The Heartwarming Way One Grandma Continues To Bring Her Family Together On Thanksgiving

Stu Haley's grandmother brought everyone together with her iconic dressing balls recipe and shared it so that everyone's family can enjoy.

By Alexander Scoggins | Published

thanksgiving stuffing dressing

Stu Haley’s grandmother, who is no longer with us as of 1972, brought his family together every year. It was his safe place that made what would normally be a chaotic life. Every Thanksgiving, she would make this dressing ball that ensured no one got sick.

Each ball was positioned to ensure everyone got a little bit of everything; she cared as grandmothers do. His family would travel two hours every year to be together on Thanksgiving. There would be no yelling, arguing, or antics. Everyone was on their best behavior.

When she left them, the family slowly drifted apart until Haley started making the balls again. When he asked his cousin, he said, “it’s sort of like it brings her to the table with us now.” This is heartwarming and all to a common story. We all look forward to being with our families at Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a family holiday that closes stores that are generally open, even on Christmas. The entirety of America stops for one day of the year. The day we all take a deep breath and be with family.

Below we have recorded the recipe that Stu Haley has made available for everyone to enjoy. He mentions “My favorite is with a bite of the dressing ball, some gravy, and then just a little bit of that jellied cranberry sauce,”. This exact recipe below was provided by and can be found on All Things We’re Cooking. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Dressing Balls

Recipe submitted by Stu Haley

Baltimore, Md.


  • 2 loaves of store-bought white bread, cut into quarter-size cubes
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 or 2 eggs
  • 16 to 24 ounces of chicken stock, turkey stock or vegetable stock
  • sliced celery
  • diced white onion
  • diced carrots (only you know how much your people like carrots)
  • 1 tablespoon butter


The night before you are going to make the dressing balls, cube the bread and place in a large mixing bowl with a single paper towel covering the cubes.

In the morning, toss them and cover with the paper towel until you are going to make them. You want them soft stale, not hard like croutons.

Slice the carrots and start them in the saute pan with medium heat with the butter.

Once they have started cooking, add the celery. When these are soft, add in the onion. You want to move them around the pan on medium heat until they are soft, adding the salt and pepper while they cook.

Remove from the pan and set aside. Deglaze the skillet with a little of the stock and work up the brown bits. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.

Mix the egg, and then pour over the bread cubes. Add in the onion, celery and sage and the deglazed pan drippings.

Slowly add in about half the remaining stock.

Now, thoroughly wash your hands. You are going into the bread and the egg-broth-covered bread with both hands. Everything should be mixed, tossed, etc. but don’t squeeze. If the mixture is too dry, add a little of the reserve stock. You want the whole mixture just moist enough for the balls to keep their shape, not wet.

Bring out two cookie sheets. Mold the mixture into balls larger than a golf ball, but smaller than a baseball. Gently compact them just so they hold their form. Space them out on the sheets.

Bake immediately for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees if your oven keeps a true temperature. For extra crispy outsides, brush with an egg wash.

Served best with plenty of gravy. Great for Thanksgiving.