McDaniel Family Cornbread Dressing

This is the recipe exactly as it was handed down to me by my mother-in-law, who received it from her mother.....

One or two nights before you are going to cook a turkey, cook a pan of cornbread, and eat no more than four pieces:
Corn Cake
Beat 2 eggs. Stir in:

2 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 cups corn meal
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt

After this mixture is blended, lightly stir in 6 Tbsp. Saffola or corn oil. Do not over-stir.
Pour into buttered 9 x 13 pan. Bake 25 minutes in 450 degree oven, or just until set.
Let the leftover cornbread sit, uncovered, until the next day. Then break it into a large bowl. You can crumble it up, because it will do that during the mixing anyway.

Slice a loaf of homemade whole wheat bread, 2 or 3 slices at a time. Stack the 3 slices up and cut them into small cubes (about crouton size). Add them to the cornbread, a few slices at a time, until the mixture is about half-and-half (perhaps a little more cornbread). This takes about 2/3 of a loaf of bread.

Finely dice one very large onion, or two onions. Add about the same amount of finely diced celery (about 3 large stalks). Saute this carefully in about 6 Tbsp. butter (no substitutes) until onion is transparent and celery is not crisp. Now, you can either put this mixture into the bowl with the breads, or you can blend it first. After blending, stir it through the bread mixture thoroughly. It will make the mixture quite moist.

Spicing the dressing: This should be done a little at a time, stopping now and then to check the aroma of the dressing, and perhaps taste a cube. Sprinkle on ground sage and also poultry seasoning. Use more sage than poultry seasoning. You can also sprinkle on a tiny amount of pepper. But there is pepper in poultry seasoning, so be careful. After you have sprinkled and tossed and tasted until it is right, then add turkey broth one tablespoon at a time. If the dressing seems moist and clings together, don't add any broth. Too much moisture will make it unappealing. One more word about spices: the flavor increases with cooking, so stop before it seems strong.

The recipe doesn't say how long to bake it or at what temperature because it was always used to stuff the turkey. I like to cook it in a separate pan, uncovered, at about 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, so the top gets nice and crunchy.

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