The Comforts of Home

Family, Food and Memories

And so it ends, and so it begins.

I refer to the last day of my adoption journey. Twenty five years ago today, my mother came to Boston and took me home. All I remember is driving home into the blinding November sun. It was supposed to be over. I was supposed to be putting the past behind me. Of course , we know that is not possible. Of course, now, I know that this was the first real day living life as a birthmother.

I know I met my box of  adoption daemons later on that night, alone in my room, back on Long Island without my baby.  I hide the long nights of birthmother grief from those around me. But, I was home again and went on like nothing had happened. I was home in time for Thanksgiving; still thinking I was thankful for adoption. I was happy to be home for the food.

My Family Bond’s Over Food

My Grandpa Anthony SantangeloFood has always had great nostalgic value for me. From the famed Sara Lee Chocolate Swirl Pound Cake to my recent joy to learn that Rye’s Cousin Chickie knows how to make Braciole ( or involtini, though from the Santangelos it was called it Braciole). I haven’t had before since my grandfather passed and Chickie has promised to teach me. She also knows the traditional sausage stuffing that was lost with my grandmother’s death in 1980. If Chickie’s stuffing  tastes like Grandmas I know I will cry. Chickie just came back to New York from California. She’s the only one in Rye’s family that is part Italian like me and form the stories we have shared already it’s the same kind of Italian. She has already made me get all teary eyes when she brought over a tray of Ziti’s and sauce. She makes her sauce like Grandma with pork chops in it, on a platter, covered with tin foil, on a Sunday.

Thanksgiving is rich in family memories. When I cook my mother’s recipes from her recipe book handwritten in her perfect hand, I go back in time.  If I squint my eyes, my life around me disappears and  I can see my mother’s kitchen in my side view. It’s like staring at the same foods, in the same pots, become a portal that can move me through time and space. I could be a child again and feel home around me even or a brief precious second.

This year, Scarlett thrilled me when she announced that she wanted to take over the apple pie. The apple pie was one of the early dishes handed over to me during the holidays. There is no recipe as I have just perfected it over the years. When I explained to Miss Thing that there were no directions, she insisted that she didn’t even need one since she’s watched me make it for years. Indeed, she has helped and so I hand off that baton of the apple pie to my daughter this year.

My Mother’s Legendary Thanksgiving Stuffing

One of the most comforting foods of all times remains my mother’s Thanksgiving stuffing. I tease my brother and say that’s why he comes every year to my house.  No matter where I have been in the many years since my mother died and our Thanksgivings changed forever, I have made the stuffing. If I was invited to another table, I brought the stuffing. I have to give it to my mother, her stuffing recipe has always blown away anything else on the table.

The year I had to work at the group home, I made the stuffing. The years with David’s family, at his grandmother’s table, I brought to stuffing. I think they liked my stuffing better than me. At my ex husband’s cousin’s house  in Arizona, I packed my poultry seasoning and took it on the plane. We made the stuffing. The stuffing is my domain.

Since apparently birthmother blogs are lacking in recipes, I’d like to change that up. In early appreciation for all in Adoptionland, I offer you my mother’s stuffing recipe. It’s insanely easy and seriously some of the best stuffing you’ll ever have.  For me and I’m pretty sure for my brother too, it’s better than tastes like home. It tastes like love.

I don’t have a fancy name for it. My mother’s name was Geraldine, so we could call it Geraldine’s Celery and Mushroom Stuffing, but considering who I am and what this blog is about, and considering my mother’s death bed wish to have Max welcomed home, I’d like to officially call it “Family Reunion Stuffing”

From my family to yours, hold the memories tight and may we all find our way home.


Family Reunion Stuffing


  • 1 lb. Mushrooms sliced (about one large box)
  • 1½ cups chopped celery with leaves
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 cup butter (four sticks)
  • 7 cups soft bread crumbs ( chop and tear up a loaf of bread)
  • 2tsp. Poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp. Pepper


In skillet (frying pan or large pot) sauté mushrooms, celery, and onions in butter until tender. Remove from heat. Toss with the bread crumbs and add seasonings.  Bake in baking dish covered at 325 degrees for 40-60 minutes (good to do while the Turkey “sits”)

I make it the night before. It goes in corning are with lids in the fridge. It’s at that point that you start nibbling.


Share on Facebook

About the Author

Claudia Corrigan DArcy
Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy has been online and involved in the adoption community since early in 2001. Blogging since 2005, her website Musings of the Lame has become a much needed road map for many mothers who relinquished, adoptees who long to be heard, and adoptive parents who seek understanding. She is also an activist and avid supporter of Adoptee Rights and fights for nationwide birth certificate access for all adoptees with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. Besides here on Musings of the Lame, her writings on adoption issue have been published in The New York Times, BlogHer, Divine Caroline, Adoption Today Magazine, Adoption Constellation Magazine,, Lost Mothers, Grown in my Heart, Adoption Voice Magazine, and many others. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather, Montel Williams and appeared on Huffington Post regarding adoption as well as presented at various adoption conferences, other radio and print interviews over the years. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, Rye, children, and various pets.

2 Comments on "The Comforts of Home"

  1. bluck bluck blc do you even know the nutrient value of what you just posted? the pilgrims did this to not waste a good turkey. now we have tons of turkeys!

  2. What a great idea to share one of your family recipes! When you make it the night before, do you bake it too, or just get it to the point that it’s ready to throw in the oven?

Comments are closed.

Want to Change the World?

Sign Up for the Adoption Army! "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead