Hi all, sorry to say your mom (and mine!) were wrong on the main ingredient for stuffing. The key is to get DRY bread, not STALE bread.
Who wants to eat stale bread? Think about that bag of potato chips that were chewy instead of crispy and tasted a little flat. Well stale bread tastes worse than those.
Dry bread, when re-hydrated with turkey juices and chicken stock becomes really flavorful bread. Stale bread, when re-hydrated tastes like stale bread with chicken stock, not really the same.
I recommend drying your bread out the day of Thanksgiving. Hit your oven on 150° (or warm if it doesn't go that low) and spread your bread out on some tin foil or a baking sheet. The heat is enough to remove the water but not toast the bread. Fresh, tasty bread, now dry (in about 90 minutes or so...).
Some other tips include not using enriched bread (like white bread) which is made with eggs, it never really dries out anyway. Also, sweat, don't overcook the onions (leeks), garlic and celery for your stuffing, it can ruin the whole thing.
More to come, keep the questions coming...