I forgot the stuffing…

We’re heading away from Christmas and towards New Year. Apart from a mince pie and a small slice of Christmas pudding, all the left overs are gone and looking back we did pretty well. There was only one thing which I left to the last minute and then struggled to make and it was the stuffing. Actually,, I don’t stuff our turkey, or any roast bird. I put in an onion and an orange or maybe a lemon, but I do like stuffing so make some separately. As I said, I sort of forgot in the rush to do everything.

My stuffing was a mixture of butter (no suet, I’d forgotten to buy it) breadcrumbs, bacon, chestnuts, herbs and other things I just threw in! I tasted ok but the texture was wrong, even with a good dollop of gravy. Next year I will prepare the stuffing the day before… but what recipe should I use?

I have in front of me a little booklet published by Spillers the flour company in 1960, the Spillers Party Cook Book. It has four recipes –

  • veal forcemeat – mix all the following ingredients and bind with a beaten egg or stock: 8 oz fresh breadcrumbs, 3 oz chopped suet or melted margarine, 3 tsp chopped parsley, 1 tsp dried thyme, zest of a lemon, ¼ tsp grated nutmeg, salt and pepper, optional chopped cooked giblets (there is no mention of veal, so I’m guessing it is to accompany veal… unless it was an omission!
  • sage and onion stuffing – mix 6 oz fresh breadcrumbs, 1 lb boiled, drained chopped onions, 1 tbsp chopped sage, salt and pepper
  • prune and apple stuffing (for two small duck) – mix 1 lb peeled, cored, chopped cooking apples, ½ lb scalded, stoned prunes, 1 tsp sugar, 1 oz toasted breadcrumbs
  • chestnut stuffing – buy 1 lb of prepared chestnuts in a tin or packet or boil 1 lb chestnuts with the shells slit in water for 10-15 mins, drain, skin and put into a pan with enough milk or stick to cover them and simmer until tender; rub through a sieve. Mix sieved chestnuts with 2 oz chopped bacon, 4 oz breadcrumbs, 1 tsp chopped parsley, zest of lemon, ½ tsp sugar, 1 oz butter, salt and pepper, 1 beaten egg, a little milk

I guess what I made was near enough the ingredients for the chestnut stuffing – but not enough chestnuts!

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