Monday, March 24, 2008

A Success Story

My sister and I provided the Easter Dinner this year. Amy did a ham, Birds nest Slaw, deviled eggs, a chocolate cake (from Publix) and an almond pound cake with strawberries and whipped cream. I have to give her props, because my dear sister does not enjoy cooking, so this was done out of a sense of duty, which she performed admirably. I sometimes feel her efforts are worth twice the praise because of this.

I made chicken and dressing, green beans, carrot and raisin salad, squash casserole, pineapple casserole, banana cream pie, and coconut cake. My aunt and cousins provided sweet tea, unsweet tea, and rolls.

Here's the thing. My father kept telling me all week-end that it was the best dressing he had ever eaten. My aunt called to tell me it was the best dressing she had ever eaten. And my cousin David sent me an email telling me it was one of the best meals he had ever had. This was only my third attempt at cornbread dressing.

And the kicker is that my Aunt Nellie (Dad's sister) makes amazing dressing. The stuff dreams are made of. At family dinners, everyone waits anxiously to see if she has brought dressing. To hear my father tell me I made the best dressing he had ever had almost made me weep.

Southern Chicken and Dressing

1 pan Southern style cornbread
4 slices white bread
1 tube saltine crackers
3 stalks celery
1 medium onion
1 qt chicken broth
2 eggs
2 tsp salt
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 cooked chicken

Place chopped celery and diced onion into a small sauce pan with a cup of water and simmer until soft. Drain. Crumble cornbread, white bread, and saltines into a large bowl. Add onions and celery. Beat eggs and pour over bread mixture. Shred chicken and place in bowl with bread, eggs, and veggies. Add seasoning and begin adding broth until wet but not loose. Should take almost the full quart. Place in pan and back at 375 degrees until golden brown on top.

Pineapple Casserole

2 20 oz cans chunk pineapple in its own juice
6 tbs flour
1/2 c sugar
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 tube butter type crackers (Ritz, Club, etc)
1 stick melted butter

Drain the juice from one can of pineapple and place in a bowl. Add the 2nd can of pineapple with juice. Add flour, sugar, and cheese and mix well. Place in a 9 x 11 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with crumbled crackers. Pour melted butter over the top. Bake @ 350 degrees 25 to 30 minutes, until top is brown and inside mixture is bubbly.

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