Jodi Lea Stewart’s Southern-Style Cornbread Dressing

Dressing is Emotional

It’s emotional because it embodies place, race, memories, holidays, hearth and home.

Whatchacallit Matters

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.

Italians bring their love of sausage to the “dressing table.” Check it out here.

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!'

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!

Because I believe FUNNY is better than sackcloth and ashes:

I’m searching for book readers. They live in caves nowadays, right?


About Jodi Lea Stewart

Author Jodi Lea Stewart ~ Laughing Makes it All Worthwhile ~

Jodi Lea Stewart is a fiction author who believes in and writes about the triumph of the human spirit through overcoming adversity via grit, humor, and stubborn tenacity. Her writing reflects her life beginning in Texas, Missouri, 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, the South, and far BEYOND.



Watch the Book Trailer for THE GOLD ROSE HERE.

I write historical fiction centered around the early to mid-twentieth century. My latest novel, THE GOLD ROSE, involves the Japanese invasion of China and the ensuing civil war that ushered in modern-day communism. No matter what the circumstances, eras, conflicts, or main plots entail… my goal is always to create characters everyone relates to. I believe that’s the kind of connective reading in which the reader and writer actually share a point in time. 😊 Happy reading, y’all!





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