It's All About the Stuffing
We don't call it dressing. We don't call it filling. We call it stuffing and we are more picky about it than we are about our sacred chocolate chip cookies or our revered family spaghetti sauce.
When I was a child, there were two bowls of stuffing on the Thanksgiving table; one was pretty small and the other large. My father loathed onions, an ingredient everyone else found essential in stuffing. So the stuffing was made and before the onions were added, some of it was put into the neck end of the bird and then the onions were mixed in and the large cavity was filled. My father always would say, "Please pass the Good Stuff."
As an adult I figured out how to make stuffing like my mother made and that's what we [almost] always have had. One year I experimented with a glorious-sounding concoction involving apricots and Grand Marnier. It was nice, but I never did it again. I wasn't allowed.
When I worked at the school for autistic kids, one of the boys had a learning goal that involved taking a survey and analyzing the results. Daily he would come to the office with the day's question and there were always four choices. Last year on the day before Thanksgiving, the question was, "What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner? Your choices are: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie." Max came to the people in the office one-by-one and every single person made the same choice.
We talk a lot about the turkey. Some of us speak fondly of the pumpkin pie. But, truly, when the survey is complete, it's all about the stuffing.