By: Deanna Linder
From the time you are in preschool in America, children are taught about the holiday of Thanksgiving. We were explained the story of the pilgrims, who came from England on their ships, who happened to meet the friendly “Indians” upon their arrival to America. The two foreign groups then decided to have a feast to celebrate the pilgrims’ arrival and the Indian’s making of new friends. This large feast included the eating of turkey, yams, cranberries and other such native items to the East Coast.
Ironically, as you get older, you find out that absolutely none of this is true. A. the Indians weren’t in fact Indians, but the indigenous people to America, also known as Native Americans. B. The pilgrims did not make friends with the Indians, instead slaughtering them in an attempt to civilize and claim stake to the occupied land. C. One can easily concur that given A and B, that there was no such feast with turkey and the likes.
So once you figure this out, you are left with the feeling of emptiness towards a holiday that once had so much meaning. Fortunately as the years have passed I have learned to gain a newfound respect for Thanksgiving. For me, instead of having anything to do with the story of a people I don’t relate to (both pilgrims and Indians), Thanksgiving is a day (or a long weekend in America), to evaluate the things in my own life which I have to be thankful for, to be reminded of those who are less fortunate.
Along with the many very personal things I have to be thankful for this year, I would also like to thank our readers, and to wish all of you a year full of achievements.
This stuffing, traditionally to go alongside Turkey, can be served on its own, or as a stuffing for chicken or Cornish hen (as photographed here).
Ingredients for 6-8 people
1 loaf good-quality white bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 cups cooked chestnuts
1½ sticks (6 oz.) butter
2 yellow onions, cut into ¼-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, smashed
4 celery stalks, cut into ¼-inch dice
3 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
2 ½ cups chicken stock
2 cups parsley, coarsely chopped
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1. Spread bread cubes in single layers on baking sheets. Let dry at room temperature, uncovered, overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F and butter a large baking dish.
3. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, celery and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add sage and cook another 3 minutes. Stir in ½ cup of chicken stock; cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
4. Transfer onion mixture to a large bowl. Add the remaining chicken stock, the chestnuts, bread, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
5. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes, uncover and continue baking until golden brown, 30 more minutes.