…in which our brother (and his adorable family) tries to crack Martha’s code.
A Special Guest Post by Michael Howson
As near as the local Borders Books, an issue of Martha Stewart Living sits on a shelf, chock full of decorating ideas and helpful tips on all sorts of stuff. However, that is there, and I am here. All I have is my wits, my Y-chromosome and a PDF of page 196 (issue unknown)* with a recipe for “Cornbread, Bacon, Leek and Pecan Stuffing, which promises a stuffing “brimming with traditional holiday flavors including leeks, herbs, and pecans.” I promised to make it as one of my contributions to Thanksgiving 2010 (the other being 27 days of quality mustache growth)**.
The recipe is simple enough, especially because I am using all of the leeway I am allowed with the store-bought cornbread and chicken stock. I sent my lovely wife Ritsuko out for ingredients, thereby avoiding even trying to guess what a “leek” looks like and planned to avoid most of the actual work by assuming the more managerial style of executive chef.***
On Thanksgiving Eve, we assembled in our little kitchen to tackle Martha. Sachi was in charge of the pecans. She measured, toasted and chopped. Aside from a slight mishap with the QuickChop(TM) that resulted in a cup of toasted pecans coating the kitchen floor, Sachi managed to knock this out fairly quickly.
Eight-year-old Miki eschewed the QuickChop and took care of dicing the cornbread, chopping the celery and rinsing and chopping the leeks with our ultra-sharp ceramic kids knife. For those of you not quite familiar with leeks, they look like green onions on steroids and you throw away more than you use.
Miki also added a dash of Barefoot Contessa by donning a headlamp and going to the garden for the recipe’s single herb – Thyme – which Sachi rinsed and chopped.****
The assembly of the ingredients was quite mundane. I drew upon my vast experience to expertly cook up the bacon and the veggies, heat up the stock and even to temper the eggs before adding them to the mixture. The girls helped to mix (but not overmix, for God’s sake!) the cornbread and pecans, and, pretty soon, we had stuffing. Elapsed time was about an hour, including cleaning up the pecans.
If you like the sweetness of cornbread, you may enjoy this stuffing with your holiday meals. Alternatively, substitute some heartier bread for something a little more savory, as we’ll likely do next time. This was not a stuffing that drew any comments during the Thanksgiving meal the next day.*****
*This appears on page 196 of the November 2010 issue.
** Evidently part of an ill-conceived workplace fundraising challenge. I think he looks like a first responder.
****These girls will make you not want to have your own children because they are pretty much perfect.
*****False! We all loved it.