2 January

January 02, 2011

Dear friends, on New Year’s Eve I came down with a terrible bout of food poisoning. I didn’t realize at first what it was. But after a nauseating cab ride home immediately following the countdown to midnight, between trips to the bathroom floor, I remembered the terrible meal I ate at a Peruvian restaurant the night before with my man and a mutual friend. It has been a while since I had food poisoning, and boy is it awful. This morning, I am finally able to sit comfortably without feeling nauseous, without that sharp pain in my gut. This was not how I intended to begin the new year!

I have mixed business today, as I prepare to return to work after the long weekend.

First, I would like to share my recipe for Marble Stuffing with Onion & Herbs, which was an absolute hit this Christmas. I believe it was agreed by all that the stuffing was the star of the meal. Every year, my father prepares a turkey hash using leftovers from Thanksgiving/Christmas meals. I have been told that this year’s post-Christmas hash was the best it has ever been, thanks to this stuffing.

First, some comments

This stuffing was a happy accident. I often have trouble following recipes, and in preparing this dish using Sara Foster’s recipe, I accidentally skipped the step in which the chef is instructed to toast the bread cubes on baking sheets for 10-12 minutes before creating the stuffing mixture. This at first yielded soggy bread cubes, which when combatted by the broiler were transformed into moist, slightly crisp morsels. I cannot imagine this stuffing without the mixture of three different breads, which added not only a combination of textures (crustiness) but a rustic, layered flavor. Foster’s recipe calls for chicken broth, but I highly preferred the deeper, earthier flavor of vegetable broth.

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Marble Stuffing with Onion & Herbs

This recipe was inspired by and originally adapted from Bon Appetit’s Herb and Onion Stuffing by Sara Foster.


Approximately 16 cups of day-old ciabatta, whole wheat, and/or marble rye bread, cut into large, unevenly sized cubes

1 teaspoon olive oil

3 cups (1 pound) chopped onions

1 1/2 cups celery, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (and extra to grease the pan)

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

1 cup vegetable broth


Preheat oven to 350 F. Generously grease a large roasting pan and set aside.

Fill a large (4 quart) mixing bowl with cubed bread mixture.

Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Saute onions and celery until tender. Add garlic and herbs and saute approximately 1 minute longer. Set aside.

Melt butter in the microwave or over the stove. Add vegetable and herb mixture to melted butter and stir into the bread mixture. Whisk eggs, salt, pepper, and vegetable broth in a medium bowl and add mixture to the stuffing.

Transfer stuffing to prepared roasting pan and bake uncovered in the oven 30-40 minutes. Stuffing should be browned but not crusty. Turn the oven to broil and cook an additional 15-20 minutes. Stuffing should be moist with a crunchy golden layer on top. Let stuffing stand for 5-10 minutes, then serve.

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What about the turkey?

I have been asked about the method used to prepare our turkey this year. For the second year in a row, I used Alton Brown’s Perfect Roast Turkey recipe, which was also featured in Bon Appetit. You can find the recipe here. I love Alton Brown. I love this turkey. This article is long, but please do read it over. I am especially interested in Mr. Brown’s opinions on stuffing birds, controversial though they may be.

Looking forward

Due to the food poisoning, I was unable to participate in this project, as originally planned. However, as part of my 2011 goals, I would like to devote more time to my photography and get involved in more photography projects. In the month of December, I wrote a measly FOUR entries on this here blog. I don’t want that to happen again. In this post, I have decided to share some shots from a recent crafty day that took place in our apartment. In 2011, I would like to make more things. Be more crafty.

Other goals for 2011?

-Make new friends. I have been isolated since our move. It’s time to step out and get friendly.

-Nurture old friendships. To those reading who are close to me, likely you have felt a distance growing. That ends now.

-Cook more.

-Cook more healthily (I am excited to delve into this book, which I purchased used last spring and have barely read).

-Travel to Pittsburgh to see two dear friends and their adorable pup.

-Travel to Baltimore/DC to visit one of my oldest friends, a delightful poet and kindred spirit.

-Buy a Yashica TL Electro and some Polaroid 600 film.

-Start (hand) journaling again. I think I need that. There is only so much I can share here on these pages. I have so much more to say, to myself, to the universe.

-Complete the Rosetta Stone Spanish - Latin America course (all three levels).

-Read at least 15 new books.

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