What do you call the ‘stuff’ that you stuff inside your Christmas bird? It seems obvious to me to call it ‘stuffing,’ but I understand that elsewhere this is considered a slightly vulgar term. ‘Dressing’ however, has other culinary meanings, and ‘forcemeat’ is rather old-fashioned. Whatever you call it, I have several ideas for some slightly different mixtures to use to stuff inside your bird, gleaned from Australian newspapers of the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Mix together ¼ cup of toasted breadcrumbs, 1 cup of seeded raisins, 1 large apple grated, ¾ cup of finely-chopped celery, 1 small onion, 1 ½ cups cornflakes, 1 cup of finely-chopped sweet pickles, ¼ cup melted bacon fat or butter. Mix together, season to taste with salt, pepper, and paprika. If the mixture is dry add a little boiling water.
This is an excellent stuffing for a fowl; if needed for a turkey, double the mixture.
The Charleville Times (Qld. ) 22 December, 1939
Rice and Ham Stuffing.
This unusual stuffing is very good. Put some pieces of cooked ham through a food chopper, measure a cupful and put it into a basin; add a cup of cold boiled rice, six cooked chopped mushrooms, one tablespoon of chopped parsley, salt, pepper, and red pepper to taste, four tablespoons of melted butter, and sufficient cream or stock to moisten.
The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld) December 5, 1929
Walnut Stuffing for Ducks.
1 cup breadcrumbs, ¼ cup walnuts chopped fine, ½ cup top milk or cream, tiny bit cayenne, 3 tablespoons fat, ¼ teaspoon onion juice or chopped onion, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon paprika. Add the seasonings to the crumbs, melt the fat, add the nuts, and then the milk. If more moisture is needed, use extra milk.
The Advertiser December 20, 1927
My mother is firmly in the "dressing" camp... but then other people don't always know what she's talking about these days!
Whatever you call it, I love a classic sage and onion dressing and have used that flavour profile for "Dressing Bread" (like garlic bread) and "Stuffing Flavoured Baked Beans".
Happy Christmas and thanks for a wonderful blog.
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