So, if you're anything like me, you're a stickler for specific thanksgiving recipes. Generally there are a few things on the table I can't stand, and a few others I wouldn't change for the world. The former includes candied carrots (yuck!) and cranberry relish (or standard cranberry sauce... neither of which ever find their way onto my plate). And even, honestly, I don't really care about the Turkey! I do enjoy a crunchy wing, some turkey skin and a bit of thigh meat, but when it comes to turkey day, I live for the carbs. Mashed potatoes are a must (with or without gravy, really, I'm not picky) some brussels sprouts for good measure (I will post my "brussels sprouts for people who hate brussels sprouts recipe one day, perhaps) and of course, stuffing! Now, I'm not talking about that goopy substance that sticks to your fork as a byproduct of milk soaked bread. I'm sure your mother makes a delicious version of that, and that's great, but the stuffing I grew up on is moist but not gelatinous, flavorful, good with gravy or without and works well stuffed into a bird or out, depending on your opinion on the matter. Oh, and it includes two of the best ingredients on earth; cornbread and sausage. Not that "cornbread" that comes in stuffing mix bags, but freshly baked, home made cornbread. Yum. So yum in fact, that Kyle suggested I make my family's stuffing for dinner last night, two days before Thanksgiving. This sounded perfect to me, given that since finding out I'm pregnant, my desire to eat meat has been limited to pieces of it being mixed in with things. Oh, did I forget to mention, I'm pregnant?
Okay, this was really a scapegoat of a post for me to tell you in my own weird "I'm not good at big announcements" way that I'm pregnant. I will still give you a picture of the cornbread and recipe at the end of the post (what, food is important too!). But first! Let's focus on the babies, and yes, that would be children, plural. The twins are expected to show up next year on May 9th, and we couldn't be more thrilled, and quite frankly, a little scared. But mostly, thrilled! We've been wanting this for a long time and every day we grow more excited about expanding the Sommers clan. Today marks my 16th week of pregnancy, and I'm definitely starting to look the part.
The first trimester was a mixed bag of being excited to be pregnant, scared of miscarriage, feeling like SHIT and being unbearably tired. But my energy is back (to a degree) and my appetite is quite healthy. I still haven't had a hamburger in over 3 months (sad face), but for the most part my eating habits have returned and then some. If more than 2-3 hours go by without a bite of food WATCH OUT! Kyle has been an amazing partner throughout, taking care of me and not judging me when all I could eat was Mac and cheese for days on end (Kraft is what I wanted, but I settled for Annie's blue box to give me peace of mind) and allowing me to live while barely lifting a finger. Now that I'm in my 2nd trimester I try to make compromises with myself so that he doesn't have to do everything, but sometimes just getting up for a glass of water takes more energy than I can fathom.
Otherwise, things have gotten a bit "boring" on my front, which I love. Wedding season is over, and I've been focusing on ME, which I hope to continue throughout. Staying at home on weekend nights watching movies and making dinner is just my speed, and my 9-10pm bedtime is pretty much set in stone. We plan to find out the sexes next month (regardless of the many opinions out there regarding this decision) and can't wait to start decorating the designated baby room as soon as we clean all the shit out of there (it's been serving as an enormous walk in closet for about 2 years now...) I've gone to prenatal yoga once, and have been working out with a trainer to build up my strength. Since I'm considered "high risk" becaus of the multiples factor, I go into the Dr every 2 weeks for an ultrasound to make sure my body isn't doing anything it shouldn't be. While some people might find this annoying I LOVE seeing them move around every two weeks! It's amazing how fast they're growing in there, and I love watching my body change along with them. At this point, it makes me so grateful to have a twin pregnancy, because I love that i'm changing so rapidly. Ask me again at 30 weeks and I'm sure you'll get a different story.
So... that's that! Here's that stuffing recipe for you*:
Cornbread Stuffing From Time Life Foods of the World: American Cooking
- 8 T butter
- 1 1⁄2 c finely chopped onio
- 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)
*It seems I've posted this recipe before. But perhaps that reiterates how much I love it. Plus, this picture is WAY better