30 October 2007

This is a dish I made for a 50th wedding anniversary celebration in September. I got the recipe from a community cookbook when we lived in Hamilton, Texas. I ended up changing it a bit. The original recipe was written very casually and didn't include a lot of details. Several details were missing, such as how many squashes (is that the right word?) to use and how to cook it. It included sauteed celery and cream of chicken soup. I decided to skip the celery and use cream of celery soup instead. I thought that having chicken flavors going on wasn't really necessary when there were already a lot of other flavors included, like celery, corn, onion, and squash. And it also included chicken bouillon, so additional chicken wasn't necessary. Skipping the celery also made it a little easier; less to chop! The original recipe also failed to say what kind and size of dish to use.

Here is the original recipe:

3 cups cooked squash, drained and mashed
1 package corn bread mix, baked (yellow)
2 cups milk
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup green pepper
1 teaspoon sage (optional)
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 can cream of chicken soup
Crumble corn bread in milk. Saute onion, celery, and green pepper in 1 stick of margarine. Add all remaining ingredients. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

(Recipe courtesy Dora Kunkel. Published in A Taste of Hamilton, 2003)

Here's how I made it. This is doubled.

Squash Dressing

2 boxes corn bread mix, prepared (I use Jiffy. This will require 2/3 cup milk and 2 eggs)
5-6 small yellow squash
1 cup diced onions
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp sage
4 tsp chicken bouillon powder (equivalent of 4 cubes)
2 cans cream of celery soup
4 cups milk (I used 2%)
Prepare corn bread mixes in 8 inch square glass baking dish. Let cool. Preheat oven at 350.

Chop the ends off the squash and cut into 1/2" to 1" slices. Boil until soft. Drain and mash, leaving some chunks.

Saute the onions and garlic in butter. Add sage and bouillon powder. Add cream of celery soup and mix well.

After the corn bread has cooled, crumble it and soak it in the milk.

Combine the corn bread mixture, soup mixture, and squash.

Bake in 9 x 13 glass dish for one hour.

Here is the finished result. I couldn't believe how pretty it turned out!

I kept the bouillon in because I didn't know exactly what part it played in the recipe. And I omitted the green pepper simply because I don't like the flavor of it and didn't think it was necessary.

This recipe is hard to write because you kind of have to do three things at once. You have to let the corn bread cool (unless you make it the night before, like I do) and soak it in milk while you chop the squash and cook it and saute the onions and garlic. So don't do it as it is written; get each of those things going so they can all be done and ready to combine at the same time.

A note of warning: This looks absolutely disgusting when you combine it and pour it into the baking dish. I know. But trust me, it will look beautiful when you pull it out of the oven, and it will taste even better!

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