The Color Purple,” and home to my childhood summers.

Grandmothers, TraditionsIt was time to enjoy good food with the people I loved as my mama’s car passed rows of Georgia pecan trees through Madison and Monticello. My thoughts skipped toward my grandmother Lena, knowing she’d have a bag of pecans she gathered from her yard for me and my cousins, and some peppermint candy to eat them with.

I knew Lena loved me, not only because she said it, but she showed it through her cooking – roasted turkey, ham, macaroni and cheese, green beans, collard greens, potato salad, corn bread, sweet potato pies and homemade cakes. And her Thanksgiving cornbread dressing with homemade gravy was the magnum opus for it all.

Dressing and stuffing are unique, depending on what part of the country you live in. Stuffing fits nicely inside your turkey. Dressing cooks solo in its own pan. The terminology can be interchangeable but we all want whatever herbed bread dish that accompanies our poultry friends to taste real good.

As America prepares for Thanksgiving this week, I want to share a recipe with you that reminds me of my grandma and her cornbread dressing. Eat friends, be thankful, and love each other well.

Southern Cornbread Dressing

Courtesy of The Food Network

Total Time: 1 hr 50 min     Preparations: 30 min     Cook: 1 hr 20 min     Yield: 6 to 8 servings     Level: Easy

Ingredients

Cornbread (recipe below)

7 slices oven-dried white bread

1 sleeve saltine crackers

8 tablespoons butter

2 cups celery, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

7 cups chicken stock

Thanksgiving Recipes1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon sage (optional)

1 tablespoon poultry seasoning (optional)

5 eggs, beaten

Cornbread:

1 cup self-rising cornmeal

1/2 cup self-rising flour

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

2 tablespoons vegetable oil


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, combine crumbled cornbread (see recipe below), dried white bread slices, and saltines; set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and cook until transparent, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour the vegetable mixture over cornbread mixture. Add the stock, mix well, taste, and add salt, pepper to taste, sage, and poultry seasoning. Add beaten eggs and mix well.

Reserve 2 heaping tablespoons of this mixture for the giblet gravy.

Pour mixture into a greased pan and bake until dressing is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Serve with turkey as a side dish.

Cornbread:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into a greased shallow baking dish. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Melody Copenny

About Melody Copenny

Melody Copenny is a poet, writer, author and storyteller living a gospel-centered life. A native of Atlanta, GA, she’s called Orlando, FL home since 2005 and been a member of the Discovery Church family for 12 years. Presently she serves as editor in chief for the Discovery Women's Ministry blog, Cherished. She's passionate about the intersection of creativity, words, theology and popular culture and writes to be real, relevant and reveal. A healthy foodie who enjoys cooking well, classic soul and R&B and serving a women’s group at Discovery, she blogs regularly on themes about grieving, mourning, living and loving at www.findingmelodie.com. You can connect to Mel on Twitter & Instagram @findingmelodie.

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