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Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Do you call the traditional Thanksgiving meal side dish dressing or stuffing? It seems to be a regional thing as is pop versus soda, mowing or cutting the grass, lunch versus dinner, etc.  Seems there's a lot of diversity in this big old country.  When I was a child, we would occasional be subjected to a young, idealist of a teacher, from one of those elite universities out east.  They always thought it would be an interesting anthropological experience to come to our northern Michigan village and teach the children of absent sailors, impoverished lumbermen, and hard scrabbled farmers, some culture and refinement.  They never lasted through one of our notoriously harsh winters, but anyway to bring me back to the stuffing/dressing debate, as I was going off on a completely  different tangent; one such teacher taught us that the word "stuffing" was vulgar.  Oh dear !  We country hicks must have been quite a challenge to her!

Well anyway, so much for that.  Now on to Frankenmuth and it's stuffing.  When I was a child, my parents took me  there.  It was as though I had stepped into one of those Grimms  Brother's storybooks, with it's Alpine buildings, twinkling lit trees, horse drawn carriages, and even a covered bridge suitable for Billy goats gruff.  I was instantly smitten.  Then we went into the castle-like fortress and ate.  My goodness!  What a wonderful meal!  I've related before, that my mother was a terrible cook, and her stuffing was probably one of her worst dishes.  It resembled and tasted like wallpaper paste with raisins.  So I was surprised when I tasted the restaurant's stuffing and loved it.  After years of experimenting, I've come up with a pretty good facsimile of the wonderful recipe I first tasted as a child.  I know that you probably have your own ideas and traditions of the perfect Thanksgiving dish, but just in case you've been using Stove Top stuffing, here's the recipe:

Frankenmuth Stuffing

1 loaf stollen ( a traditional German fruit bread, without icing of course)
1/2 C. grated onion
1/2 C. grated celery
1/4 C. oil
2 tins of chicken (found next to the canned tuna in the grocers)
3 C. chicken broth
grated rind of 1 orange and the juice of half of an orange
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp. marjoram
1 tsp. chicken seasoning (I use Zehnders)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. sage
1/4 C. chopped  fresh parsley

Cube the bread. and combine  with all the remaining  ingredients.  Place in a greased casserole (I use a souffle dish).  Refrigerate overnight.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  This stuffing inflates like a souffle, hence the use of a souffle dish.  Usually, I cube the bread, stir in the chicken, onions, celery and spices then freeze this to get a jump on the preparations.  The night before Thanksgiving, I defrost the bread, then combine the broth, oil, juice and eggs and  stir into the bread mixture.

So there you have it, Frankenmuth stuffing.  This fruity type of dressing goes well with goose or duck also.  Now, I'd like to thank you all for your positively winsome comments on the giveaway post.  There's still time to enter, in case you haven't already.  Go ahead!  Don't be shy.  I won't bite.  At least I haven't bitten anyone in over half a century!

Speaking of giveaways, our dear friend Marqueta at is having a giveaway also, for her newest Ebook.  It's a fascinating story of the births of her adorable  children.  Marqueta has so much wisdom to share, especially about the use of herbs, I know you will find her little book very interesting.

Update:  Here's the recipe that I use for Christmas Stollen.  It comes from an old recipe book put out by our Lutheran church's Ladies Aid Society (circa 1950s)

Christmas Stollen

1 pkg. dry yeast
1/4 C. warm water
1/2 C. milk, scalded
1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. mace or nutmeg (traditionally they use mace but who has that spice in their cupboard anymore?)
1/4 C. each - candied cherries, citron, golden raisins, and almonds
2 1/2 - 2 3/4 C. flour

Proof the yeast in the warm water. Combine the milk, sugar and salt.  Cool to lukewarm.  Add the egg, peel, vanilla, nutmeg and yeast mixture to the milk mixture.  Beat until smooth.  Add the fruits and nuts.  Hint:  dredge the fruit in some flour first to keep them from sticking together.  Add enough flour to make a moderately stiff dough.  Knead until smooth and elastic.  Place in a greased bowl.  Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.  Punch down dough.  Shape into a 14 X 9 inch oval.  Brush with melted bitter and fold in half lengthwise  (sometimes we braid ours).  Place on a well-greased cookie sheet.  Let rise until nearly doubled.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Cool.  Frost with a thin vanilla icing and sprinkle with some almonds.


  1. I use the terms 'stuffing' and 'dressing' almost inter-changeably, so now I'm trying to recall which was usual in my New England childhood.
    I seldom make a recipe as written, but your stuffing intrigues me, I'm wondering how it would be made with a loaf of my homemade bread as a starting point.

