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Turkey Stuffing / Dressing


awbrig
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So far, my current winner is this recipe, an andouille and cornbread stuffing.  I would probably make my own cornbread, from my sainted grandmothers perfect recipe, rather than use the "cornbread  mix" (huh?) called for in the recipe.  But this recipe seems to be damn near 50 percent pork product, 50 percent filling, which sounds good to me.

Care to share your "sainted grandmothers perfect recipe" for cornbread? I have a favourite recipe, but if hers is perfect.... :biggrin:

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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IMHO the 3 most important things are chicken stock (preferably homemade), cornbread, and buttermilk biscuits. Then you can use whatever aromatics and additions thrill your heart.

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my take on the "stuffing vs. dressing" thing is that it all depends on where it's cooked. stuffing is inside the boid, dressing is in a dish.  crispy skin and stuffing is IT for me--keep the turkey, just gimme the crackling skin.

(my best tip, if  you are going to stuff the bird---line the cavity with (butter-soaked!) cheesecloth, then stuff that. sooo easy to remove the stuffing in one tug, rather that pulling and spooning it out.)

Wow! Best thing I've learned today, the cheesecloth trick. Thanks!!! And yes, it's stuffing inside, dressing outside. I've always got to have it both ways. :biggrin:

The thing about it, though, is some of us -- like me -- never make it the same way twice. Yeah, I'll always start with the packaged Pepperidge Farm or Arnold stuff, and add sauteed onions and celery and the chopped giblets, and use turkey giblet-enriched chicken stock, but from there on it's purely on a whim. Sometimes mushrooms (well, almost always :wink: ); maybe a little garlic; water chestnuts; chopped fennel; lemon zest or chopped preserved lemon; cooked crumbled sausage of some type; carrots; bell pepper; cranberries (fresh or dried); and I can't even get started on the herbs. The only thing I'll never, ever add is oysters; seems like a desecration of the bivalve to me. :sad:

This is one of those items for which there is no ULTIMATE recipe; just have lots of fun finding what you like!

You have to have the oysters; otherwise what do you eat while your cooking? Oh and Champagne to wash them down with. :biggrin:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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So far, my current winner is this recipe, an andouille and cornbread stuffing.  I would probably make my own cornbread, from my sainted grandmothers perfect recipe, rather than use the "cornbread  mix" (huh?) called for in the recipe.  But this recipe seems to be damn near 50 percent pork product, 50 percent filling, which sounds good to me.

Care to share your "sainted grandmothers perfect recipe" for cornbread? I have a favourite recipe, but if hers is perfect.... :biggrin:

Absolutely.

Cornbread

2 eggs

1 cup flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. soda

3 tbsp. sugar

3/4 tsp. salt

2/3 cup yellow corn meal

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup butter

Beat the eggs. Sift the dry ingredients and add alternately with the buttermilk to the egg mixture. Add the melted butter. Lightly grease an 8 X 8 Pyrex pan (or black skillet). Pour batter into pan and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes (or until golden brown on top.)

Note: Cornbread batter just needs to be lightly stirred together---but NOT mixed with an electric mixer.

Also, if you have some cornbread leftovers, place in foil and re-heat in oven the next day.

EDIT:Dunno how I missed the eggs the first time. For the original archival version, visit my web page.

Note 2: My sainted grandmother had a degree in "home economics" from Southwest Texas State University around 1930 and was the best cook you've ever seen. Seriously, try this recipe. You will NOT be disappointed.

Edited by bleachboy (log)

Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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stuffing = stuffed in the turkey. moist and dense and greasy.

dressing = cooked in a casserole dish alongside. fluffy, less oily, not as flavorful.

Me, I always go for the stuffing - that "cap" of crunchy stuff covering the, uh, orifice, is mine, all mine.

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Me, I always go for the stuffing - that "cap" of crunchy stuff covering the, uh, orifice, is mine, all mine.

i will fight you for that cap!

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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i know how u feel about the stuffing cap...to me ranks right up there with that first taste of the skin that u have snithed after it comes out of the oven...i look forward to it this year more than in years past..... :biggrin:

a recipe is merely a suggestion

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Dressing is something you put on a salad. This stuff we are talking about is stuffing, no matter where it is cooked, at least to me.

