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Thanksgiving in Vernell's Kitchen

By Majsan Bostrom


Wilmington, NC – Vernell's Dressing (Stuffing)

Vernell Boynton says she cannot cook for fewer than 10 people. She also says she has no written recipes. Below is what she'd tell you if you were in her kitchen learning how to make her stuffing, which is "best in America," according to her children, great-grand children and great-great grandchildren.
3 lbs. Hamburger meat (ground beef)
3 lbs. Fresh Pork Sausage (Vernell gets hers from a small butcher in Wallace)
5 eggs
2 big onions
1 bunch of celery stalks
1 green bell pepper
1 can chicken broth
small baking pan of home baked cornbread
poultry seasoning

Bake the corn bread
Chop and saut onions, bell pepper and celery in a frying pan
Sautee hamburger meat and chopped sausage and add to vegetables
Cook until well done and pour into mixing bowl.
Crumble in the cornbread
Add seasoning, eggs and chicken broth and mix until well-blended
Place in baking pan in oven at 350 F and cook till golden brown
...or Stuff into turkey


Vernell's Sweet Potato Pie:

3 medium sweet potatoes
Pillsberry nine-inch piecrust
1 stick of butter
2 cups of sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
Splash vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup canned milk

Boil the potatoes until soft, cool and peel
Mash potatoes in a big bowl with butter and sugar
Add the spices and mix
Add the flour
Beat your eggs and mix in milk until smooth
Pour into a prepared pie shell and cook for 25 to 30 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven.