Thanksgiving Recipe: Turkey Dressing

Holidays at my brother and sister-in-law’s house are filled with delicious food. EVERYBODY cooks. Paul William and Norma Haggberg Kaser both cook. Their sons Michael and David cook (especially Michael, who is a trained chef).  So it is no surprise that this delicious recipe for turkey dressing comes from the Kaser household.


Dressing that not only includes apples, but apple cider; not only pecans, but SPICED pecans!

It came to me just in time. I was wondering how I could include turkey dressing in the Thanksgiving recipes I am sharing with you at Ancestors in Aprons.  Dressing is one of my favorite dishes on the Thanksgiving table, but my own is an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink concoction that includes whatever I happen to have on hand–nuts, fruit, sausage, oysters, vegetables. And for the bread, I stow leftover ends of all kinds of bread in the freezer for months, and then use the hodgepodge for dressing.  So you can see how it might be difficult for me to pass on my “recipe.”

Norma Kaser’s Spiced Pecans

Norma Kaser’s Spiced Pecan Recipe

Prep time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 50 minutes
Allergy Tree Nuts
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Snack
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold


  • 4 cups pecan halves
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 cup butter (melted)
  • 1/3 cup dark maple syrup


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Toss together salt, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. Add the pecans and toss well.
3. Drizzle melted butter over the pecans and mix well.
4. Turn out onto a rimmed baking sheet, scraping spices and butter from the bowl and spreading all into one layer.
5. Bake until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally for about nine minutes.
6. Drizzle the maple syrup over the nuts, stir to combine and bake about 10 minutes longer.
7. Let the nuts cool in the pan for 30 minutes and then scrape nuts and drippings into a bowl.


While these are made for nibbling as well as for use in the turkey dressing, be careful that the cook does not nibble more than two cups of the pecans before making the turkey dressing!

Photo by Susan Smith from Flickr, used with Creative Commons license.

Norma Kaser’s Thanksgiving Turkey Dressing

Norma Kaser’s Turkey Dressing Recipe

Serves 8-10


  • 6 cups bread cubes (Norma uses a mix of white and whole wheat)
  • 2 cups raw wild rice
  • salt, white pepper
  • 2 medium onions (diced (1 1/2 cups))
  • 4 ribs celery (diced (1 1/2 cups))
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh sage
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 3 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 2/3 cup apple cider
  • 3/4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups (before chopping) Spiced Pecans (below) (coarsely chopped)


1. Cook wild rice according to directions and cool
2. Saute' onions and celery in 2 TBS olive oil.
3. Remove from pan and stir in herbs, pepper and salt
4. Peel, core and dice the apples.
5. Add oil and butter to pan
6. Add to hot pan, diced apples and sugar and cook until the apples begin to brown.
7. Add 2/3 cup of cider and reduce heat for one minute.
8. Add apples and liquid to onion and celery mixture.
9. Combine rice, bread and apple mixture.
10. Add remainder of cider and stock and mix in candied pecans. Stuff turkey, and pile remainder of dressing in buttered Pyrex dish for oven. NOTE: Roast turkey as soon as you have stuffed it. (Never let warm dressing sit in cold turkey.)


The photo is by Elena Gailliard, from Flickr, used with Creative Commons license.


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