I made a rye bread and sage sausage stuffing last year that was very good. I made it with low-carb rye, which has a nice very chewy texture, but if you prefer a more traditional bread mouthfeel I am sure it would work with real rye as well.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Thanks for the recipe, bleachboy. I will try it -- even if it does have sugar in it!

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Thanks for the recipe, bleachboy.  I will try it -- even if it does have sugar in it!

The sugar is kind of what I might call "Texas style" cornbread. It should indeed have a scent of sweetness in there, to counteract the other flavors involved.

Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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In my family, we have always had a traditional cornbread dressing. Even though we are going out to the yacht club this year, I am still told that I have to make the dressing. In absence of RecipeGullet, this will be a long post. First, the cornbread...

Heat oven to 425F

Place 3 tablespoons lard, bacon drippings or corn oil into a heavy iron skillet.

Put skillet into the oven to heat.

Combine dry ingredients:

2 cups cornmeal, stone ground whole grain

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

Combine:

2 cups buttermilk

2 lightly beaten eggs

Stir eggs and buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients just until dry ingredients are incorporated. Do NOT over mix.

Remove pan from oven. Pour ingredients into the pan and return to the oven. (Technique tip: Put the pan on a level surface and pour batter into the middle so it spreads evenly. There will be a lot of sizzling going on and it will make an attractive crust on the outside edges. Makes for a prettier final result.)

Bake for 25 minutes.

Then... Here is the dressing recipe that can be endlessly added to...

2 recipes “Real Corn Bread” (Don’t cheat on the corn bread. It must be this recipe.)

2 cans cheap (like a store brand) biscuits, baked pretty brown but not burned

3 cups chopped onion

3 cups diced celery

2 Tbs oil, not olive oil

1 cup chopped green onion

1 cup chopped parsley

6 boiled eggs, diced

1 ½ tsp poultry seasoning, or more to taste

1 Tbs black pepper

6 – 8 cups chicken stock

salt to taste

Hand crumble corn bread and biscuits into a large bowl, big enough to hold all of the ingredients with plenty of stirring room.

Lightly sauté onions and celery until slightly wilted. Add to the bread. Add the green onion and parsley. Cross cut the egg in an egg slicer or dice and add. Add the poultry seasoning and pepper.

Mix thoroughly with your hands. (Hands work better than a spoon to get it well mixed without mushing it up.) Continue mixing while adding chicken stock. What you want to end up with is the bread mixture well saturated but no excess stock pooling in the bottom of the bowl. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.

Spray pans with Pam. Put the mixture in the pans and level out but don’t pack down. Shallower pans give you more crust. Deeper pans give you more soft stuff. You pick..

Bake at 350 F until lightly browned and the center springs back when poked. How long you bake it depends on your pans so you just have to watch and poke.

Variations (Mother was always tampering with the recipe. To say that this is THE recipe is a lie, actually.)

Add cooked crumbled sausage. Oysters are another possibility. (yuk for me)

Add cooked crumbled andouille sausage or slices of smoked andouille, a cup of diced bell pepper with the onion and celery. Substitute Cajun seasoning and some cayenne for the poultry seasoning.

Add cooked crumbled Italian sausage, a cup of diced bell pepper with the onion and celery. Substitute oregano, thyme and basil for the poultry seasoning. Leave the eggs out of this one.

Add cooked shrimp, a cup of diced bell pepper with the onion and celery. Substitute Cajun seasoning and some cayenne for the poultry seasoning. Make some good strong shrimp broth with the shrimp shells (and heads if you have them) and substitute for some of the chicken stock..

You get the idea… Chorizo, poblano, chile powder, Mexican oregano? Someone (maybe Mother) once thought about mixed sauted mushrooms. (I don’t know about that!) Mother once used all fresh herbs of the poultry seasoning persuasion that she grew. It was fabulous. (She grew herbs many years before it was cool.)

