THE writer Maya Angelou has lived a long life and cooked a lot of turkeys, and one thing she doesn't mince is words.
Stuffing, she says, is really the point of the meal, isn't it?
For Thanksgiving cooks, a perfectly bronzed turkey is a challenge, and mashed sweet potatoes are a comfort, but stuffing is a labor of love.
Whether called stuffing or dressing, made with old crusts of corn bread or French-style pain au levain, moistened with Armagnac or applesauce, this unglamorous, gloriously flavored mixture is the true taste of Thanksgiving for many Americans. A passionate attachment to one's own family recipe, combined with a healthy suspicion of other stuffings, has become part of the holiday ritual.
"I make vats and vats of it, so there will be plenty for seconds and thirds and leftovers," said Susan Ott, an Iowa native who will celebrate Thanksgiving this year in Cornwall, Conn. "And I hate to go to anyone else's house for Thanksgiving, because I fear the stuffing will be weird."
Greg Danford of Burlington, Vt., recalled that "the first time I made oyster stuffing our family matriarch said that she didn't like food with surprises, asked me not to make it again and told me to stick to carving the turkey."Continue Reading