My mom made this for Thanksgiving dinner, 1996. It was yummy. I got the recipe from her, tweaked it a bit (like substituting real stock for the canned gack), and here it is. Some of the amounts are a bit vague ... rise to the challenge!

Melt butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Sauté the onions, celery and garlic until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, basil, sage, ham and shrimp, and continue to cook until the shrimp just turn pink, 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and the bay leaves and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, and add the cubed stale French bread. Mix in well until all the liquid is absorbed. Start with one loaf; you may need to add anywhere from 1 to 1-1/2 loaves' worth of cubed bread. Add the bread crumbs and mix well. Adjust seasoning. Place is a 9 x 12 inch casserole dish and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until firm.

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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)