...the goose is getting fat.

In our case it's a turkey and we are starting to get set. While it is premature to but anything parishable, it is not premature to bake a loaf of bread for the stuffing. It is not premature to get the ingredients for the Butternut Squash Pie (YOU try to find a fresh pumpkin in Steamboat Springs, CO).

Adding to the challenge this year is Mark's birthday, just days before the holiday. He has requested pizza and red velvet cake. Tune in tomorrow for the pre-celebration activities. This year, he will get to taste his first ever all organic, homemade pizza. It might answer the age old question: Does organic taste better?

Freshly baked bread is a yummy base for any stuffing and it doesn't have to take a million years to prepare. Geraldine Duncann taught me a spiffy shortcut back in my Southern Oregon days when I had the benefit of sitting in her kitchen, watching and helping as she experimented for her cookbooks. The following recipe is my invention, but Geraldine's shortcut method.

Homemade Bread for Stuffing

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp yeist
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground rosemary, or diced fresh rosemary

Take 2 cups of warm water and mix in the yeist. Add two cups of water, mix well, then walk away for 45 minutes and clean your livingroom, read a book, go on a short walk, or do whatever else you like to do. I personally like to write songs in such a break.

After the 45 minute break, add the olive oil and salt and rosemary. Add flour until it is dough (as in not too dense, but also doesn't stick like goo to your fingers. NOTE: remove your rings before touching the dough or they will get super dirty. Shape into a loaf. Cover the dough and walk away for another 25-45 minutes.

ASIDE: I often just throw the bread in the oven at this point for baking, but if you want lighter bread, wait for the second rising cycle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake the loaf for 25-45 minnutes until it is done. The crust should be a nice golden brown.

Remove bread from oven and let it cool for 15 minutes, then slice the heel off, butter it and try hard not to eat the rest of the loaf.

In southern Oregon, we went through a loaf of this bread every two days.