For years, a relative of mine served boxed stuffing at her holiday gatherings, spiced up with cut-up pre-cooked turkey sausage. When I offered to make some homemade stuffing one year, she waved me off. “No one can the tell the difference, anyway.”
Funny, but I could absolutely tell the difference. Was it just me? I contemplated on how real mashed potatoes, gravy, fresh green beans and cranberry sauce would stack up to their processed cousins. What about supermarket turkey versus a fresh, organic bird?
There’s only one way to find out.
This year, I decided to make two dinners with the classic holiday side dishes — mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans and cranberry sauce. The catch: one featured all homemade sides, and the other, they cam came from a box, can or jar.
I needed objective judges. Fortunately, there’s a group of individuals more than up for the task: the guys on Shift A at the Station 1 in Holmes Beach, my local firehouse in Florida.