Homemade Stuffing Mix

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With Thanksgiving fast approaching, there is a way to get ready ahead of time without adding to the stress of the holiday.  For me, that meant making up the stuffing mix this weekend.

We’ve been drying bread and saving it for this purpose.  We try to dry out bread instead of throwing it out.  To do that, we have the bread bowl.

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This is just a cheap dollar store bowl that someone brought treats to us in.  We used it for holding fruit until we dropped it and cracked it.  Instead of throwing it out, we started using it for bread.

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Because it is a bowl, we cover it with a piece of muslin and clip it in place.  (The wet spots were from taking pictures right next to the sink.  Fortunately, muslin dries fast.)  We throw the bread in and put it back in the pantry.  Now I will say that we used a load of day old bread for our stuffing mix.  My husband cut it into beautiful cubes but quite often we just use these random pieces of bread and break or crush them as needed.

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Stuffing mix is very simple and you can either make it like Stovetop stuffing or traditional stuffing mix.  This can be altered to your needs.  I like to use it for my own stuffing.  This is how I made this particular batch (the recipe at the bottom of the post will have the stove top instructions).  I have about 4 cups of dried bread.  It doesn’t measure very well because it’s dried bread so approximate is the best I can do.  The original recipe called for 3.5 cups but I felt that there was so much air in the measure so I used a little more.

To that, I added dried onions.  We dried these onions so I cut them up with scissors.  When I make this stuffing, I will add fresh onions and celery as well as chicken broth.  Because of that, I did not add dried celery or chicken bouillon.

For seasonings – parsley, sage, and poultry seasoning.

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It’s not much to look at sitting in that huge jar.  The stuffing will fit in a quart sized jar easily and can be decorated if you want to give this as a gift (not sure why stuffing makes a great gift but food is always welcome).

I throw everything in the jar but if you want it to be pretty, you can add all the herbs and veggies in a small baggie and set them on top of the bread in your jar.  You will need to separate them if you want this to be a stove top version.

Stuffing Mix
3-1/2 cups unseasoned bread cubes
3 tablespoons dried celery
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon sage
Mix all the ingredients in a quart jar.

To prepare stove top stuffing: In a saucepan over medium heat, bring 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons butter and contents of seasoning packet to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; add bread cubes and mix gently. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Toss with a fork before serving.

To prepare stuffing for baking (or stuffing): Pour jar contents into a large bowl.  Add in fresh onion and celery.  Mix in sausage if desired.  Moisten with chicken broth until the desired texture.  Set in small casserole dish or use to stuff meat.  Bake until vegetables are tender and sausage is cooked.

This year, I am grating in a carrot or two instead of adding sausage.  We’ll be baking these in muffin tins so we have individual servings of the stuffing and can top with mashed potatoes and gravy.

This recipe can be doubled, tripled, or whatever for your thanksgiving feast.  Last year we started with 8 cups of dried bread and just doubled the remaining ingredients.  If you don’t add raw meat, you can taste and season as you make it up (then add the raw meat at the end).

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