Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving and Brown Bread

I've been neglecting this blog but I swear it's for good reason. I just launched KNG Sommers Photography (my new and improved photography business) mailed out two weddings and two baby sessions, photographed two family sessions, (um, is two the magic number?) went to a beer canning for the Heavy Table and hung out with some cattle down in Cannon Falls, MN for Simple, Good and Tasty (I'll make sure to post a link when that article publishes) and all of that normal other day life stuff too. Sound like I have a problem saying no?

The other big news is that as of December 1st this blog will be moving to a new domain! I'm keeping it under wraps until then, but will go live on Tuesday with a month of fun culinary giveaways and much more frequent blog posts. Until then I'll keep you occupied with a delicious stuffing recipe and tempt you with the experimental purchase I made this week.


I was so looking forward to this holiday weekend. With very few obligations and nothing immediately on the chopping block Kyle and I spent all day on Wednesday doing nothing. Yesterday while I was working from home Kyle prepared "2nd Thanksgiving" which is a fun excuse to cook and drink two days in a row.

I don't care much for Turkey. It's fine I suppose, but I certainly don't obsess over it and Thanksgiving without turkey would be fine with me. What I really look forward to is the stuffing. And let me be clear, I really don't like most stuffing either. That mushy stuff that looks like baby food? Keep it away from me. I like southern cornbread and sausage stuffing. And no, my cornbread did not come in the form of dehydrated croutons (that is sacrilegious if you ask me). For my stuffing you make a good, hearty and savory cornbread. Mix it with onions, sausage, heavy cream and sherry and you have a little dish of heavy worth being thankful for.


It is also the best leftover because it is SO good for breakfast. Just fry an egg or two, put them on top of your reheated stuffing and voila, instant southern breakfast! Being a "stovetop" stuffing, you can really make it as a side dish any day of the week with the roasted bird being entirely optional.

Cornbread Stuffing From Time Life Foods of the World: American Cooking

  • 8 T butter
  • 1 1⁄2 c finely chopped onion
  • 1 lb sausage meat
  • 1⁄2 t salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 t fresh thyme leaves
  • 1⁄4 c finely chopped parsley
  • 1⁄4 c dry madiera or sherry
  • 1⁄4 c heavy cream


Cornbread for stuffing

1 ½ C. yellow cornmeal
1 C. all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1 T. baking powder
2 eggs
½ C. melted butter
1 ½ C. milk
Preheat the oven to 400º. Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Beat the eggs lightly, stir in the milk and add the melted butter. Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients and beat together for about a minute, or until smooth. Do not overbeat. Lightly butter an 8-by-12 inch shallow baking pan and pour in the batter. Bake in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the bread comes slightly away from the edge of the pan and is golden brown.

While your cornbread is baking:
Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet, add the chopped onions and cook over moderate heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they color lightly. Scrape them in into a large mixing bowl. Add the sausage to the skillet, now set over medium heat, and break the meat up with a fork as it cools. When the meat is lightly browned, transfer it to a sieve set over a small bowl and let the fat drain through. Combine the drained sausage meat, cornbread crumbs, salt a few grindings of pepper, the thyme and parsley. With a large spoon, gently stir the ingredients together, then moisten with the sherry and cream. Taste for seasoning.

(The original recipes calls to brown the turkey liver in butter, then to chop and add it as well, but my mom always puts it in the gravy. I on the other hand usually end up with a Kosher Bird which doesn't include the innards)

Then there was dessert. We made a normal pumpkin pie, which is great and all. But then we all had to try this New England delicacy I found at Byerly's this week


Apparently brown bread was created when most people New England didn't have ovens and cooked everything in a fireplace. The bread is essentially steamed rather than baked. I found a recipe so you can try it at home here, or you can go to the baked beans section of your grocery store and keep your fingers crossed that they too carry brown bread.

Taste profile: Well, it reminded me of eating really bland gingersnap cookie dough. It's definitely sticky and was pretty challenging to slice. I followed the recommended serving methods of toasting and microwaving along with serving it in its' raw state and I followed the suggestion of putting cream cheese on it. In summary, I wouldn't buy it again for any reason, but I might be inclined to try making it as a novelty if I had a lot of spare molasses on hand for some reason.


Laura. said...

uh, yeah. i remember a brown bread phase in my family at some point when i was a kid. i bet it would be better made from scratch, and with some homemade beans. . . .

Conner said...

That brown bread just looks awful. I will not be trying that anytime soon.

Congrats on the new site launch! Looking forward to seeing the new home for this site as well.

Kate said...

It was not super appetizing, I must admit. I'm really excited for the new look and domain name. Now I just need to figure out how to redirect blogger pages.

Rich G. said...

Speaking as a native New Englander, premade brown bread is horrific. Like most food, there's a world of difference between homemade and the shelf-stable garbage in that can.

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