Note: This recipe can be halved but it is a lot of trouble to make too little and it freezes well. The quantities given in the recipe are not critical. If you want more onion, celery or parsley (or whatever), go for it.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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In my family, Thanksgiving is no time to experiment. We always have a traditional Cornbread Dressing very similar to the one Fifi outlined. I got the recipe from my mother and she got it from hers and she got it from hers before her.

It's Cornbread Dressing. Which I stuff into the turkey.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Wow! Best thing I've learned today, the cheesecloth trick. Thanks!!! And yes, it's stuffing inside, dressing outside. I've always got to have it both ways.  :biggrin:

ahhhh, thanks! :wub::wub: it's one of those head-smacking, why didn't i think of that tricks that i love. happy thanksgiving!

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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. . . The only thing I'll never, ever add is oysters; seems like a desecration of the bivalve to me.  :sad:  . . .

You have to have the oysters; otherwise what do you eat while your cooking? Oh and Champagne to wash them down with. :biggrin:

I agree wholeheartedly. That's what I meant about NEVER burying the oysters in the stuffing. There are only 3 ways to eat oysters, as far as I'm concerned: raw first and foremost; in a stew or pan-roast; and maybe fried in a po-boy. But in stuffing/dressing? :shock: Naw. :biggrin:

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Ok Bleachboy, I see you're a southern Louisiana type, so why not just play on your taste and take a basic gumbo set and apply it to dressing(stoneground corn meal only). Crab, Oysters, Andouilly, Tasso, Shrimp, Trinity, and even Okra. Or duck gumbo, Crawfish gumbo........

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I've had a lot of good stuffing recipes that were very interesting and tasty. But there's not much that I like better than good old Stove-Top. Yes, it's too salty, but what a lovely, unapologetic hunk of carbs.

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The best stuffing I ever made was for Canadian Thanksgiving a couple of weeks ago.

It had all the "normal" ingredients - stale bread, onion, tons of butter, celery, poultry seasoing, etc.

However, I think the items that made this so tasty were the homemade turkey stock that I put in with the butter to moisten the bread as well as fresh thyme and sage from my herb garden. The turkey stock moistened the bread and gave the stuffing a deeper flavour and a bit of thyme just sent the whole thing over the top. Of couse you must make sure that the bread is nice and stale so it can soak up all the great stock and butter goodness! I once made stuffing out of leftover homemade foccacia bread that had been made with rosemary and thyme and it was great.

I second the suggestion for lining the cavity with cheesecloth. I have been doing this for years, and it makes the removal of the stuffing so much easier. Plus you get every little bit of the precious stuff :biggrin: out of the bird.

Life is short, eat dessert first

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In my family, we have always had a traditional cornbread dressing. Even though we are going out to the yacht club this year, I am still told that I have to make the dressing. In absence of RecipeGullet, this will be a long post. First, the cornbread...

Heat oven to 425F

Place 3 tablespoons lard, bacon drippings or corn oil into a heavy iron skillet.

Put skillet into the oven to heat.

Combine dry ingredients:

2 cups cornmeal, stone ground whole grain

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

Combine:

2 cups buttermilk

2 lightly beaten eggs

Stir eggs and buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients just until dry ingredients are incorporated.  Do NOT over mix.

Remove pan from oven.  Pour ingredients into the pan and return to the oven. (Technique tip: Put the pan on a level surface and pour batter into the middle so it spreads evenly. There will be a lot of sizzling going on and it will make an attractive crust on the outside edges. Makes for a prettier final result.)

Bake for 25 minutes.

Then... Here is the dressing recipe that can be endlessly added to...

2 recipes  “Real Corn Bread”  (Don’t cheat on the corn bread. It must be this recipe.)

2 cans cheap (like a store brand) biscuits, baked pretty brown but not burned

3 cups chopped onion

3 cups diced celery

2 Tbs oil, not olive oil

1 cup chopped green onion

1 cup chopped parsley

6 boiled eggs, diced

1 ½ tsp poultry seasoning, or more to taste

1 Tbs black pepper

6 – 8 cups chicken stock

salt to taste

Hand crumble corn bread and biscuits into a large bowl, big enough to hold all of the ingredients with plenty of stirring room.

