Feasting at the Party Barn

by | Nov 18, 2012 | Entertaining, Side Dishes

Tom and Vibeke visting from Denmark

Yesterday our “cousins” Tom and Vibeke Hvilsted from Denmark came to the Party Barn for a visit. We wanted to treat them to a taste of fresh American food, and the family rallied! Merry made guacamole, a green salad with pears, candied pecans, and blue cheese along with her Dutch oven beer bread. Sandy Holm made her spicy Cranberry Salsa with fresh ginger and jalapenos (we’ll post this family favorite in a future blog!), Whitney made a fruit salad with Fuyu Persimmons, grapes, pomegranate, pears and apple, and Troy, aka “Spud,” mashed the 10 pounds of potatoes. Nancy with the help of cousin Kenny Calhoun and Alton Brown grilled a turkey using Ken Calhoun’s Turkey Marinade, Wendy made her persimmon trifle and I made my aunt Vivian Brizee Calhoun’s stuffing.

My sister Nancy manning the BBQ (rain and all)

The spread and Wendy’s persimmon trifle

Aunt Vivian’s stuffing has been a staple at the Calhoun Thanksgiving for many years. We always thought it was Uncle Ken’s recipe! I enjoy it because it has celery, mushrooms and spinach in it. We had a lot of stuffing left over and my father plans to test a recipe he saw on “The Chew,” stuffed bell peppers!

We had a wonderful visit with Tom and Vibeke, they shared many stories and snippets of our Danish family history. Also visiting were four deer and a covey of quail. The much needed rain did not dampen our spirits! We also used this opportunity to try the long awaited Danish pickles that my family made during the summer. The pickles passed the test! They tasted just like the pickles that our Granny used to make and the Danes said they taste just like the pickles you buy in Denmark.

Vivian’s stuffing with sausage

Vivian Brizee Calhoun’s Turkey Stuffing

 – Serves 10

I doubled this recipe for the 14 guests and there were PLENTY of leftovers.


  • 1 pound ground sausage (I used the Jimmy Dean Reduced Fat Sausage)
  • 2 large onions
  • 5 stalks of celery
  • 3/4 pound fresh mushrooms
  • 1 package of frozen spinach
  • 1 package of cubed bread
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon salt, or less
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter


Brown and drain the sausage. Chop the onions, celery and mushrooms then sautee in about 1 tablespoon of butter. Cook the package of frozen spinach according to directions on package and then drain. Combine all above with 1 package of cubed bread, stir it gently in a large bowl.

Add the dry mustard, salt, poultry seasoning, pepper, and sage. Add enough hot water (plus some melted butter) to moisten the dressing. I used about 1 cup of water and melted the butter right in it using the microwave. Stir gently.

We did not stuff the bird, but cooked it in a covered dish at 300 degrees F for about 1 hour. Add a little more moisture when cooking in a covered dish. I added about 1/2 cup chicken stock with about a tablespoon of butter melted in it.