“The world’s falling down and you two are flunking out of school over Hearts! Over a stupid fuckin card-game!”
Before I could say anything else [Nate] was gone, headed back up the county for turkey and his mom’s stuffing. Maybe even a through-the-pants handjob from Cindy. Hey, why not? It was Thanksgiving.
Hearts in Atlantis
From Nate Hoppenstand’s family up in Aroostook, Maine’s potato country, to generations of Pennsylvania Dutch—as well as Canadians up the Yale Line in New Brunswick—everyone claims this stuffing as their own. It’s a surprisingly light combination of two favorite sides that leaves room for more vegetables on the table.
My family’s mixture of leeks, mushrooms, and water chestnuts is unusual, but I’ve never seen anyone pass up seconds. We always baked it in its own dish, topped with bacon for extra flavor, but you can stuff your holiday turkey with it too.
Makes 8 servings
Position an oven rack on the upper-middle rung and heat the broiler. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast under the broiler until just lightly golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
Turn off the broiler and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine 1 inch of water, ½ teaspoon salt, and the potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and gently toss the potatoes around to dry them. Cover to keep warm.
In a large, heavy pan over medium heat, melt the butter until bubbling. Add the leeks, celery, and mushrooms; taste and season with salt and pepper; and sauté, stirring constantly, until softened and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the Bell’s and continue to cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
Add the sautéed vegetables, toasted bread cubes, water chestnuts, and eggs to the pot with the potatoes, gently stirring to break up the potatoes but leaving some chunks for texture. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Spoon the stuffing into the prepared baking dish and lay the bacon (if using) across the top. Bake until the top is golden and the bacon is starting to crisp, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
Serve the stuffing hot.