Friday, November 16, 2012

Move Over Stovetop!

I wanted to let you all know that I appreciate your prayers, comments and loving on this Barefoot Hippie Girl and her family.

Today is the funeral. I am not going to pretend it isn't going to be hard. It is. My husband has to give a eulogy.

But, this morning I am going to write a normal post. Not because I'm not grieving. Not because I am pretending everything is okay. I'm not ignoring the pain. I'm not moving on.

By writing a normal post, I am striving for our new normal. A normal with a huge gap. I am coping by crying freely when the grief sneaks up on me. I'm coping by writing because writing is very healing for me.

I've been reminded this week that people grieve differently. Some people cry heart wrenching sobs. Some people are silent criers. Both sets have broken hearts.

I grieve by doing. By running my legs off. By scrubbing my tub. By cooking for my family.

I am also grieving by writing. By talking on the phone. By sharing my pain and letting others minister to me. My family, does not do "letting others help you" very well.

I've grieved this week by sharing my ugly, sin drenched heart with some of my closest friends. And by letting God's forgiveness and grace pour into my soul.

(I am grieving by going on another mouse hunt. Okay, so it isn't really part of the grieving process, but I am trying to catch this fnm. Seriously, here I am typing and this cheeky, fat mouse keeps peaking at me from under the couch. He is studiously avoiding the glue traps. He is driving me nuts.) normal  post...a small kitchen adventure.

Thanksgiving dinner is the holiday meal to write home about in my mom's house. Christmas dinner is a rather laid back affair. Thanksgiving is a no holds barred event.

We have dishes and dishes of amazing food. And I love it. I love the tradition and I love the leftovers.

This year we are not heading to TX for Mom's and Thanksgiving dinner. But I am still hauling out some of my favorite recipes. Old favorites and newer favorites.

One of the newer favorites is my stuffing. A couple of years ago, we didn't go to TX for Thanksgiving either, because we had already made several trips that year. The Barefoot Hippies were (relatively) on their own that year. And I decided to try out some new recipes. One of which was stuffing.

I found this recipe, and I am never going back to regular stuffing. This recipe combines bread, sausage, apples, roasted nuts and chicken broth for an amazing affect. Mom always stuffed her turkey with stuffing which made for a nice moist dish. This recipe is moist even without going in the turkey.

I generally make it up the day before and then pop it in the oven for a hour before dinner.

Sausage and Apple Stuffing
16-20 ounce loaf Italian bread, cubed
6 Tbsp butter, plus more for topping
1 pound sage sausage
1 onion, chopped
2 cooking apples, peeled, cored, chopped
2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp parsley
1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted (350 degrees, 7 minutes)
2 eggs, beaten

Grease a casserole dish. Melt 2 T butter, add sausage, break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until almost not pink (5 minutes). Add sausage and pan drippings to bread cubes in a big bowl. Melt remaining butter in pan. Add onion, apple, celery and salt. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add broth and parsley. Bring to boil. Pour vegetable mixture over stuffing, tossing to evenly moisten. Add eggs and walnuts. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees until top forms a crust. Drizzle 2T of turkey drippings or butter over top and bake for another 20 minutes.

If you haven't planned your stuffing yet, I hope you will give this recipe a whirl. It might just ruin all other stuffing for you.

What dish are you most looking forward to eating next Thursday?

Oh, and I caught my mouse!