The Fourth Annual Huffington Post "Tell Us What You're Cooking For Thanksgiving This Year That You Didn't Cook Last Year" Contest
And so, Thanksgiving. Its the most amazing holiday. Just think about it -- it's a miracle that once a year so many millions of Americans sit down to exactly the same meal as one another, exactly the same meal they grew up eating, and exactly the same meal they ate a year earlier. The turkey. The sweet potatoes. The stuffing. The pumpkin pie. Is there anything else we all can agree so vehemently about? I don't think so.
This Meal, with it's glorious standards, is the thing that reassures us that we're home (even if we're not), that we're a family (even if we don't meet the standard definition), and that we're Americans (even if we're despondent over the mid-terms).
And every year, just to stay fresh, and in the interests of change and counterintuitiveness, HuffPost runs its annual Thanksgiving contest: Tell Us What You're Cooking For Thanksgiving This Year That You Didn't Cook Last Year. Something new. Something old you've never tried for Thanksgiving. Some twist on a traditional thing. Something for vegetarians. So send in those recipes and we'll pick ten winners.
In my case I'm making a sausage stuffing in addition to the one we can't live without. We always make the same old same old stuffing I grew up with, using the Pepperidge Farm packaged stuff and lots of celery and onions and mushrooms and twice as much butter as you're supposed to. But yesterday, visiting Seattle, I made my ritual visit to Tom Douglas' Dahlia Bakery and bought some of his focaccia stuffing which came with Douglas' recipe. It has sage in it. I hate sage. But yesterday I thought, perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps sage is good after all. This was a cheap and exciting way to feel open-minded.
Here's his recipe, which I have altered only slightly:
12 cups stuffing
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 pound butter
1/2 pound loose sausage
2 cups diced onion
2 cups diced celery
8 large sage leaves chopped
2 sprigs thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter and gently cook onions and celery. Put into a bowl. Brown sausage meat in the same pan. Add to bowl and toss with the other ingredients. Put into a shallow baking dish and cook for about 20 or 30 minutes at 400 degrees till crispy.
Send us your recipe for What You're Cooking For Thanksgiving This Year That You Didn't Cook Last Year in the comments below, and we'll post our ten favorites next week.