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Stuffing

8 slices bread (or 4 whole wheat pitas)
2 ribs celery with leaves, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 t. poultry seasoning
1/4 t. black pepper
2 T. butter or vegetable oil (use more for a richer stuffing)
dried shiitake mushrooms (3 big or 5-6 small)
dried Porcini mushrooms equal in weight to the shiitakes
2 veg. bouillon cubes
3 cups water

1 tart apple, diced, optional
1/2 cup halved cranberries and 1/2 cup golden raisins, optional
18 chestnuts, boiled, skinned and chopped, optional
one half to 1 cup pignolias or pecans, optional
1 cup sauteed sliced button mushrooms, optional

Bring the water to a boil and toss in the dried mushrooms and veg.
bouillon cubes. Simmer 1/2 hour, then take out the mushrooms and
chop them. Save the broth.

Toast the bread till a little bit dried but not browned; cube.
Saute the celery and onions in the butter or oil until tender.
Mix the bread, poultry seasoning, pepper, fried veggies, chopped
cooked mushrooms, and your add-in in a large bowl. Moisten with
1 to 1.5 cups of the mushroom broth. Taste and add seasonings or
melted butter/oil as needed. Pile lightly into a greased casserole
and bake 30-45 minutes at 350 F with the cover of the casserole
just ajar. (You can bake it in a slower oven, but if you bake it
hotter it will get too brown)


Make a gravy with the rest of the broth:

1 T. butter or veg. oil
3 T. flour

Make a brown roux with the butter and flour. Add the rest of the
broth from the mushrooms, plus water, milk or other liquid to 1.5
cups, and a dash of poultry seasoning. Bring to a boil, stirring
constantly, until thickened. If too thick, add water, broth, wine
or whatever until thinned sufficiently. If you use milk, a little
is nice because it lightens the color and makes the gravy more
opaque.

If you would rather have the fancy mushrooms in the gravy than in
the stuffing, don't put them in the stuffing, and add them to your
gravy after it thickens.

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