Wednesday, November 20, 2013

At least the stuffing was a hit....

Making the stuffing for 100 people (my husband’s boy scout troop and their family members) went much better than expected.  I suppose after almost 20 years making this dish for this particular event, I should expect it to go with no fuss.  Of course, I dried the 18 pounds of Italian and Rye bread about 5 weeks ago and broke it into pieces, so it was ready to be combined with the rest of the ingredients.  I dumped all the dry bread into a clean, 30 gallon plastic storage bin, and set it aside.  The actual hand chopping of the onions (10 pounds) and the celery (5-6 pounds), as well as the cooking of said vegetable bits with 6 pounds of butter in a huge stock pot, took about 45 minutes.  Once that was done, the salt, pepper and appropriate seasonings were added to the pot and left to simmer another quarter hour.  This concoction, along with a gallon and a half of boiling water, was poured over the bread.  I found the best way to mix this enormous load of stuffing is to don a clean pair of Teflon, oven-proof gloves and scoop it around with my gloved hands.  It’s quicker than using a spoon, but one must make sure that none of the boiling hot stuffing falls down the glove openings!  Once evenly mixed and cooled, the stuffing is scooped into gallon zip lock bags (nine) and placed in the fridge until used.

The funny story here is that, for the last several years, I have made my famous stuffing for this annual event without the onions.  It almost killed me to do so, and I was vocal about the diminished quality of the final product, but one of the assistant scoutmasters was deathly allergic to onions.  Therefore, the onions had to go.  My husband insisted that the stuffing still tasted fine, but I knew it did not.  I had mixed feelings of sadness and delight when the man in question sold his business and moved to Florida over the summer.  I tried not to dance with glee at the thought of once again using onions in the stuffing. 

As I sat eating the turkey dinner with several of the scout parents, a woman piped up and said, “Wow!  This is great stuffing!  They must have gotten someone new to make it since it’s been pretty blah tasting for the last few years.”
 
Vindication!