We all have our own favorite parts of Thanksgiving dinner.  The immediate thought would be the main event -- the turkey.  But most of us actually prefer the sides.

I know I do, especially the traditional side that I can almost guarantee has never been on your table...but it should be!

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My Albanian heritage is one I'm very proud of, since the family's humble beginnings in this country.  And while "drope" isn't exactly a Google-able term, it's on our turkey day table every year.

CAUTION:  This is NOT in any way, shape or form diet-friendly. If you're diabetic, watching your weight, or care about your arteries in any way, don't make this.

It also is a labor of love. It takes at LEAST an hour of babysitting.  Are you ready? You need:

  • 1-2 loaves of white sandwich bread (I really find Tops brand has worked the best), torn
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 lb (4 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 c. raisins
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts

Tear the bread into bite-sized pieces (you must do this by hand to be authentic) and put in large cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed pot.  Turn burner on medium-high.

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Add walnuts, and SLOWLY begin to drizzle in butter (maybe 1/3 of it). This is when the constant stirring comes in (use a wooden spoon). Essentially what you're doing is toasting the nuts, bread, and butter.  You're going for a light golden color.

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Continue slowly tossing, drizzling in the butter a little more at a time, and start sprinkling in the sugar. Here, you're trying to caramelize everything.  It's gonna get a little goopy as the butter and sugar mesh together. Keep stirring.

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Add the raisins, and keep tossing.  Eventually, it'll get to a thick-grained texture, kind of like stuffing.

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It's best served room-temperature alongside your stuffing and mashed potatoes. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge up to 4-5 days, but do not reheat it in the microwave.  Slowly bring back to temp in a sauce pot.

You will need approximately 8.6 years on the treadmill to work off one forkful. That's scientific.