Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dave's Secret Family Recipe of "To Die For Stuffing"


Thanksgiving is the one time of year where Americans decide to throw caution to the wind and overeat. It's a great way to give thanks for all you have been given in life by showing how little you care about things like longevity and cholesterol levels. We Americans (if you are not an American, please stop reading this now) spend so much time watching what we eat all year that it's only fair for us to have one day where we cut loose (like the seams on our sweatpants). Now there are lots of things people look forward to during Thanksgiving meal: turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, racist comments from your weird uncle who lives downstairs with his guitars, and of course squash. But what really gets my tummy rumbling (besides my crippling ulcers) is stuffing!

Stuffing is easily the greatest part of Thanksgiving. Everyone has that one family member who makes it just right and every year you count down the days until you can chow down until the only thing you feel is the sadness of there being no more stuffing. Now I know just reading about this has caused you to start salivating while you fantasize about that delicious dish of bread mashed together with spices and other random items but I have some surprising news for you. My family possesses the recipe for the greatest stuffing known to man! I'll allow a minute for that to sink in... Now that your jaw is back off the ground, let me tell you even better news. I have decided, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, to share that recipe with you today. So fire up that stove, roll up those sleeves, and make sure that creepy uncle is away at "band practice" because it's time to get cookin'!

Items you will need:
  • Box of Cheez-Its (1)
  • Salt (Lots)
  • Pepper (Lots)
  • Butter (stick)
  • Turkey (Raw)
First, take the box of Cheez-its and open it up. Remove the plastic bag that is filled with the delicious bits of baked cheese and cut open the top. Take a minute to breathe in the scent. Once you have properly smelled the cheese, look in the empty cardboard box around the side to see if you are in instant winner. If so, please send me the box. Pour the Cheez-its into a large Ziploc freezer bag and seal the bag shut.

Next, think about something that makes you very angry. Maybe a nasty break-up, that promotion you were overlooked for even though you clearly put in the time and hard work but maybe didn't feel comfortable playing High School level backstabbing politics, or even your own mortality. In any case, get nice and riled up. Now begin taking out your aggression on that bag of Cheez-its. Keep pounding away until the Cheez-its are in nice little pieces. Don't continue for too long though, you don't want them to be mashed into a thin powder. There still needs to be some consistency to them or else the texture of the stuffing will be thrown off. If you reach the ideal point of mashed Cheez-its but still have some aggression left over, try to bottle that back inside and forget about it until a later day (or Thanksgiving meal after 3 glasses of wine).

Now you can pour the contents of the Ziploc bag into a bowl. What? It won't pour?  Oh sorry, open up the Ziploc bag first and then pour the contents into a large mixing bowl. Its understood that Cheez-its have a natural level of saltiness but since this is Thanksgiving after all, let's add a bit more. Take a good amount of salt (a can will do) and pour that into the bowl. It's OK, don't be a pussy, really get that salt in there. Once that is done, throw some pepper in there as well for seasoning. Not too much, or you will reenact a comical cliche and sneeze so hard all the contents of the bowl will be scattered all over the kitchen floor. 

Ready to do some actual stuffing? Well slow down because we are not ready yet! Take the stick of butter and plop it in the middle of the mix. Place the bowl in a microwave and let it heat for about 30 seconds. Then remove the bowl from the microwave and, using a large mixing spoon, mix up the melted butter and hot seasoned Cheez-it bits, making sure the butter gets soaked in. Now go sit down for a second. Are you sitting? Good, because now it's time to do some stuffing!

Take your turkey and make sure the inside of it is nice and empty. Try screaming "Hello" into it and if you hear an echo, you are good to go. If you hear a response, please throw that turkey out and go buy a new one because you got yourself a haunted turkey. Once you have confirmed the turkey is ready for stuffing, put on some mood music. I suggest some Barry White or Josh Groban. Once that is done, try lighting a scented candle. My favorite is Apple Orchard. You can now begin spooning the mix into the turkey. Take your time though, there is no need to rush things. I got all day. 

Once completed, pick up the turkey and shake it side to side a bit, making sure all those raw turkey juices really get soaked into the stuffing mix. You may even want to put something a little more fast paced on the stereo for this, like Benny Hill music. Once complete, gently put the turkey back down and go have a cigarette while you let everything get nice and comfy up in that bird.

Once you finish your smoke, go back to the kitchen. I'm sure you think you are done and can now just cook the turkey but you are gravely mistaken. (Such a typical female response. Oh, you aren't a female? I just assumed because you were cooking that you were. Well, if you are a male and have made it this far, congratulations, you are gay. Use that confusion the next time you need some anger when mashing up Cheez-its.) Anyway, tilt the turkey down and scoop out the juiced mix into an oven safe dish. You will not actually be cooking this in the bird. The previous steps were done simply to get as much raw turkey juice as possible into the stuffing mix. You can thank me later.

Place the dish into the oven and bake at 350 degrees. Set the timer for 37 min. You can now throw out the turkey since that's someone else's job for Thanksgiving. While you wait for the stuffing, I suggest relaxing and watching some TV. Although now that I think of it, a little exercise might do you some good. I'm not here to judge, just stating a fact. Those workout DVDs over there sure have a lot of dust on them. Anyway, do what you want, it's not my life (thank Christ). Once you hear the timer go off, remove the dish from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Turn the oven off (I can't believe I even had to remind you) and go back to being a waste of space while the stuffing cools down. About 25 min. should do the trick. Once properly cooled, you can place the stuffing in a nice Tupperware container and put it in your fridge, where it will be ready for Thanksgiving day!

Oh, and I should have mentioned at the beginning to wash your hands between each step. If you didn't, that's gross.

You're Welcome and Happy Thanksgiving!
Dave

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