Granny Catlett was my cousins' grandmother. I would see her quite often, as we lived just two doors down from our cousins, Kathy, James, Joe, and Helen. My brothers and sister (there were four of us too) were always at their house getting into some kind of mischief. Granny Catlett was kind and wonderful, always quick to smile, and she was a great cook. This recipe came out every Thanksgiving. Actually, there were two versions - this one, and the one with oysters mixed in. It was a bad day when you chose poorly. Everyone in my family who cooks uses this recipe - and this recipe makes no mention of oysters.
I think this is one of the many powers of cooking for people. These recipes are way more than chemistry. They are stories, they are memories of friends and loved ones, and they make us slow down and remember. That, my friends, is a good way to live.
Make cornbread the night before. Crumble 7 cups of cornbread and place into large bowl.
Slightly toast 1/2 loaf of white bread. I use my oven for this. Just put the bread right on the racks and heat for 3 minutes at 350. This dries it out. Crumble 7 cups (just break and tear) and add to large bowl.
Sauté chopped Celery and Onion in the butter. Get it nice and soft.
Add all of the seasonings. Give the whole mixture a few gentle stirs to mix it up.
Add onion and celery, and everything else into the large bowl! It should be thick, pouring in large globs. Add broth if it's too thick. Add cornbread if it's too runny.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until it's slightly brown on the top and a little crispy.
Note: You can prepare this the day before (no baking) and refrigerate it overnight. Take out of the fridge one hour before baking.
Serving Size 1 cup