Thanksgiving: The holiday where people drive hours in the car to eat dinner with relatives they see maybe once a year. The house smells wonderful and everyone chatters excitedly while catching up on everyone’s lives. Football blares on the television and children sneak olives, putting them on their fingers. By the time dinner is over most remember why once a year is way too often.

Many families have traditional family dishes that are served each year at holiday gatherings. Tables overflowing with roasted turkey, Aunt Sally’s marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, Cousin Judy’s red jello mold, and that one relative that always brings her dreaded, soggy, terrifying dish consisting of bread, poultry seasoning, and water she calls stuffing. Children, with their faces displaying looks of repulsion, protest when reminded of the “just one bite” rule. To be polite, a few will reluctantly try just a bite and spit it out in their napkin when they think no one is looking. Then the family dog hides in fear, hoping no one will try to sneak him a bite under the table.

When it is time to clear the dishes and put away the leftovers, the awkwardness of the untouched stuffing dish strikes fear in everyone. Polite excuses of not wanting any of the left over stuffing are made and allergies are suddenly invented. In the spirit of the holiday, someone will cave to the guilt and take some of the ghastly stuffing while mentally making note to throw it out after everyone is gone.

Here is a stuffing recipe that will make you thankful this Thanksgiving. My family always makes sure it is on the menu even if someone else is bringing stuffing. I hope you will celebrate the holidays with your family and friends.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo © Jason Lugo

Mary Beth Sligar's famous Mushroom Stuffing.

Mushroom Stuffing

  • 1 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 ½ cups chopped onion
  • ¾ to 1 cup water
  • 12 cups dry bread cubes
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp sage
  • 2 cups sliced celery
  • ½ cup butter
  • 5 tsp instant chicken bouillon
  • 1 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts drained and chopped
  • 2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Optional, cooked sausage

In a large frying pan, cook mushrooms, celery, and onion in butter until tender. Add the water and chicken bouillon, cooking until bouillon dissolves. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir in the cooked mixture. If mixture seems too dry, add a little more water until moist. Put in a greased baking dish, cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Refrigerate any leftovers. This will make about 2 ½ to 3 quarts.