Saying Grace

Welcome  Do you say grace before meals?  Our family does for every lunch and dinner, even if we are out to eat at a restaurant or fast food chain.  From the time our daughter was very young, we believed it was important for her to understand what being grateful for our meals should look and sound like.  I admit we usually have a very standard meal prayer that lacks much creativity, but we hope God understands that we are indeed grateful for each and every meal we receive.  We have been blessed with much while others have little.

Please note:  This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon affiliate, I receive a small commission when you click on one of my Amazon product links and make a qualifying purchase.  There is no additional cost to you and it helps keep this site free from those pesky pop-up ads!  I only recommend products I love!  Thank you.

Food For Thought  I love to cook and bake.  I love food.  I love eating it, preparing it, and serving it.  I read about it, look at photos of it, and study about its nutrition and ingredients.  I’m sure none of this comes as a surprise to anyone reading this!

As I was thinking about “saying grace” this holiday season, I realized it means so much more to me than just telling God “thank you” for giving me and my family another meal to eat.  I am grateful for the full sensory experiences I get from preparing, sharing, and consuming food.  I am grateful for the endless bounty of good foods the Lord has blessed our tables with over the years.  I am thankful for the opportunity to sit down and savor a meal with family and friends, or even just with my soulmate.  To savor a dish is truly a comforting experience.

I hope you will take some time to say grace at your next meal, if you do not do this already.  When you do, think beyond the simple words of “Thank you for this food,” and dive deeper into the full range of blessings.  In my words of grace I would say: Thank you for the farmers who grew the vegetables or raised the meats.  Thank you for the truck drivers who delivered the foods to the markets.  Thank you for the store workers who go unappreciated for their time and effort to make my shopping more convenient.  Thank you for the food writers and home cooks who share their recipes, successes, tips, and tricks so cooking continues to be a fun, creative, and educational experience.  Thank you for the modern conveniences of kitchen appliances, from my double-oven range to the electric refrigerator to the mixer and food processor.  Thank you to the companies who continue to improve the cooking experience by upgrading the cookware and utensils I use.  Thank you for the vast selection I have on a daily basis for choosing what I want to eat.  Thank you for this dining room table and all its memories for the many meals my husband, daughter, and I have shared over the past 15 years.  Thank you for the serenity and warmth I feel each day when I sit down to eat with my family.  Thank you for the nourishment and energy I receive from my meals and snacks so that I can continue my work as wife, mom, and sharer of faith.  For so many things beyond the food itself, I am extremely grateful.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today’s Scripture

Today’s Recipe  When we sit down to a traditional holiday meal, it often includes this family-requested Sausage Cornbread Dressing.  I’ve been making this recipe for over ten years.  People in my own family who normally never eat stuffing or dressing will go back for seconds of this dish.  Don’t worry that it’s not Thanksgiving or Christmas right now.  It makes a great side dish for a baked chicken or pork tenderloin, too.

sausage and cornbread dressing
Cooking the onion, celery, and apple in the sausage drippings is the special trick to boost the flavor of this side dish classic.

Sausage and Cornbread Dressing

  • 2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 8 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1 TBS poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 16-oz pkgs sausage (I like Jimmy Dean regular pork sausage)
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 5 celery stalks, ends removed
  • 1 large apple (most any variety will work, except red delicious)
  • 3-4 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
  • 3 eggs

The day before you want to bake the dressing, prepare the bread base.  Combine the cornbread mix with the milk and 2 eggs.  Bake in a greased 9×13 pan at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

In a very large mixing bowl, crumble the cornbread.  Tear up the wheat bread slices and add to the bowl.  Add all seasonings and toss with the breads.  Leave out for up to 24 hours to dry out breads.

When ready to prepare dressing, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Crumble and brown the sausage, cooking until almost done.  Dice the onion, slice the celery, and chop the apple.  Add all to the skillet with the sausage.  Stir and continue to cook until sausage is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.  Cool slightly.

Pour the sausage and vegetables into the bowl with the bread and spices.  Add the broth and eggs and mix thoroughly (it works best if you mix it with your hands).  We like a more moist dressing, so I tend to use the full four cups of broth.

Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Dump and press the dressing mixture into the prepared dish.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.

If desired, you can prepare the dressing ahead of time, cover with foil and refrigerate for up to two days.  Just allow the dish to set out for ten minutes before placing in oven and increase baking time 10-15 minutes.

Today’s Helpful Products, Available from Amazon