Oh my gosh you guys. It's October. Already. Which means there are only three months left in this year. Holy cow. Time has slid on by, hasn't it? Usually I'm all melancholic about the upcoming fall and winter, but this year I'm embracing it. For the first time in my life I get to devote my career to writing. Like, come over here and pinch me already. My seasonal pastry chef gig ends in a couple of weeks (that's right, no one golfs in Saskatchewan in the winter) which means my focus will shift to working on the cookbook as well as my regular food writing gigs. I'm super pumped. Not because I get to work in my pyjamas and sleep in past 5:30, but because I'm pretty much living out my dream. That's a pretty big deal. I'm also traveling to Montreal later this month, which I'm crazy excited about. The annual Food Bloggers of Canada conference is taking place, and it couldn't happen in a prettier town. Given that I used to live there 20 years ago, Montreal holds a special place in my heart, and it will be fun to revisit it with old and new friends. And the food. Oh lord the food. Bagels, croissants, poutine - I'll pretty much be carb loading all week. And I can't wait. If you know of any must-visit places to eat and drink while there, let me know in the comments!
Another event to look forward to is Thanksgiving - in Canada it happens next weekend. It's my favourite holiday, for so many reasons, one of which is stuffing. You know what I'm talking about. One with crispy, buttery edges. One which smells of sage and rosemary and when drizzled with gravy pretty much makes my life. I love the smells of the Thanksgiving kitchen - with turkey roasting and gravy bubbling. It's always the best place to hang out and chat while the meal is being prepared. Kitchen parties are the best parties. My mom and I celebrated Thanksgiving already, way back in August when she was here for a quick visit and I had this recipe due for the Turkey Farmers of Canada website. There's never a bad time to eat turkey and stuffing, or to give thanks for that matter. This is my favourite recipe for stuffing - it's studded with apricots and pecans, fresh herbs and yes, butter. Butter makes the world go 'round and is the secret for a killer stuffing. I like to sauté my veg in globs of it, then add that to my dried bread, herbs and other ingredients. The dried apricots add a little sweetness and caramelize slightly, which I appreciate. Oh yes, this is one of the best parts of the Thanksgiving spread. I'm looking forward to every minute of it.
Apricot and Pecan Stuffing for Turkey
8 cups 1-inch bread cubes, dried
3 tbsp butter
1 ½ cups chopped celery
½ cup chopped red onion
1 cup dried apricots, sliced in half
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup pecan halves
½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp dried sage
salt and pepper to taste
butter for greasing pan
Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with butter.
Preheat oven to 350*F.
In a large skillet, heat the butter. When it has melted add the celery, onion and apricots. Cook over medium high heat until the vegetables are tender and onion translucent - about 5 minutes.
Place the bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked vegetable mixture. Pour in the chicken broth, pecans, herbs and season with salt and pepper. Stir well. Spread this mixture into your prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 60 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 5 more minutes. Alternatively, you can use this stuffing inside the turkey. Roast for approximately 2.5 - 3 hours. Serves 6-8.