Oh, stuffing. the bane of my existence. I have never liked the whole idea of that dish... everything from the fact that it's scraps of otherwise inedible bread to the fact that it's shoved up a turkey carcass' butt and left to soak up all the fat and salmonella-y juices to the fact that it's like eating crusty mush is just not right.
However, I am in the clear minority camp in the family. To my mom, a Thanksgiving turkey without stuffing is missing some sort of integral flavour, not to mention the table looks a little bare without that stoneware tureen sitting out, it's contents awaiting decimation. My grandparents like stuffing enough, thought perhaps not quite as much as mom does - but they do eat it. In recent years, everyone has been cutting back on the indulgence a bit, since my grandfather was diagnosed with diabetes and both my grandmother and mom hopped back on the weight-loss bandwagon. Without fail, though, the stuffing is always the first of the leftovers to go. Gosh knows why... but they're welcome to the bird-juiced, stale-bread-ness.
Of course, there is that little bit of a latent period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's such an awkward phase... call it the "teenage years" of the calendar if you will. It's not exactly like we're out of the holiday festivities all that much - what with Hallowe'en first and Christmas preparations thereafter - but at the same time you never really get into the holiday season "properly" until a week or so before the good ol' 12/25. But once you get that taste of holiday fun and festivities, you don't really want to relinquish it, do you? I know that while I definitely fall into the huge minority of those who either / or / and hate / don't celebrate the holidays (more than likely since I still feel awkward eating totally "off the wall" fare and generally "being different" than my family), the arrival of Thanksgiving is more or less the kickoff point for weeks and weeks of sporadic family and friend gatherings that people look forward to.
There is one thing missing from those middle weeks though. The food. Well, yes - it is both a blessing and a curse, since we can't very well eat like gluttonous pigs for the better part of three months. But why not have a wee bit of a taste in between... just enough so that you remember what it is you're hauling along for as you wait in the two-hour-long line ups at mall checkout counters, coddle feverish, runny-nosed kids (not that I am one or anything...) at the doctor's office waiting for a flu shot and watching Frosty the Snowman (oh how I hate that special!) for the ten-thousandth time in a row.
Makes 1 loaf, 16 slices
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup potato flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp instant yeast
3 tbsp non-fat dry milk
2 tsp poultry seasoning
2 sprigs fresh thyme, de-stemmed
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup warm, low sodium vegetable broth
2/3 cup warm 1% milk
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup non fat Greek yogurt
1/3 cup raisins, soaked in hot water and drained
- In a large bowl, whisk together flours, cornmeal, yeast, dry milk, poultry seasoning, thyme, and cinnamon.
- Pour in broth and milk, then add brown sugar and yogurt. Begin mixing to form a dough.
- Knead for 10 minutes. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
- Knead in raisins, then re-cover and allow to rest 20 minutes.
- Shape into a loaf and place into a greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake the bread 40 minutes, then turn out immediately and cool on a wire rack.
Total Fat: 0.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.8 mg
Sodium: 55.2 mg
Total Carbs: 26.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g
Protein: 4.7 g