Whenever the weather gets colder an instant reaction is to imagine the warm weather on the other side of the globe and wish I was there. This has happened for as long as I can remember, maybe because I am a child of the Southern Hemisphere, therefore, I am wildly aware of the different seasons on the other side of that invisible line. This feeling could also originate from my addiction to travel and being blatantly aware that the sun is warm and shining in some far away land and I want, no need, to be there.
Yet, seven years ago when the frost was getting thicker on the ground and the clothes were being piled higher and my journey was about to take me to Central America for the first time, I didn’t even have a crossing thought of abandoning ship because it was Thanksgiving and the culmination of a few years of conversations about spending it with one of my closest friends was about to become a reality.
We were both in the spirit of cooling fall with our Gingerbread lattes and layers of wool. My friend who didn’t care for baking much made pumpkin pie for the first time in the excitement of it all. The day itself was a simple walk away in cool Mississippi where we walked in to find the kitchen benches so full of food you couldn’t see them beneath it all.
So every year I think back to that filling day with one of the most important people in my life and wish I was there. If only to make her mad by eating too much pumpkin pie while making memories with the bar trees behind us.
This recipe has been sitting, waiting patiently for the past year in my archives as stuffing isn’t something that’s called for many occasions. I wish it were, but that is not life and so here is the recipe that is so easy to make and another way to get vegetables with a bit of crunch on the table.
Vegetable Herb Stuffing
Adapted from Good Housekeeping
1 1/2 loaves plain or herbed bread, sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400F.
Place the bread on a tray and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Turning once halfway through.
Once all the bread is toasted, slice into 1/2 inch cubes and toss into a large bowl, set aside. Lower the oven to 160°C/325F.
Meanwhile, place the carrots, celery and onion in a frying pan on medium heat with a little olive oil. Cook, stirring, until soft, approximately 12 minutes. Add the parsley and season, stirring to incorporate, cook for a further minute.
Add the vegetables and stock to the bread, stirring to combine.
Place in a baking dish and spread evenly. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
Remove from oven and serve warm.