A Linguistic Conundrum for the Season

If you celebrate Thanksgiving with a traditional roast turkey, do you serve it with dressing, or with stuffing?

Butterball (the turkey people, the same ones who run the feast-saving turkey hotline every year) have a page devoted to that very question.  Turns out, as I suspected, that dressing is mostly Southern, and mostly cooked outside the turkey rather than in, while stuffing is more Northeastern, and is usually cooked (unsurprisingly) inside the bird.   My Southern roots show up in this:  In my native dialect, it’s dressing, and gets cooked in a separate dish, the better to have enough of it left over for breakfast the next morning.

(What?  You’ve never had leftover dressing for a post-Thanksgiving breakfast?  You’re missing something good.)

Now that we’ve settled that question, we can move on to which method of preparing green beans is the proper and canonical one:  Are they slow-cooked with bacon and a generous amount of salt, or are they cooked quickly and left unsalted so as to retain their crunch?

6 thoughts on “A Linguistic Conundrum for the Season

  1. Reblogged this on Madhouse Manor and commented:
    Until I’d met Doyle I’d never heard of cooking the stuffing outside of the bird. And green beans slow-cooked with bacon and salt are, in a word, inedible.

    1. And you’d never had dressing with cornbread in it, either. I will concede, though, that your family’s cranberry relish is better than my family’s (and also easier), and that creamed onions make an excellent canonical side once you get enough practice making the white sauce.

    1. We do in fact have green beans both ways, to satisfy the two factions (each of which contends the other’s preference is inedible); this is good for me, because I happen to like both. And inside and outside the bird for the dressing is good, too.

      We avoid the canonical/noncanonical debate at Christmas by having crown roast of pork instead.

    1. Crunchy green beans are best done Szechuan style . . . not a Thanksgiving thing at all, really.

      A lot of the time, up here, you get the worst of both worlds, with the green beans being simultaneously overcooked and underseasoned. (Of course, up here about half of the population thinks that black pepper is an exotic spice. The other half is French.)

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