November 22, 2010

A Civil War Thanksgiving: 1857 Turkey Stuffing Recipe

This is a continuation of my last post. I thought if I was giving a recipe for plum pudding, I might as well give a period recipe for bread stuffing, cranberry sauce and maybe even turkey. Stuffing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving. It is the only part of the year that we make it here and despite what you'd think-- most stuffing mixes have dried turkey fat in them (which I can't eat because I am a vegetarian.)

Stuffing for Turkeys


-         ½ lb. Suet, chopped fine
-         ½ lb. Bread Pieces (half of a normal bread loaf,) chopped small
-         1 Tablespoon Parsley, chopped fine
-         ½ teaspoon Thyme
-         ½ teaspoon Marjoram
-         1 pinch of Nutmeg
-         1 teaspoon Lemon Peel, grated
-         Salt and Pepper to taste
-         2 Eggs
-         1 small Onion, chopped fine


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bread into small pieces and place on a cookie sheet.
  2. Bake bread for five minutes or until toasted.
  3. Let bread cool.
  4. Once bread is cooled place in a large mixing bowl along with all seasonings, Onion, Suet, and Eggs, mix well.
  5.  Stuff mixture into Turkey to bake or
    1. Sauté in a medium sauce pan for 5 minutes on low heat.
    2. Add one cup of boiling water and increase to medium-high heat.
    3.  Stir occasionally until mixture boils.
    4. Remove from heat once the mixture boils.
    5. Lightly fluff the mixture with a fork.
    6. Cover and let sit about 5 minutes.  

There is a funny story about stuffing that I can relate to you because my boyfriend's mother doesn't read my blog and would probably laugh at this if she did. Three years ago, when Andy and I started dating, Andy told his mother how much I loved stuffing and how it was pretty much the only thing I eat on Thanksgiving. So his mother, in pure Pennsylvania Dutch style, made me 10 pounds of stuffing! :D It was so heavy.

So I brought it to my house and we opened it up and my grandmother says "Oh, no! She gave you the wrong dish!" So I looked in and she was right "Oh, she gave me the mashed potatoes!" I said. Andy ran over alarmed, looked in and said "No-- that's stuffing."

"No, it's potatoes." Grandma and I chimed in together.

Andy looked at us blankly and said "Uh, that's what stuffing is."

Potato stuffing was something we had never heard of here. Does anyone else use potato stuffing?


  1. Mike loves potato stuffing! I have a recipe in my PA German cook book.

  2. :D If I would have known, I would have given you at least 5 pounds. We honestly had never even heard of it.

  3. I do rice stuffing, and bread stuffing, but potato is a new one! Was it good?

  4. It wasn't bad but it just wasn't the stuffing that I love. :D

  5. Greetings, this is Deb from Kneaded Creations. I am posting a turkey stuffing round up that will post on 10/29/13, and I would like to include your recipe. I will not be using any photos or writing your recipe, but simply posting the URL. You will likely receive a ping-back notification. If you have concerns or questions regarding this post, or do not want your URL listed, please let me know prior to 10/29/13. Thanks, Deb @ Kneaded Creations.

    1. That's perfectly fine. Thanks for thinking of me.


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