Lightly sauté onions and celery until slightly wilted. Add to the bread. Add the green onion and parsley. Cross cut the egg in an egg slicer or dice and add. Add the poultry seasoning and pepper.

Mix thoroughly with your hands. (Hands work better than a spoon to get it well mixed without mushing it up.) Continue mixing while adding chicken stock. What you want to end up with is the bread mixture well saturated but no excess stock pooling in the bottom of the bowl. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.

Spray pans with Pam. Put the mixture in the pans and level out but don’t pack down. Shallower pans give you more crust. Deeper pans give you more soft stuff. You pick..

Bake at 350 F until lightly browned and the center springs back when poked. How long you bake it depends on your pans so you just have to watch and poke.

Variations (Mother was always tampering with the recipe. To say that this is THE recipe is a lie, actually.)

Add cooked crumbled sausage. Oysters are another possibility. (yuk for me)

Add cooked crumbled andouille sausage or slices of smoked andouille, a cup of diced bell pepper with the onion and celery. Substitute Cajun seasoning and some cayenne for the poultry seasoning.

Add cooked crumbled Italian sausage, a cup of diced bell pepper with the onion and celery. Substitute oregano, thyme and basil for the poultry seasoning. Leave the eggs out of this one.

Add cooked shrimp, a cup of diced bell pepper with the onion and celery. Substitute Cajun seasoning and some cayenne for the poultry seasoning. Make some good strong shrimp broth with the shrimp shells (and heads if you have them) and substitute for some of the chicken stock..

You get the idea… Chorizo, poblano, chile powder, Mexican oregano? Someone (maybe Mother) once thought about mixed sauted mushrooms. (I don’t know about that!) Mother once used all fresh herbs of the poultry seasoning persuasion that she grew. It was fabulous. (She grew herbs many years before it was cool.)

Note: This recipe can be halved but it is a lot of trouble to make too little and it freezes well. The quantities given in the recipe are not critical. If you want more onion, celery or parsley (or whatever), go for it.

Fifi, my mother's way (and now, mine) of making cornbread dressing was very similar, but she added shredded chicken (from the whole chicken she'd used for making the stock). She also didn't use biscuits, but I might have to give that a try this year. Thanks.

Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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The problem is that everyone in my family and in Rachel's family, and pretty much all New York Metro Jews have only one thing in mind when they think "Stuffing" to accompany a turkey or chicken on a major holiday (which includes Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Erev Yom Kippur and Thanksgiving) and that is Stove Top, or alternatively Pepperidge Farm which has been "doctored" with lots of good stock and mushrooms, onions, celery and garlic.

While I think a home made stuffing would be nice for a change, it just doesnt taste right or have the correct consistency. Cornbread stuffing is interesting, and I enjoy it when it is served to me, but its not what we had when we grew up. Generaly speaking I think Stove Top and Pepperidge Farm are good commercial products, and produce good results especially after being "doctored".

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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In my family, we have always had a traditional cornbread dressing. Even though we are going out to the yacht club this year, I am still told that I have to make the dressing. In absence of RecipeGullet, this will be a long post. First, the cornbread...

Heat oven to 425F

Place 3 tablespoons lard, bacon drippings or corn oil into a heavy iron skillet.

Put skillet into the oven to heat.

Combine dry ingredients:

2 cups cornmeal, stone ground whole grain

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

Combine:

2 cups buttermilk

2 lightly beaten eggs

Stir eggs and buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients just until dry ingredients are incorporated.  Do NOT over mix.

Remove pan from oven.  Pour ingredients into the pan and return to the oven. (Technique tip: Put the pan on a level surface and pour batter into the middle so it spreads evenly. There will be a lot of sizzling going on and it will make an attractive crust on the outside edges. Makes for a prettier final result.)

Bake for 25 minutes.

Then... Here is the dressing recipe that can be endlessly added to...

2 recipes  “Real Corn Bread”  (Don’t cheat on the corn bread. It must be this recipe.)

