This family recipe is easy and comes from the heart of Wayne County where I grew up. I love the flavors, but also the ability to make it in advance of turkey day!
3 loaves bread, dried at 250°F until very crispy, but not brown
(4 bags, 9½ ounces each, dried croutons = 3 loaves bread)
2 cups (heaping) celery, finely chopped
¾ cup onion, finely chopped
2 pounds butter
4-5 eggs, well-beaten
2 or 3 tsp. salt
2-3 quarts milk
Break bread into small pieces. Sauté celery and onion in butter until just tender and then pour over bread and stir. Mix eggs, salt, and 2 quarts milk. Pour over bread mixture. Mix well, then let set to allow liquid to soak into bread. Add more milk if needed. Form into balls and place in greased or foil-lined pans. You will want to be able to form a ball that is soft, but isn’t so wet it won’t keep its shape.
Bake at 375°F for 30-40 minutes (cover for first half of baking time). This can be made up a day ahead, or the balls may be frozen (thaw before baking). Serve with gravy (the picture shows gravy over the whole dish, but you could also serve gravy on the side). Makes enough to fill two 9 x 13 pans.
–Tina Kauffman, Director of Operations