You need to be very, very happy that you are not going to be the not very glad recipient of a gift from me this year. No really. even I feel a bit sorry for anyone getting a little something in their stocking from yours truly because some things have no decent explanation and they just… happen and this year five boxes of fresh stuffing *happened* to the gifts I had safely stashed away in the tiny wardrobe in my bedroom and honestly, let’s just accept the fact that my name is Alison, and I am disgusting.
It happened like this. In our house stuffing is a BIG DEAL. The boys love it and it has become something of a Christmas tradition for them to eat as much as they can before, during and after Christmas. They want it with EVERYTHING and the stuffing they like best is shop-bought and fresh. So usually a few weeks before Christmas I buy a silly amount of it, freeze it and then according to their whim serve it with EVERYTHING come the holiday.
But this year the shops have been… weird? Things that would ordinarily have been on the shelves weeks ago just weren’t there, and there was simply no gluten free stuffing to be had, though I stalked the supermarkets and harassed the shop-workers and for far too long, in the midst of the most dramatic of first world troubles I wrung my hands and pulled out my hair in child-disappointing despair. And then at the end of a long ‘orrible day Christmas shopping (never as romantic as I hope it will be!) I came across a few shelves of this festive sagey treasure and quickly bought five packets and in an effort to be eco-friendly refused a carrier bag and shoved all my stuffing into my enormous bag of miscellaneous gifts and made my way home.
I was so tired. So I headed straight to the bath and then downstairs for a restorative cup of tea and in the meantime, Ste, as he has been trained to do, hid my gifts away and I smiled at the Christmas tree and told tales of torrid hunts for the right boots for Finn (who will only wear one style) and Stee returned the conversational favour by insisting that he cannot possibly buy Stevie the aftershave he wants until he has smelled it and I argued that was nonsensical as how it smelled to him has nothing to do with anything, and then we had some cheese and crackers and all was well with the world.
And life went on. And more and more gifts were shoved in the teeny wardrobe and we marched towards Christmas on a wave of now really, has Chrisitmas always been this hard and isn’t it lovely anyway and would you like a pre-emptive glass of my new mulled wine recipe? And then we started to wrap as we watched various box sets and the pile of presents in the wardrobe got smaller and that under the tree bigger and I’m not too proud to say I was feeling a little smug.
And then it happened. Ste brought down the last bag of gifts and as he walked in I baulked as if I’d been forced to eat elephants eyes on I’m a Celebrity, and Ste laughed and then he stopped laughing and peered into the bag and baulked himself and pulled out various items for our beautiful children, scrumptiously dressed like so much salad in very, very mouldy sage and onion juice.
Oh yes. I am Alison and I am disgusting.
Now a whole bag of teeny little somethings destined for those we love is utterly ruined. RUINED I tell you. And much as those boys love stuffing, I’m pretty certain they don’t want to wear it. Or read it. Or play it.
The worst part of all of this? Now that this veritable Pandora’s Box of festive trimmings has been opened. my bedroom STINKS of Christmas. Not, oh bliss, the scent of oranges slowly dried in the oven or mince pies gently warmed and served to others with brandy cream (because let it be known that though I will force feed them to anyone who darkens my door in December I consider them an insult to the very notion of FOOD). but the stench of Christmas Dinner leftovers when we can barely fathom ever eating again, combined with mouldy things to ugly to think about and then used to polish my bedside tables and spritz my velvet pillowcases.
Oh yes. I sleep in the innards of a turkey. And I’m gifting things I can’t afford to replace, wiped down and liberally sprinkled with its giblets.
My name is Alison and I am disgusting. And boys? I am truly sorry. But this is what happens when you insist on eating stuffing with your cornflakes.
Oh no. Oh no. That sounds awful. And I can only imagine having to try to clean everything. I admit I laughed, but mainly because I can totally see myself doing something similar. I’ve had such brain fog, for who knows what reason, and am constantly aware that there is something I have forgotten at every moment. I did put the milk in the cabinet and the sugar in the fridge after making my morning tea, but thankfully my young son was fixing his right after me and caught it.
Oh, dear! I foresee this becoming a cherished part of your family’s lore in years to come but right now? Not so cherished, I’m sure. I do need to ask, though. Is it really possible to buy already made stuffing in England? I’ve never seen such a thing here in the States. I love the made-from-scratch sort but my adult son has an unreasonable love of the boxed Stove Top Stuffing. Fortunately that sort doesn’t spoil. 😉
And this will be one of those treasured memories you laugh about later. I haven’t had any food related catastrophies this year, but I did try to pay for my Christmas purchases with my library card the other day. When the teen aged clerk questioned me, I just looked at him and said “Knowledge is power.” I’m sure he thought I was crazy and maybe I am. I just want a normal holiday. It seems like so long since I have had one. Merry, Merry to all!
This is stuffing that you mix with your hands in a dishpan. I think it must be Irish, because my Mum always made it and because it’s made with potatoes.
Mix cold mashed potatoes with fresh white bread that has been torn into small pieces. Stir one or two eggs and add to make everything bind.
Add some melted butter.
Finely chop and apple, an onion, a stalk of celery. Sprinkle on some salt, pepper, sage, savoury, and a dash of garlic powder.
Squash everything with your hands until very well combined. That is it!
There are no amounts listed because it depends on the size of the turkey and who is around sneaking big chunks of raw stuffing despite egg warnings. Our family members have always made a lot of extra stuffing and cooked it in a covered dish in the oven. There is no such thing as too much dressing where they are concerned. It makes lovely sandwiches layered with a wee bit of turkey and cranberry jelly.