Dressing is Emotional
It’s emotional because it embodies place, race, memories, holidays, hearth and home.
It seems the term stuffing didn’t fit the decorum of the Victorian upper class, so they renamed it dressing. Today, it depends on where you live or from where you originally hailed whether you call it dressing, stuffing, or filling. It will always be dressing to Southern-girl me.
Dressing is Personal
It’s personal because it includes regional tastes and family traditions.
If you are from the eastern/northern/southern coast regions of the United States, you most likely want oysters or other seafood tidbits in your dressing.
From the South/Midwest, you usually use cornbread or a mixture of stale bread – even leftover biscuits – PLUS cornbread as your main ingredient.
Germans stuff potatoes in just about everything, and that includes their holiday stuffing. Check it out here.
Norwegians sometimes use rye bread, pork, and dill. Check it out here.
How about a Mexican version using chorizo, jalapenos, and cilantro? Check it out here.
Every culture that ever came to the United States has a different version of dressing. Combinations are endless. One might say the side dish we all think about at holiday times and special occasions includes recipes that literally circle the globe.
Oh, Stuff it!
Most people make dressing just like dear ‘ol mom or grandmother or Aunt So and So. No two people seem to agree on what makes the perfect dressing. Many interesting family feuds have started over these differences-of-stuffing opinions at holiday time.
A crazy memory…
I remember preparing a Thanksgiving meal one year with my sister-in-law. Now, we were in our early twenties and usually got along great. However, we had a bit of a stare-off when it came to making the dressing early that morning. She was from New Orleans, and no way, naw suh, was she going to have dressing without oysters. And as sure as I was standing there clinging to my stubborn Southern roots, I was not making dressing without cornbread and sage!
Silly us. We compromised by using everything we both felt we had to have, and, unbelievably, it turned out quite delicious! Different… but tasty! Later, we sipped lime Kool-Aid laced with a touch of vodka and complimented ourselves. After all, we did all the work and had to clean up all the mess, too. So… the touch of vodka was kind of necessary, lol.
Lime Kool-Aid. Yeah. Boy, were we ever young!
One thing most of us can agree on is that we love our dressing sitting proud beside *or inside* the turkey, chicken or Cornish hens at Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s comforting. It’s delicious. It’s traditional.
Viva la dressing!
My personal recipe for dressing is in the Recipes section of my blog. It has cornbread, sage sausage, black olives, celery… well, go see for yourself right here.
Just for fun!
No, I’m not that kind of girl, Cary. I can’t call it ‘dressing’ if we’re in Boston. They call it ‘stuffing.’ Don’t embarrass me.
What does (dressing, stuffing, filling) mean in your neck of the woods?
You know I love to hear from you!
Jodi Lea Stewart is a fiction author who believes in and writes about the triumph of the human spirit through overcoming adversity. With an Okie mom and a Texas stepdad, her writing reflects her life beginning in Texas and Oklahoma, later moving as a youngster to an Arizona cattle ranch next door to the Navajo Nation, and, as a young adult, resuming in her native Texas. Growing up, she climbed petroglyph-etched boulders, bounced two feet in the air in the backend of pickups wrestling through washed-out terracotta roads, and rode horseback on the winds of her imagination through the arroyos and mountains of the Arizona high country. Her lifetime friendship with all nationalities, cowpunchers, and the southern gentry allows Jodi to write comfortably about anything in the Southwest and the South.
Check out Jodi’s news and her latest everything.
What’s next from Jodi? Another epic historical fiction novel catapulting the reader out of Texas into Mexico, Argentina, and China and into the epicenter of another intriguing human drama. Look for it in 2022.
Other Recent AWARD-WINNING Publications by Jodi Lea Stewart
TRIUMPH, A NOVEL OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT is a 2021 International FIREBIRD First Place Multicultural Fiction Award Winner
If you loved To Kill a Mockingbird, and want a dramatic, different, and sometimes humorous version of New Orleans life, St. Louis, and Texas in the early to mid-century 1900s, all adorned in beguiling plot twists and unforgettable characters, read TRIUMPH, a Novel of the Human Spirit by Jodi Lea Stewart.
Two children are ripped from their separate homes in 1903, one by a secretive Voodoo sect, the other one hidden out of blind fear. Their uncertain fates set in motion a series of events that reverberate decades later. Opening in the Louisiana swamps and moving into New Orleans and St. Louis—this novel weaves together three vivid storylines featuring two friends of different races defying the odds of their heritage and 1950s bigotry.
TRIUMPH was a finalist in three categories in the 2021 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards contest, won a Readers’ Favorite with Reviewers, and is also a 2021 Firebird First Place Award Winner in Multicultural Fiction.
BLACKBERRY ROAD is a 2020 International CHANTICLEER First Place Multicultural Award Winner
Trouble sneaks in one Oklahoma afternoon in 1934 like an oily twister. A beloved neighbor is murdered, and a single piece of evidence sends the sheriff to arrest a black man who Biddy, a sharecropper’s daughter, knows is innocent. Hauntingly terrifying sounds seeping from the woods lead Biddy into even deeper mysteries and despair and finally into the shocking truths of that fateful summer.
“Beyond the humor and entertaining antics of the main character, Biddy Woodson, BLACKBERRY ROAD has depth and meaning as it explores stirring universal themes that we expect in great literature” ~ D.B. Jackson, acclaimed Historical and Western author
BLACKBERRY ROAD is engaging, entertaining, and a book that is sure to linger with you . . . the trip is well worth the time ~ Cyrus Webb, Host of ConversationsLIVE, president of Conversations Radio Network, tv show host, author, and Amazon top reviewer
THE ACCIDENTAL ROAD is a 2021 NEW MEXICO-ARIZONA BOOK AWARD First Place Adventure-Drama Winner
Kat, a teen, and her mother Take off on Route 66 to escape an abusive home life and stumble into the epicenter of crime peddlers invading Arizona and Nevada in the 1950s. Stranded hundreds of miles from their planned destination of Las Vegas, they land in a dusty Arizona town full of ghosts and tales, treachery and corruption. Avoiding disaster is tricky, especially as it leads Kat into a fevered quest for the simple things of home and a sense of belonging. Danger lurks everywhere, leading her to wonder if she and her mother really did mess up and take The Accidental Road of life.
It’s so much fun to read Jodi Lea Stewart’s books and to be taken away into the worlds that she creates, mainly because they are not just entertaining, but also teach us a lot about ourselves and life in general. THE ACCIDENTAL ROAD is no different . . . and in true Jodi Lea Stewart fashion there is a solid mixture of fun, adventure and even danger in store for this daughter and her mother . . . which is what makes the book so engaging. This is the kind of book you will want to read slowly so that you can savor the journey. From beginning to end, THE ACCIDENTAL ROAD has all the ingredients of a satisfying read ~ Cyrus Webb, Host of ConversationsLIVE, president of Conversations Radio Network, tv show host, author, and Amazon top reviewer