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Thankful For Family…and Stuffing

November 23, 2020

I am one of the lucky ones. I get to have two of my three kids for Thanksgiving, and given the state of things today, that’s pretty great. I can’t wait for life to change for the better, but so far, 2020 has been inconvenient, but not tragic. Again, I know I’m lucky.

I’ve had time to think, write, and figure out my next steps. I’m so very thankful that no one in my family or friend group has been taken by Covid. I’ve decided this year’s smaller gathering is my time to look back on wonderful memories. If you can’t be with as much family as you’d like, maybe it’s time to look back at videotapes, or photo albums of all the great Thanksgivings that came before.

My brother Bernie sent me a Thanksgiving tape in 1985 that was my instant favorite. It included my mom bustling around preparing food while wearing a white dress with large blue polkadots. She looked like a round, fast-moving Swiss cheese. When it was time to say Grace, she yelled at the entire family, “Shut up!” Then without missing a beat, she piously launched into the sign of the cross followed by her version of Grace, and ended by dousing everyone with holy water.

I wish you a great meal, good times with family and friends (even if it’s only on Zoom or Facetime) and time to look back on wonderful memories with thanks. If you’ve lost a loved one, my heart goes out to you. The only thing that helps is to celebrate that life and to toast to all the love that person left behind. Just know, there will be more great memories. In the meantime, I think we all need to work on cherishing the moments happening right now.

I’m including this link to an older Thanksgiving story about the first time my brother Bob brought home a girl named Patty. It includes Mom’s Creamy Beef and Mushroom Stuffing recipe, a great reminder that the hand that stirs the pot wields the power! But I’ll include the recipe here too, so you don’t have to click if you don’t have time. Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for you!

Creamy Beef and Mushroom Stuffing

Yields1 Serving

 1 lb ground beef 90% lean
 1 medium onion, diced
 4 2 inch slices of Italian or French bread
 1 cup whole milk
 ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  cup chopped parsley
 sliced mushrooms
 1 tbsp olive oil
 2 tbsp butter
 ½ tsp dried thyme
 2 eggs
 salt and pepper to taste

1

Saute the onion and ground meat in a large frying pan until the onion is translucent and the meat is cooked. Set it aside.

2

Put the cubed bread and milk in a medium sauce pan. Heat it over medium heat and stir until the bread becomes almost creamy.  Add the creamy bread to the beef-onion mixture. Set it aside.

3

In a separate pan, sauté mushrooms in olive oil and sprinkle with thyme. Cook until there is no more liquid and add them to the ground meat, bread mixture. Place the frying pan over low heat and add chopped parsley, cheese, two eggs and mix thoroughly until mixture has a creamy consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

You can stuff your turkey with this or serve it as a side dish.

Ingredients

 1 lb ground beef 90% lean
 1 medium onion, diced
 4 2 inch slices of Italian or French bread
 1 cup whole milk
 ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  cup chopped parsley
 sliced mushrooms
 1 tbsp olive oil
 2 tbsp butter
 ½ tsp dried thyme
 2 eggs
 salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1

Saute the onion and ground meat in a large frying pan until the onion is translucent and the meat is cooked. Set it aside.

2

Put the cubed bread and milk in a medium sauce pan. Heat it over medium heat and stir until the bread becomes almost creamy.  Add the creamy bread to the beef-onion mixture. Set it aside.

3

In a separate pan, sauté mushrooms in olive oil and sprinkle with thyme. Cook until there is no more liquid and add them to the ground meat, bread mixture. Place the frying pan over low heat and add chopped parsley, cheese, two eggs and mix thoroughly until mixture has a creamy consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

You can stuff your turkey with this or serve it as a side dish.

Creamy Ground Beef and Mushroom Stuffing
  • Reply
    Jane
    November 25, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    Hi cousin Fran, the stuffing sounds delicious. I think I will try it next time.
    Happy to hear you have two of the kids home with you We have a lot to be thankful for if we have family. We are celebrating with the Pino’s and Fischetti’s in a condo on Indian Rocks Beach. We all needed a change of scenery….the beach is a perfect place especially for the grandkids.
    Much love to you, stay safe and healthy.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      November 27, 2020 at 9:49 pm

      Oh Jane, that sounds wonderful! I hope you’re enjoying yourselves and Thanksgiving was fun. I felt lucky to have the kids even though we did a socially distanced dinner. It was better than not having them at all. Give my best to the kid and grandkids!

  • Reply
    Theresa
    November 24, 2020 at 7:29 am

    I’ve never had stuffing done this way. Intriguing. Joe and I will be enjoying each other’s company this Thanksgiving. Always thankful for one of your slice of Tunno life stories. Blessings to you and your kids. Be well and safe.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      November 27, 2020 at 9:47 pm

      Aww, thanks Theresa. Glad you and Joe are enjoying each other. I’m sure you whipped up something delicious! I can’t wait for Thanksgivings to come when we can have fun with family and extended family again!!!!

  • Reply
    Chas Madonio
    November 23, 2020 at 7:53 am

    Funny story about Patty.. It will be a different Thanksgiving this year. Nancy and I plan to spend it alone, to be safe. Enjoy your day and your family.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      November 23, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      Chas, that’s very commendable and wise. My daughter is driving down from Seattle. She is terrified of giving me Covid, but has been in the same small group for the past nine months. No one is ill, she never goes anywhere, and tested negative before leaving, so I feel very confident.When your kids are single, it’s a little easier. I wish you and Nancy a safe and delicious Thanksgiving complete with all the love that Zoom can offer. I can’t wait for the hugs everyone will lavish when we finally can! Stay safe! xoxox

  • Reply
    Nicol Z
    November 23, 2020 at 5:13 am

    So very thankful for YOU, Fran. Love to you and the family, always xo

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      November 23, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      Love you NIcol. Have a great Thanksgiving. Hugs to Martin! xoxo

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