My knowledge of the first Thanksgiving is pretty limited, but if the event was anything like the simulation I experienced in kindergarten, I’m sure it was just lovely: black paper hats, colorful feathers, applesauce, and giving thanks for family, friends and Gumby. I like my little Thanksgiving myth, especially since everything tastes better when there’s a story attached to it. Just look at Jewish holiday cuisine, a tradition in which eating is often a highly symbolic, commemorative act. Latkes taste so good because potatoes fried in oil are clearly delicious BUT ALSO because the oil they are fried in is evokes the oil that kept the Second Temple of ancient Israel lit up for eight days straight. Obvi.

Today, when I eat the stuffing on the Thanksgiving table, I am going to do my best to slow down (no promises) and be thankful for bountiful harvests, Indian-Pilgrim fellowship, buckles and America.

In the spirit of things, here’s my favorite stuffing recipe. Happy thanksgiving!

Three Mushroom Stuffing

(Adapted from Bon Appetit, 2007)


  • 8 cups 1/2-inch cubes rustic rosemary bread (from one 14 1/2-ounce loaf)

  • 1 ounce dried mushrooms

  • 2 cups boiling water

  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil

  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter

  • 1/2 pound small button mushrooms, trimmed

  • 1/2 pound small fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried rosemary

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 1 cup chopped green onions, divided

  • 2 large eggs, beaten to blend

  • ~1 cup low-salt chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread bread cubes in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned and slightly crisp, about 18 minutes. Cool.

Combine porcini mushrooms and 2 cups boiling water in medium bowl; let stand until mushrooms are soft, about 30 minutes. Strain, reserving soaking liquid. Chop mushrooms.

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and onion to skillet and sauté until soft and brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary, and porcini mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add wine and boil until almost all liquid evaporates, about 4 minutes. Transfer to bowl.