Stuffing or dressing, what do you call it? I’ve always called it stuffing although we got out of the tradition of stuffing it inside the turkey a long time ago. Of course putting the stuffing inside the bird ensures that it will be extra moist, but on the other hand making sure it is thoroughly cooked to the correct temperature so my guests don’t get sick freaks me out a little. This Whole Wheat Bread Stuffing (minus the whole wheat part) is the recipe my mom has been using every Thanksgiving since I was a kid.
This morning as I was running on my treadmill and switching between watching the unexpected snow fall and my recorded Thanksgiving shows from the Food Network, I started to reminisce about how much I love this holiday. Unlike Christmas where present giving and receiving is the part that most look forward too, Thanksgiving seems to be more about family and friends and spending the day enjoying one another’s company.
Growing up it was almost guaranteed that one of my sets of grandparents would come and spend the week of Thanksgiving with us. I remember how special it made the holiday feel knowing that they would be there. The preparations for the big day would always start the night before with my mom drying out the bread for the stuffing and making the Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls. In the morning I would sit and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and smell all the wonderful aromas of the turkey, pies, and stuffing. The smell of sage, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves filled the house and made my stomach growl. Depending on my age I was given the tasks of setting the table, mashing the potatoes, or making the cranberry sauce. Having a kitchen full of three generations of women cooking, baking, laughing, and enjoying each others company is really what Thanksgiving is all about for me.
Now that I’m an adult Thanksgiving has changed slightly. My grandparents are no longer here to celebrate the day with us and since my husband and I moved to Colorado we don’t have our parents and siblings here to enjoy the day with. Thankfully, last Thanksgiving as well as this Thanksgiving we will be headed down the road to celebrate with my aunt and uncle’s family. The gathering is always big and crazy at their house and a guaranteed good time! This year I will be bringing a couple side dishes and my favorite, dessert! The only part I miss about hosting Thanksgiving at our own house is all the leftovers. To make up for it, I made my husband and I a mini Thanksgiving dinner last night complete with a roasted turkey breast, gravy, and this Slow Cooker Whole Wheat Bread Stuffing. While I devoured the turkey and gravy, my husband enjoyed numerous servings of the stuffing. He is a bread man through and through and devoured the easy to make slow cooker version of my mom’s traditional stuffing recipe. However and wherever you will be spending Thanksgiving this year, I hope you find yourself surrounded by people you love and food that you can all enjoy together!