Monday, November 8, 2010


This is Grandma Devine, lovingly referred to in my family as 'Big Grandma', and she was big, in every sense of the word. (She had lots of really cool things happen to her, so many that my Grandmother wrote a book about her!) I was never afraid of her, but I was certainly in awe...we all grew up knowing her story (Link provided by my cousin Jenny, who blogged about Big Grandma, too!) but it was her finger that always kinda gave me the willys. The story I remember being told was that she cut it with a paring knife; it didn't bend, and pointed at an odd angle, and seemed very 'witch-like' to my little self. But she was a loving, adorable woman; I remember her fondly. One of the things for which she was most well-known was her cooking. My most vivid memories of her are of her in the kitchen in some form of food preparation. Our family still uses her stuffing recipe every Thanksgiving. I remember her sitting in a chair in my Grandma's kitchen at 21 Santa Rosa St. shredding off tiny pieces of a loaf of french bread and rolling them between her fingers so that it was like down. No chunks at all. I have altered her technique only slightly; I shred extra small bite sizes, nothing larger than perhaps a dime. My mother cuts the bread into small cubes. All this to say however you prepare the bread, this is still heaven-sent 'Devine Dressing' (I double this recipe, but my family is a bunch of pigs. This recipe is the primary reason my husband is still married to me. I kid you not. He has been known to drive 12 hours straight in anticipation of this dish):

1/2 pound sausage
1 whole onion
2 cups celery, chopped
2 cubes butter
1 can water chestnuts (my mother's addition)
1/2 cup pine nut, toasted (my mother's addition)
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon basil
1 can olives
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup water
2 loaves sourdough bread

Brown the sausage, add onions, celery and pine nuts. Stir frequently to avoid charring the pine nuts. When they are toasted, add all the butter, water chestnuts and spices. Remove from heat. Put bread in very large bowl, add olives and cooled meat mixture. Just before stuffing bird, slowly pour egg/water mixture over bread to moisten. Toss well to coat evenly.Any additional stuffing can be baked in separate dutch oven for serving.

*My mother also added sauteed mushrooms, but I do not. My kids would kill me. You'll have to ask her how much if you choose to try it.


  1. I thought she ran it over with the sewing machine...Guess we will have to ask Grandma on a good day to see if she remembers!

  2. YAY! Yay! YAY! THank you for posting the recipe (and for the linky credit) :)

    As for the twisted pinky - maybe the true story will NEVER be known! Maybe it was one of those things that involved telling whichever story was most appropriate for the time. The way I heard it, she ran it over with a sewing machine when she was very small. Hmmm...