2 cans cheap (like a store brand) biscuits, baked pretty brown but not burned

3 cups chopped onion

3 cups diced celery

2 Tbs oil, not olive oil

1 cup chopped green onion

1 cup chopped parsley

6 boiled eggs, diced

1 ½ tsp poultry seasoning, or more to taste

1 Tbs black pepper

6 – 8 cups chicken stock

salt to taste

Hand crumble corn bread and biscuits into a large bowl, big enough to hold all of the ingredients with plenty of stirring room.

Lightly sauté onions and celery until slightly wilted. Add to the bread. Add the green onion and parsley. Cross cut the egg in an egg slicer or dice and add. Add the poultry seasoning and pepper.

Mix thoroughly with your hands. (Hands work better than a spoon to get it well mixed without mushing it up.) Continue mixing while adding chicken stock. What you want to end up with is the bread mixture well saturated but no excess stock pooling in the bottom of the bowl. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.

Spray pans with Pam. Put the mixture in the pans and level out but don’t pack down. Shallower pans give you more crust. Deeper pans give you more soft stuff. You pick..

Bake at 350 F until lightly browned and the center springs back when poked. How long you bake it depends on your pans so you just have to watch and poke.

Variations (Mother was always tampering with the recipe. To say that this is THE recipe is a lie, actually.)

Add cooked crumbled sausage. Oysters are another possibility. (yuk for me)

Add cooked crumbled andouille sausage or slices of smoked andouille, a cup of diced bell pepper with the onion and celery. Substitute Cajun seasoning and some cayenne for the poultry seasoning.

Add cooked crumbled Italian sausage, a cup of diced bell pepper with the onion and celery. Substitute oregano, thyme and basil for the poultry seasoning. Leave the eggs out of this one.

Add cooked shrimp, a cup of diced bell pepper with the onion and celery. Substitute Cajun seasoning and some cayenne for the poultry seasoning. Make some good strong shrimp broth with the shrimp shells (and heads if you have them) and substitute for some of the chicken stock..

You get the idea… Chorizo, poblano, chile powder, Mexican oregano? Someone (maybe Mother) once thought about mixed sauted mushrooms. (I don’t know about that!) Mother once used all fresh herbs of the poultry seasoning persuasion that she grew. It was fabulous. (She grew herbs many years before it was cool.)

Note: This recipe can be halved but it is a lot of trouble to make too little and it freezes well. The quantities given in the recipe are not critical. If you want more onion, celery or parsley (or whatever), go for it.

Thanks for the recipe it sounds great (and like it would be moist). My cornbread stuffing is very similar. I add roasted green chile and toasted pine nuts.

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The problem is that everyone in my family and in Rachel's family, and pretty much all New York Metro Jews have only one thing in mind when they think "Stuffing" to accompany a turkey or chicken on a major holiday (which includes Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Erev Yom Kippur and Thanksgiving) and that is Stove Top, or alternatively Pepperidge Farm which has been "doctored" with lots of good stock and mushrooms, onions, celery and garlic.

While I think a home made stuffing would be nice for a change, it just doesnt taste right or have the correct consistency. Cornbread stuffing is interesting, and I enjoy it when it is served to me, but its not what we had when we grew up. Generaly speaking I think Stove Top and Pepperidge Farm are good commercial products, and produce good results especially after being "doctored".

Jason, I think the "doesn't taste right" problem can be solved by adding MSG. I'm pretty sure that at least the Stove Top is loaded with it. By me, I hate sage in stuffing! Dried thyme is the way to go, and please, hold the celery! :shock:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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There has been a lot of rumbling in recent years about how stuffing the bird is a prime candidate for promoting growth of bacteria in the stuffing, which might not reach the correct temp rapidly enough to prevent the bacteria growth.

I have long advocated my method, and given the tip to all and sundry, to use an aluminum baster (sans rubber bulb) stuck in the center of the stuffing and this will transmit the heat into the center of the stuffing and bring it up to temp rapidly.

I should have patented the thing.

While leaving through one of the myriad cooking gadget catalogs I receive daily, I came across an item made specifically for this only out of stainless steel (which in my opinon will not transmit heat as well as the aluminum).

Dang, missed again!

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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And here is yet another gadget for turkey stuffing.

The Cage!!!

Is this a "gotta-have-it" item?

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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