The recipe box speaks

Google “meat loaf” all you want, O children of the modern age. But there are plenty of us who prefer stuffing random recipes into receptacles, then excavating for gold among the bits of paper.

I learned this from the many comments I received after my Sunday Dinner column yesterday. And I should know by now that if I mention a recipe, y’all are going to want it. So, here’s the dressing. Really, the dressing doesn’t contain chestnuts or foie gras or anything like that; it’s just good, plain, dressing.

Country Corn Bread Dressing (with thanks to Helen Moore)

6 cups crumbled corn bread (see my notes at the end)

3 to 4 pieces loaf bread, crumbled

1 cup chopped celery

3/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 to 3 tablespoons margarine

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon or more dried sage, or to taste (see notes)

3 eggs, beaten

2 or more cups turkey or chicken broth

Crumble up the corn bread and loaf bread in a big bowl. Saute the celery and onion in the margarine in a frying pan until tender, but not brown. Add to the breads and add seasonings. Helen wrote: “The 1 teaspoon of sage is modest. Let your taste buds be your guide. I probably use 1 tablespoon of sage, because it seems to take more of the storebought seasoning to give a good flavor. If you don’t like sage, use marjoram, rosemary or thyme or a combination.”

Stir in the eggs, Worcestershire sauce and enough broth to make a mixture with a pork-and-beans consistency – sort of soupy. You’ll need to add sufficient broth so all the moisture won’t cook out of the finished dressing.

Pour into greased 9- by-13-inch baking pan and bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 40 minutes or until browned. Makes 8 to 10 servings

Notes: These are my suggestions. Several weeks before Thanksgiving, I purchase two packages of corn bread mix, bake them and freeze them to use in the dressing. (Don’t tell Helen.) I also freeze random bits of leftover loaf bread to use. For seasoning, I use 1 heaping teaspoon dried sage plus about 1 teaspoon each dried marjoram and dried savory. There’s a lot of bread and you want flavor. The 3 eggs makes a soft-textured dressing; if you want a less soft one, use 2 eggs. If you follow Helen’s description on adding broth, you will have a moist, wonderful dressing; deviate at your peril.