Inspired by @ListPrompts
  1. Sausage & Sweet Potato Stuffing
  2. This recipe is written in the back of the cookbook my grandmother received as a wedding present from her family.
    (Her maiden name was St. Aubin & she grew up in Harvey, IL - hence the inscription.)
  3. I actually don't know where this recipe originated, but it's what we had every Thanksgiving & Christmas when I was growing up, & if I had to define Thanksgiving by one smell, it would be the smell of this stuffing.
  4. My grandmother used to be in charge of making it. She wasn't the greatest cook, but there were a few things she had mastered & this was one of them.
    As evidenced by the fact that she wrote down basically no actual instructions (this is a theme in my family).
  5. First, start cooking your sweet potatoes. You need about 3 medium-sized ones.
    You can cook these however you want: they just need to be soft enough that they'll slide right off a fork stuck into them. I prefer to boil them, but you can also bake them in an oven (or a microwave, probably). You'll want to wash them first, but you can wait to peel them until after they're cooked; the skin should just slip right off.
  6. Then you need a pound of Italian sausage.
    My grandma used half hot & half sweet. Squeeze the sausage out of its casings into a frying pan; cook over medium heat until brown and crumbly. Once cooked, pour sausage out of pan onto paper towels to drain.
  7. Put the frying pan back on the heat - maybe lower it a little. Add a couple tablespoons of butter & heat until melted.
  8. Add 1 cup of chopped celery.
    The recipe says to 'brown' this for 15 minutes, but honestly we just cook this until it starts to go a little soft.
  9. Add in: 2 medium onions, minced
    More like chopped.
  10. 1 Tbsp salt
  11. 1 tsp pepper
  12. 1/2 tsp ground sage (or about 1 1/2 tsp of fresh, chopped)
  13. Cook all this until both onions and celery are soft & no longer fully opaque.
  14. Take off heat, put sausage back into frying pan, and stir together.
  15. In a separate large bowl, mash peeled sweet potatoes with a fork.
    Don't burn yourself to peel these, but the less they've cooled off, the better. My grandmother usually held them down with an oven mitt and peeled them almost as soon as they came out of the pot. I've worked enough food service that the tips of my fingers are basically heat resistant.
  16. Add in sausage mixture & stir to combine.
  17. Mix in 4 cups of bread cubes.
    I don't know why these were called/considered crumbs in the recipe. We usually use an Italian loaf, but I could swear there were times my grandmother used rye. Whatever you prefer works. You can cube it if you want to be fancy, but tearing it into bite-sized chunks works just as well.
  18. Transfer to casserole dish, cover, and keep warm until serving.
    I prefer to make this the day of, but it can also be made a day or two in advance & reheated in the oven. It's amazing left over because all the flavors really settle into each other.