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Trivia Question

When did Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer appear on the music charts and for what purpose was the story behind the song originally used?

The Good Stuff(ing)

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To my extended family nothing symbolizes a gratifying Thanksgiving meal like my mom's "famous" stuffing. We demand that she makes it every year and we hover around in the kitchen waiting for the first batch to be ready. And yes, we fight over the final spoonful.

It's her own original creation; she uses a top-secret combination of canned, boxed and fresh ingredients that first simmers on the stove for what seems like hours and then takes its honorary place in an olive green slow cooker that's been around since the 1970s.

The delectable mishmash of mushrooms, toasted bread and chicken broth is a carb-lover's dream, and if my mom would ever enter it into a contest, it would take home a blue ribbon, guaranteed. My dad used to swear angels from heaven came down and stirred it up themselves.

Did the Pilgrims serve some kind of stuffing concoction at the very first Thanksgiving dinner? I like to think so. Perhaps it was made with wild rice and a bit of seafood. According to's research on our country's stuffing recipes, the dish we call stuffing that is served up on my family's Thanksgiving table may be a far cry from what you serve alongside your turkey. First of all, we don't all call it the same thing. Apparently, Northerners call it "stuffing," Southerners call it "dressing," and some Pennsylvanians enjoy "filling" on their Turkey Day tables. And no two recipes are alike. Along the East Coast, folks are fond of oysters in their dishes, while Southerners like to add corn bread, and Western cooks spice things up a bit more.

Whichever way you prefer to make it and whatever you call it, I hope you and your family get to stuff yourselves with some good old-fashioned stuffing/dressing/filling this Thanksgiving. And—I hope you get the last spoonful.

'Til next time,

Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine

PS. What's your family's favorite traditional holiday dish? Send a brief response to me at and it could appear in a future newsletter or in Good Old Days magazine!

Mary Beth Weisenburger has been with Annie's since April 2011. She has 25 years of experience in the marketing, advertising and publishing fields. In addition to her job as editor of Good Old Days, she has been writing a family humor column for over a decade. She and her husband, two college-age kids, two dogs and various other critters live on five acres in the country, where she enjoys reading on the back porch, refinishing furniture, feeding the birds and digging in the dirt of her perennial gardens.

Fill out the easy feedback form and let me know your thoughts, questions and ideas.

Trivia Answer

In 1939, Robert L. Mays wrote the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as a Christmas promotion for Montgomery Ward. Ten years later, May's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, wrote a song based on the story, and it made its debut on the music charts in early November 1949. After Gene Autry's rendition went to No. 1 on the charts during Christmas week of 1949, the song has continued to be one of the most popular Christmas tunes in the world.

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