Friday, November 20, 2015

Just Pass Me The Mashed Potatoes And We'll Be Fine

Auggie was telling me today about Citizenship Formation Class (??), where he heard the tale we all grew up hearing, about that first Thanksgiving when the Pilgrims were saved from starvation by the know-how and kindness of the Native Americans.

There were three days of food.
There were three days of games.
There were three days of guests.

Peace among peoples, sharing and surviving and knowing that we need each other. At times, plenty of times, some need more than the others. And that was the plight of the pilgrims at the start of that winter.

As the two groups sat together and shared the bounty of the earth, no one cared that you called it corn or maize. There was a feast, delicious, and it filled the gnawing emptiness in a belly. They were living history.

Giving of what you have to others usually brings out the warm feel good in our hearts and minds. We are helping, we are in it to win it, and there is love for fellow man. We give thanks at Thanksgiving, and we feel all the euphoria of gratitude.


Except when someone elbow nudges us and asks, “Pass the dressing, please.” As if that's the most normal thing in the world to ask for. The Dressing?? And that person -- saaaay me -- sends a bottle of Wish-bone Green Goddess back their way. Because, you know, they did ask for dressing.

“Excuse me, I asked for the dressing.”

“Right. And so there you go – dressing.”

“No, the dressing. The side dish there, the savory sage croutons drowned in butter. Please.”

“That would be stuffing. You want stuffing.”

“No, it’s dressing. My mother called it dressing. Pass the dressing, please.”

“Dressing is salad dressing. That’s what I gave you. Right there. If you had asked me for stuffing, then I can give you stuffing.”

“Stuffing is stuffed inside the bird. This was made on the side. The side that is OUTside the bird. I’d like that bowl of dressing that was made outside of the turkey. Please.”

“Doesn’t matter if it was made inside the bird, outside the bird. It’s always stuffing, no matter its origin.”

“Your favorite grandmother called it stuffing, or what? My mother called it dressing. And dressing is what it is. And what I’d like. The dressing. Again, please.”

“Dressing? Dressing like you dress a bird with, right? So that makes it dressing for you? Well, this was made outside the bird. And so, pass the stuffing, please, is what you want to say.”

“I never heard anything so stupid. It’s dressing. It’ll always be dressing. You know what? Forget it. I’m not listening to you. Lemme get my phone. I am going to find out just how many people in the US of A think it’s ‘stuffing.’ We’ll see …. we’ll see. Googling right now.”

“Google all you want. It's called StoveTop STUFFING isn't it?"

“Aha! There! I knew it! It says Dressing: when prepared on the side. Stuffing: when made inside the bird. I rest my case. DRESSING, please.”

“There you go. Have at it. And if you don’t mind? I’ll leave the table now, before you turn out to be one of those weirdos that says stuffing should be dry and crispy and not wet and soft.”

“What? It's not dry and crispy?! Everyone knows dressing has to be dry and crispy … ”

* * *
Happy Thanksgiving FoodSharing Day to all!


  1. Um, yeah. We're having prime rib. Takes care of all of that business. :-)

  2. This culinary quandry floats through my mind this time of year. I always say "stuffing" when I know what I'm referring to is dressing. In the South, it's cornbread dressing. Fixed with cornbread (that you have to bake before hand), and baked in a casserole dish outside of the bird. It is my favorite part of the meal, covered in gravy and a bit of cranberry to add sweetness. It's a mental block as to why I say stuffing. No idea.



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