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Thursday, February 17, 2011

What Meal Would You Miss Most?

My youngest brother just got home for a two-week leave from his tour with the Army National Guard in Iraq. As soon as he got back to Texas, he wanted two things: sleep, and spaghetti with garlic bread.

They're fed fairly well over there. But no matter how good the cooking is, he misses that home cooking that you can't get anywhere but in Mom's kitchen. He said they've had spaghetti a few times since he's been over this time. But the army's version of spaghetti just isn't Mom's.

It got me to thinking about what meal I would likely miss the most if I couldn't have it for an extended period of time. Chili crossed my mind. Fajitas are a definite possibility. A good bacon and egg breakfast would be right up there. But none of those really hit the mark for me.

I think the thing I would miss the most is a dish we simply call Grandmother's Casserole in my family. Don't ask me why we never came up with a better name for it than that. I couldn't tell you. And I still make it the same way Grandmother always made it--except I've added a few of my own variations from time to time, to add a little more flavor. Anyway, here's the recipe.

Brown a pound of ground beef. (I add 1/4 of a chopped onion and a clove or two of minced garlic these days.) Add a can each of Cream of Mushroom and Tomato soup, carrots, and green beans (drain the veggies first). Frozen would work, too, but be sure you thaw them out first, or it will increase the time in the oven. (These days, I substitute a can of seasoned tomato sauce for the tomato soup--roasted garlic, or maybe basil and oregano--something to add more flavor.) Stir all the ingredients together and spread it in the bottom of a deep baking dish. Mix up one package of instant mashed potatoes, and spread it over the top of the meat and veggie mixture. (Again, to add more flavor, I use an instant potato that has something added to it like roasted garlic and parmesan.) Sprinkle grated cheese over the top, and bake in a 350 degree oven until the soup mixture is bubbling up over the mashed potatoes a little and the cheese is browning.

Yum. That's all I have to say about that.

What meal would you miss the most if you had to go without? And will you share the recipe with us?


  1. I'd miss fish. I could give up everything, but I don't think I could give up fish. There is nothing better than grilled Chilean Sea Bass.

  2. I often crave Tex-Mex. When we first moved to Wisconsin, there wasn't a Tex-Mex restaurant in town. In fact, the Mexican food they had didn't taste like like anything. We lived in the land of the bland!

    I don't have a specific dish I would miss, but I always liked my mom's Rotel dip, which is simply a pound of Velvetta and a can of Rotel melted in the microwave. I make it for my daughter now and she loves it too.

  3. Definitely Tex Mex. When we moved from TX to NC for 2 years, I had no access to Tex Mex and it nearly killed me. LOL

  4. Julie, I'm afraid to say I would not miss fish at all. Blech! I am not a seafood fan.

    Samantha and Sarah, being without Tex-Mex is very, very difficult. I was really glad when I lived in Alaska that even though I couldn't go to a restaurant and get authentic Tex-Mex, at least I was a good enough cook that I could make it myself. And Samantha, we tend to make that same Rotel dip, only we usually add a can of chili to it as well. It makes it a lot more like the queso you can get at Chili's, which, IMO, is the best queso in the world.

  5. I would miss the fajitas and I do. I haven't had good fajitas since I moved to Idaho.