Ok, so the”Cross Creek Style” is a inside joke. If you know our gang and cook Thanksgiving dinner with our Sunday School class, you know that everyone likes to pick on Angel about Cross Creek. …we like to joke that this stuffing is “Cross Creek style” or Country Club style compared to your typical StoveTop stuffing. Each year our Sunday School Class prepares a meal for our seniors, shut-ins and the less fortunate in our community. What started out as feeding 100, followed by some good fellowship over dinner has grown over the years to feeding 300 plus. As the numbers grow, so does the work load. How do you get the extra hands lined up to help feed the multitude? Announce that Angel is making her famous Thanksgiving stuffing and the volunteers come out of the woodwork! Yes – it’s truly that good! Just ask my sister who drives nearly 2 hours to join in the fun.
- Bread – 1 loaf cut into 1 inch square and dried out (day before)
- Chicken Stock – 16 oz – OR until the stuffing is moist – but not soupy
- Celery – 3 stalks
- Onion – 1 diced
- Granny Smith Apple – 1 chopped
- Butter -2 Tablespoons
- Sausage – 1 lb cooked and crumbled
- Thyme – 2 sprigs fresh or dried to taste
- Rosemary – 2 sprigs fresh or dried to taste
- Sage – 2 sprigs fresh or dried to taste
- Dried Cranberries – Optional
If time permits the night before:
- Cut the bread into 1 inch square and place in an airtight container to dry out.
- Brown the sausage, drain and set aside. Once cooled, place in an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Dice an onion and place in an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Dice 3 stalks of celery and place in an airtight container and refrigerate.
If the bread still seems fresh, put it on a sheet pan in the oven for just a few minutes on broil to dry it out a little more. Dice a Granny Smith apple and saute in 2 Tablespoons of butter with the chopped onions and celery until tender.
Chop the fresh herbs and mix 1/2 of the herbs with 1/2 of the bread crumbs and sausage in a 9 x 13 pan or larger. Add 1/2 of the onions, celery and apple to the bread, herb and sausage mixture. Add a few dried cranberries if desired.
Once the stuffing mixture is all put together, soak with chicken broth. We used 16 oz of broth to soak the bread mixture and it worked out great. If you like a crispy stuffing, I recommend splitting this up into two pans. As this recipe is written, it makes a thick, delicious stuffing. Bake on 350 degrees until golden brown. Enjoy!!!
This is one of those mouth-watering recipes that can be used as a side dish at Thanksgiving, Christmas or as a dessert for any holiday occasion.
- 3 cups chopped unpeeled apples
- 2 cups whole raw cranberries
- 1 1/4 cup of white sugar
- 1/2 cup of water
Mix together the apples, cranberries and sugar in a casserole dish. Top with 1/2 cup water.
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cup of oatmeal
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
Mix together the topping and sprinkle it over the cranberry, apple mixture.
Bake for 1 hour on 350 degrees. This is delicious as a side or as a dessert, warmed and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!!!
This is the month of Thanksgiving, Thankfulness, Pumpkin Spice everything, family gatherings and Pumpkin Pie!!! For many years, Thanksgiving just wasn’t the same without my Grandma’s pumpkin pie. It was one of those recipes I didn’t think about before she passed, but missed terribly once she was gone. I’d tried to make it close, but something was always missing. Then one day my sister mentioned having some of Grandma’s prized recipes and this was one of them! Talk about EXCITED!!! With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s perfect timing to release this recipe.
- Pie crust – 1 deep dish or 2 regular
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- (Or you can substitute the cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg with 2 1/4 teaspoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 cups cooked pumpkin
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 2 eggs
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix sugar, salt and spices with honey and pumpkin. Add eggs and milk. Blend thoroughly (we use a blender to make is very smooth). My Grandma always said the key to this recipe is to use a good blender to mix the ingredients. Blend, Blend, Blend…..
Pour the mixture into the pie crusts. Notice the aluminum foil, that our way of keeping from burning the crusts.
Bake at 425 for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 300 for 35 minutes or until the top starts to crack. Note: The last 10 minutes of cooking time place pies on the bottom rack to cook the bottom crust.
Yields: 2 regular size pies or 1 deep dish pie.
As the weather cools, my crowd loves soups, stews and old fashioned Chicken ‘n Dumplings. This recipe is an all time family favorite at our house. I can remember standing over the stove as a little girl, waiting for the milk to boil so the dumplings could be dropped. Making Dumplings of any sort is an art. Once mastered, you can make all sorts of dumplings: Pea Dumplings, Blackberry Dumplings, not just Chicken ‘n Dumplings. Here’s how we done it on our family farm.