  2. You could certainly use your own bread, Morning! I would probably throw in a handful of dried fruit, whichever is your favorite, be it raisins, or apples perhaps even cherries or apricots. As stollen is basically white bread with a fruit cake mixture stirred in. I also wanted to tell you that I so admired that you take in so many stray cats. It breaks my heart to see so many strays. We feed them and my neighbor leaves his garage open to give them shelter, but there's simply to many to give them all homes. We have quite a colony of them. Last year over two dozen!

  3. Frankenmuth sounds like an amazing magical place to visit, and your stuffing recipe sounds like it would be good with Duck or Goose. I love the idea of the dried fruit in stuffing, I have never had stuffing like that. I tried making my own Stollen last year and didn't quite get it right, I intend to attempt it again this year. I make a duck for Christmas dinner every year, I might have to try your Frankenmuth stuffing with it. I bought cranberries this week at the grocery store so I could try your Cranberry Chutney recipe. Such delicious sounding recipes!

  4. Oh my gosh...stuffing with Stollen! What could get better!! I must try this! I call it stuffing, by the way. But my folk were from Ohio, even though I grew up in MA. I'm a combo of midwestern and Yankee New England!

  5. I just read in the newspaper this morning (Wolfgang Puck's Kitchen column) that he thought the difference had to do with the process.

    Stuffing was "stuffed" in the bird; dressing was a side dish. I grew up with "stuffed" stuffing but now need to make dressing on the side as well in order to have enough to feed the family.

    (Jim and I visited Frankenmuth a few years ago. What a fun place!)

  6. What most people use around here is an "oyster" dressing. I don't like This recipe looks like one I might enjoy though.

  7. We just went to Frankenmuth last weekend and their stuffing is so good! It would be wonderful to try it at home -thanks for the recipe

  8. Hi April! I posted a recipe for stollen that I've had success with. I don't bake it very much anymore because we have several excellent German and Polish bakeries that offer it.

    Courtney you sound like such a fun gal! I'm going to enjoy reading your blog!

    That makes sense, Sandy! To bad we didn't know each other back then. You were right in my neighborhood.

    I don't blame you Shara! I never could see why people held oysters in such high regard. Ditto for caviar, smoked salmon, and cocktails. Guess I'm just a peasant through and through!

    To bad we didn't bump into you Vickie. Jamie and I were over there too, picking up a few things. (We used to live in Vassar). I'm not sure if they make this dressing anymore. Last time I ate there (several years ago) they had a different kind. Did you take your grandson to Bronners? That's such a fun place to take the little ones!

  9. hi jane
    your stuffing sounds interesting.thanks for sharing the recipe.
    i wish you a wonderful weekend,
    love and hugs

  10. Hi Jane! Thanks for the recipes. I especially was happy to see the one for the Stollen. When I was living in Switzerland I had a little luncheon at our apartment for our neighbors. I had made friends with an English woman who lived nearby and she said that she would bring the Stollen. I didn't know what it was. So when she came and set the bread down I said "Oh, is that stollen?" In perfect cockney accent she replied "Ooy, it ain't stolen I made it me self!" :)

    I have always wanted to try and make it. I love anything with cherries or golden raisins. We always said "dressing", but only because we never cooked it inside the Turkey. If it was inside the turkey then it became "stuffing". I can't believe someone would think the term was vulgar. They must have been a little too "hoighty toighty" for their own good! :) Have a great day ahead! Delisa :)

  11. One day I'm going to visit your country Regina, and see what a true German village looks like. For now, Frankenmuth will have to do. Did you get your stollen made, that you had mentioned in your blog?

    Delisa, you must have had so many fun adventures in Switzerland. I love to hear about them. Some of those old maid schoolmarms were pretty hoighty-toighty. But that was certainly a different era! I even had one teacher that would punish you for smiling! Fortunately/unfortunately, there wasn't much to smile about with her for a teacher. And I was fortunate enough to have her for both 3rd and 6th grade!

  12. The Christmas Stollen takes me back to my childhood! It's not something I make, for no one in my family would care for it :( Maybe I'll make one anyway!!

  13. I understand that Laurie! I make a Christmas cookie with fruit cake mix that no one else in my family likes. Always torn between making it, knowing all those calories will be mine alone or not having the traditional cookie. Usually I make and freeze it so I can eat it throughout the winter.

  14. Around here we say 'stuffing'... one Christmas a very long time ago, my sister and I were staying with my maternal grandma (mom and dad went to visit his mom who was very ill at them around Christmas). We were sitting at the traditional 'kid's table' with our also young cousin, eating our turkey dinner and laughing about our ever so witty joke that we were 'stuffed with stuffing'. (Well, we thought it quite witty at the time... and all three of us still remember to this day). So stuffing it remains.

    Thanks for the recipes... they look wonderful!

    And though I've never heard of Frankenmuth before, I'm now eager to explore this delightful spot for myself.

  15. Well, there's the advertisement of 'Stove Top Stuffing instead of potatoes'!