Maybe my inability to stick to Thanksgiving traditions has to do with the years I spent working in restaurants and hotels; I worked on the major holidays. Even after I left those days behind and Mr. B and I were first married, he worked on the holidays--one year, Mr. B was in Hong Kong for Thanksgiving! Eventually, though, our lives settled into a semblance of normalcy and we went about enjoying Thanksgiving together. Trouble is, without any family nearby, we were left to our own devices.
Some years we wound up gathered around a friend's holiday table, while other years we wandered the beach and munched cheeseburgers. Other years, we cooked our own feast, roasting a turkey, mixing cocktails, watching football--just the two of us. While Mr. B was attending to the details of selecting the wine, heating up the hot tub, and setting the table, I would hum away in the kitchen creating all the glorious side dishes. And really, while the turkey is good, it's the side dishes that really make the meal.
No matter what we did from year to year, both Mr. B and I always dreamed of sinking our forks into a mound of oyster dressing--there's just nothing quite like that briny, pillowy soft goodness. Of course, I made the traditional family recipe, but along the way, I couldn't help tinkering with tradition and coming up with a recipe all my own.
It took me many years to arrive at what I consider the perfect oyster dressing. In fact, I just finalized this recipe yesterday. It's a play on the traditional family recipe, my famous mushroom bread pudding, and few new ingredients because, well, I just couldn't resist.
The final result is so delicious that I'm hoping we don't gobble it up before we get to our destination dinner table later this afternoon.