Gizzards and Livers and Necks, Oh My!

I make cornbread dressing, and I think I make it pretty well.  But my husband thinks it needs gizzards (the stomach used to grind food).  Even the thought makes me want to faint or be nauseous at the very least!  There is no room in my dressing for any giblets (heart, liver, gizzards).

I think people are divided on this.  My husband will NEVER feel that a dressing is a true dressing if it doesn’t have gizzards.  I know there are many who would agree with this.

But the other half of the country feels that the addition of gizzards would ruin the dressing (since they get minced, it is too difficult to pick them all out – I know; I tried  this as a child when I ate my paternal grandmother’s dressing).

Like so many foods, we prefer they are prepared the way we grew up eating them.  If we grew up eating wetter dressing, then we expect the perfect dressing to be wet.  I am used to a dryer dressing, so wet dressings kind of gross me out.

The same with gravy.  I am used to gravy sans the tidbits of giblets.  Other folks may love giblets in their gravy, but it ruins it in my opinion.  I like jellied cranberries from the can because that is what my family served (although I don’t mind a homemade cranberry sauce).  I know some only want whole cranberries while others wouldn’t eat a cranberry for love nor money!

Would whipped cream vs. meringue on a chocolate or coconut pie count as family preference?  Honestly, I can go either way on this, but I do lean toward whipped cream.  However, I could single handedly eat an entire chocolate or coconut pie regardless of its topping!

There is no right or wrong here; there is just acknowledgement that “I say tomato.  You say tomato.”  Hopefully, those who prefer one way or another are not condescending towards the cook if they find what is served is not what they are accustomed to.  I hope we all are cultured enough to know that each part of the country, each state, and each family has their traditions and preferences and there are no rights or wrongs.

Food isn’t even the reason for the season or the cause for celebration.  Rather, it is an opportunity to break bread with those we love and those we enjoy.  If we find ourselves in a situation where the food isn’t familiar, maybe we should learn to appreciate whatever food is available to us, thus counting it as one of our many blessings.  Not everyone in this world has food readily available.

I have asked my mother-in-law about the gizzards, hoping to get a recipe with which I could prepare a small helping of dressing with gizzards for my husband.  She insists she doesn’t include them in her dressing.  Could my husband be thinking of his grandmother’s recipe or maybe the Army’s recipe?

Do you use gizzards, giblets and necks in your dressing?  Do you prefer gravy or giblet gravy?  Are you a jellied, whole or homemade kind of cranberry eater?  Meringue or whipped cream?  Nap or football?

Stock up on your holiday meal favorites a bit early this year since there are supply chain issues.  You will want to be sure you have the basics for your family meals!

Products to assist with your holiday meals:

Sheet pans:

Glass baking pans:

Stand mixer:

Pie plates:

Measuring cups and spoons:

Meat thermometer:

Linen napkins:

Sauté pan:


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