Boil 4 large chicken breasts until done. Separate chicken and broth, set broth aside. Take a mixer and shred the chicken – you’ll never hand shred chicken again….
In a pot combine shredded chicken, 1 pint chicken broth, 1 quart of milk and 1/2 stick of butter. Bring to a boil.
This is where you can do it one of two ways: Biscuits from a can or Biscuits by hand.
- Biscuits from a can: Open a can of canned biscuits, such as Pillsbury Grands and cut them into squares and drop them in the boiling milk mixture. OR….
- Biscuits by hand: Make your own dumplings like we do. In a bowl start out with self rising flour, a heaping serving spoon of Crisco and splash of milk. Mix with your hand, yes your hand….this is a texture recipe so you’ve got to use your hands.
Mix until it sticks to the spoon. If the texture is too “soupy” add more flour, if it’s too dry add more milk.
Spoon the dumplings in the boiling mixture of broth and milk. The heat will cause the dumplings to cook quickly and the inside of them will become light and fluffy like a biscuit. You can use a fork to pry one open to test. Once the dumplings are done, salt & pepper to taste and enjoy. These are great warmed over the following day.
Ground Steak truly is a Surry County, NC thing. When you leave our area and mention Ground Steak, people look at you totally confused. But in our little town of Mayberry, people line up at the local festivals for it, and you’ll find it on some of the local restaurant menus. When we owned and operated a restaurant, we had friends and family that would drive 45 minutes to an hour for this stuff. It’s a ground beef, flour, milk (or water), salt and pepper combination which is delicious on a bun. So with that being said……it’s time to share the family secret…..
- Ground Beef
- Self Rising Flour
- Milk (or Water)
- Salt & Pepper to taste….lots of Pepper!
Brown the meat until done, drain grease. Reduce the heat to low and sprinkle flour on top of the meat and begin stirring. This is what I call a texture recipe, it has to “feel right” when you stir it to know that you have enough flour to make it stick together. If it’s not “gooey” add a little bit more flour. If it sticks to the spoon in a big clump – you’re good. Continue stirring over low heat.
Don’t fret, you’re about to change the texture yet again with the milk. Add 1/2 cup of milk, per pound of meat.
Stir and mix until you get this texture. Add salt and pepper and continue to stir over low heat. At this point, you’re ready to sample. If it seems too bland, lay on the pepper!
Add a slice of tomato, some slaw and mayo….enjoy! Or better yet, forget the bun and eat it by itself!
When Saturday nights roll around, we take advantage of any opportunity to get together with friends and have a Taco Bar! I got in such a hurry making this one that I failed at making many pictures. I was in a time crunch. There’s a lot of manual prep work when you’re prepping food for tacos!
- 8 ripe medium avocados, diced
- 1-2 limes, juiced
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- ½ medium red onion, diced
- 2-3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 large bunch cilantro, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Cut avocados in half and remove seed. Cut the flesh into squares, scoop the flesh out with a spoon and add to a mixing bowl. Squeeze lime juice over avocado squares. Dice the onion, jalapeno and tomatoes, then add to the avocado. Chop the cilantro and mince the garlic over the mixture and stir well. Salt and pepper to taste.
If you like a chunky guacamole stop here. If you like a smoother guacamole, take a mixer to it for just a minute, it will give it a much creamer texture. Chill for 1 hr before serving.
Sometimes we make the chunky version, but this time we made it creamy. This is usually the last thing that we make right before guests arrive. If it sits any length of time, it will change colors.
This is one of those recipes that I rarely pull out of the archives, usually only for special occasions. My grandmother made this for family gathering, reunions and special occasions. Since it was a family favorite, I try to make it either on my Daddy’s birthday, Father’s Day or the 4th of July.
- 1 box of yellow cake mix, made per the box instructions
- 2 (5 oz) boxes of instant vanilla pudding mix
- 6 cups of milk
- 6 bananas, sliced
- 2 (21 oz) cans of cherry (or strawberry) pie filling
- 2 (20 oz) cans of crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 (16 oz) container of Coolwhip, thawed
- 1/4 cup of chopped pecans, optional, for decoration topping
- Maraschino cherries for decoration
Bake the cake as directed. Let it cool. Make the pudding and put it in the refrigerator to cool. Cut up the cake into chunks and set aside.
Layer in the punch bowl:
- Half of the cake
- Half of the pudding
- Half the bananas
- Half of the pineapple
- Half of the cherry pie filling
Garnish with maraschino cherries. It does seem to taste better if you refrigerate it over night before serving. This dessert is amazing, it’s a mix between banana pudding and banana split – only better. We’ve even made this in a black forest variation, get creative and enjoy.