Are stuffing and dressing the same thing? Some believe if you cook the bread mixture inside the bird that makes stuffing; if it’s prepared outside the bird, that makes it dressing. We here in the South call it dressing. Stuffing isn’t very pleasant-sounding at all.

The Oxford English Dictionary, which traces the word stuffing back to 1538, defines it “as a mixture used to stuff poultry before cooking.” An excellent food reference book, “The Food Lover’s Companion,” says stuffing and dressing are interchangeable.

This was way too much trouble to research this stuffing thing. Pun intended. I can never remember my grandmother or my mother ever stuffing a turkey. They made dressing. I would imagine that for most of you it’s the same story. We tend to cook what we’re raised on. That’s fine with this ole’ country boy. Dressing it is!

This recipe caught my eye a long time ago. I decided to try it. Oh my Lord in heaven it made my house smell soooo good! It tasted even better. The only problem was that I didn’t have any turkey and gravy with cranberry sauce to go with it. I plan on taking this dish of dressing to the office tomorrow to get their opinion on the taste and appearance. However, this article will be in print before I can share with you what they think. I’ll share that in a few weeks.

This was not a difficult recipe to prepare at all. The hardest thing was finding the time to do it. Busy, busy time.

I really want y’all to try this dressing recipe if you don’t have a family standby. It’s not expensive and very easy. It tastes heavenly as well and is pretty too!

While I was baking the dressing I tried a recipe my mother loves: a crustless Pumpkin Custard. Talk about easy. This makes two pies and they cook beautifully. The smell in my house tonight is amazing. Y’all need to try this light, and easy take on pumpkin pie.

As always, I’m wishing you good cooking from my stove pot to yours.

Cranberry Pecan Dressing

1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 pound pork sausage

1/4 cup butter, melted

3 ribs celery ribs, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

6 cups seasoned bread cubes

1 medium tart apple, chopped

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup chicken broth

In a saucepan, bring orange juice and cranberries to a boil. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook sausage until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a large bowl.

In the same skillet, melt butter. Add the celery and onion; sauté until tender. Store in poultry seasoning.

Add to sausage mixture. Stir in the bread cubes, orange juice mixture, apple, pecans, salt, pepper and broth. You may need to add more broth to reach desire moistness.

Transfer to a greased 13x9 inch baking dish. Cover with foil and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 15 minutes longer or until lightly browned.

Crustless Pumpkin Custard Pie

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup pumpkin

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1 tablespoon self-rising flour

Pinch salt

Mix all ingredients together. Poor into two greased 9 inch pie pans. Cook 50 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven.

Top with cool whip if desired.

Tony Hall lives in Roanoke Rapids and enjoys everything about food, especially homegrown vegetables, free-range chicken and anything organic. His cooking skills have been evolving for many years, from culinary school to all kinds of cooking classes. He grows his own herbs and vegetables and makes all kinds of jams and preserves, as well as all kinds of home canning. Contact him at thall@rrdailyherald.com.