Cranberry Bacon Stuffing

This is the kind of incident that, if it occurred on Thanksgiving Day with dads and aunts and grandmas hovering in the kitchen, would make you cry. Fortunately, it happened during the test run, when I was alone in the kitchen, had already eaten my dinner, and was eager to get in front of the TV for my Thursday night shows. No tears.

This is what happened: I altered a recipe before I had ever tried the original. Since this is the Quest for Claire’s Thanksgiving Day Dressing, I thought it was important to standby her rules, including no raisins (or craisins). But I still really wanted to make this Bacon Cranberry Stuffing. I didn’t find anything out of the ordinary in my baking-with-cranberries research, so I went ahead and substituted fresh cranberries for dry.

I expected them to pop when I sauteed them with the mushrooms. I didn’t expect them to completely disintegrate and turn all the vegetables pink. Even after that happened, I didn’t expect them to turn all the bread cubes pink when I mixed the vegetables in. Even though I was terrified of its color, I thought, How bad can it be? and took a bite. I have eaten exactly one delicious food that is hot pink and it was not this stuffing. Every crumb of bread absorbed the bitterness of the cranberries. The good news is, it only took me about one hour and fifteen minutes to ruin this stuff.

I couldn’t bring myself to take a picture. Sorry.

I did manage to keep myself from throwing it away. And I forced myself to heat it up and serve it at the big Get Stuffed dinner (more on that later). After all, four for five isn’t a bad record.

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