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Grandma Virginia's Cornbread Dressing

This dressing recipe came from Grandmother Virginia Corse West. She was the mother of Nancy Jane West, who went on to be Jane West Dunkelberg and my mother.
Grandma Virginia did little cooking. Grandpa Cecil always was ready, willing and (sorry grandma) more able to tackle kitchen chores. This dressing, however, was one of her great contributions to the holiday culinary arts.*
This version of the recipe comes from my mother - the above mentioned Jane Dunkelberg (nee West). Grandma passed it along before she passed away.
However, after mother's first few attempts to make this dressing, we all suspected that Grandma had left a little something out so that it never would be just like hers again. If, in fact, that was the case, she need not have bothered. There's always been something missing from this great dish ever since God took the hands that prepared it so lovingly and so well.

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The Dressing

  • 3 cups chopped CELERY
  • 3 cups chopped ONION
  • 3 cups BUTTER
  • 6 tsp. SALT
  • 24 cups BREAD CRUMBS (at least 50% cornbread)
  • 9 tsp. McCormick's POULTRY SEASONING*

*Substitute 1-tsp. fresh sage for 1 tsp. of poultry seasoning. **
**Personally, I would at least double that amount of sage and throw in some thyme as well. (editor)

Sauté onions and celery in the butter. Put the other ingredients in a large bowl. Add the sautéd onions and celery and butter. Start mixing. Add hot water to the make the right consistency - plan on on about 5 cups. Use chicken bouillon or chicken stock for better flavor.
Bake in a flat pan at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Not for stuffing bird.

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*the other tradition was making fruit cake. We kids went along with grandma as she bought the ingredients - nuts three or four kinds - and the candied fruits (with little tastes of each fruit for each of grandma's helpers). When we returned with goodies, we set up shop - cracked nuts, chopped nuts, sliced candied fruit (under the VERY watchful eye of grandma) and choppped fruit. Since we had helped make it, it tasted really good. Haven't met a fruitcake to match it ever.

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