Ok, so I know I like a variety of bread in my stuffing, so I cubed up (quickly, thanks to an electric knife!) a loaf of sourdough bread,
a loaf of pumpernickle bread,
a fresh, soft and tender french bread loaf,
...annnnd a very crusty (aka messy) loaf of french bread I'd already been drying out for a few days.
Hm, all this chopping of bread sure got SOMEONE'S interest. Good thing I had a kitchen assistant - more than one cube of bread made it to the floor! ;-)
Once I had all the bread cubes mixed up in my two biggest mixing bowls, I sprinkled with the following:
1 tablespoon dried/ground thyme
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon dried/ground savory
1 tablespoon dried/rubbed sage
1.5 tablespoons black pepper
1.5 tablespoons salt
Then I tossed them onto a couple sheet pans and baked them looooow and slooooow for a couple hours that night, and a little more the next night, just leaving them in the oven each day). Here they are pre-seasoning and pre-baking.
So the day before Thanksgiving I figured I'd just whip together all the stuff and set the stuffing in the fridge. Shouldn't take long, right? Well, let's see what all's going into the stuffing... Since I had so much bread, I'd picked up a second pound of Bob Evan's sage seasoned sausage...
...and browned that up in my biggest skillet.
Off to the side I heated the last remains (1 cup?) of a beef broth carton, plus I think 2 cartons of chicken broth? There were also various herbs (parsley, sage, thyme) tossed in, and a little salt and pepper? I thought I would use the giblets in this, but those went to the gravy...
Once the sausage was done, I set it off to the side and sauteed two tart green, and two mild/soft yellow apples...
...hm....what'm I forgetting? Oh yeah - a stick of butter!
Then I added in the veggies I'd prepared the night before - 6 carrots, 6 stalks celery, 4 medium onions and 2 large parsnips (a new addition this year!).
Oh, and two big handfuls of dried cranberries ("craisins").
Once the veggies softened a bit, I dumped the sausage back in and adjusted the seasonings (just sprinkled on more salt and pepper).
Hm....I'm starting to accumulate a lot of stuffing parts here! Ok, the biggest thing I could come up with to work in was - the turkey roaster!!! Dumped in the stuffing bread...
...and then added all the veggies/fruit!
At this point I forgot to keep taking pictures. I ended out using ALL of the broth I'd pre-heated (so at least 9 cups - perhaps more?), and stirred all that in....
And remember when I said to remember my "big" problem. Well, after assembling all this and getting it to where I was happy with the massive amount of stuff, I went and weighed myself, and then weighed myself holding the roasting pan with stuffing. I don't figure the roasting pan itself weighs more than a couple pounds.... And the scales? Well, they implied the stuffing + roasting pan - Jeph = 19+ lbs!! Oops - so yeah, don't make this recipe exactly to scale, with all my measurements, unless you're looking to feed a BIG crowd. I ended out calling Dave and having him stop by to take a gallon-bag loaded with the stuff down to Mansfield, where he was doing t-day with his mom (his dad was out shooting deer in WV). And I had another gallon bag stuffed full for Blake to take with him. And a quart bag of the stuff went right into the freezer. The remaining stuffing filled my largest casserole dish. Heh heh...that was a lot of stuffing!! ;-)
BTW - it tasted gooooood!