Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Man's Casserole

Yesterday my husband and I had a lovely date lunch to be followed by antiquing. We learned that - gasp - our planned stores were out of business. That's several antique malls in the area now that have disappeared. Sad. I think of all those things that were once prized possessions. It's also a problem because the novella I sold is to be set in an antique mall. Is that realistic? I'd hate to see them move to ebay too.
My Kindergartner studied fantasy vs. reality this week. Perhaps I need that as well, but I kind of like the dimension I inhabit most of the time.
Here's #5 in the Good Housekeeping 1958 series: Casserole Book. I was intrigued by "A Man's Casserole":
4 cups medium noodles
3 or 4 medium onions, chopped (I want no man eating with me who has had this many onions.)
2 tablespoons butter
2 lb. ground chuck
1 tablespoon salad or olive oil
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 can condensed cream-of-celery soup, undiluted
1/2 cup fluid, liquefied nonfat dry, or diluted evaporated, milk (Um, I think I saw this process on Top Chef, with a bit nitrogen tank?)
1 1/2 cups grated process Cheddar or sharp cheese
3 eggs beaten
Early in day (because no woman making this for her 'man' has time to work): Cook noodles, as label directs until barely tender; drain and rinse. In large skillet, saute onions in butter until tender; set aside. (and get out the air freshener, because now your house smells like an onion field) In same skillet, cook meat in oil with salt, pepper, and thyme, stirring to break meat into bits, about 10 min or until meat loses its color but is not browned (gross?); add sauteed onion. In 3 qt. casserole, arrange one third noodles, then half of meat mixture and half of soup combined with milk. Repeat. Arrange rest of noodles on top. Refrigerate.
About 1 1/4 hrs. before serving: Start heating oven to 350 F. Sprinkle grated cheese over top of casserole; pour beaten eggs over cheese. Bake, uncovered, 1 hr. or until hot, bubbly and lightly browned (top will be very crisp). Makes 8 - 10 servings. That's a lot - 8 - 10 man servings?
I read Walter Dean Myers' Dope Sick to review. As always, he is edgy, funny and sad as he delves into street reality for some otherwise promising teens. I've had the pleasure of meeting Walter, a charming yet quiet man who sees all. It is hard to put his books down yet the subject matter is usually hard to take. In this one, a young man is rethinking over his life after being shot and involved in a dope deal where a cop ended up shot.


ghostwriter said...

LOVE the editorial comments throughout the recipe!!! I agree! I know antique malls are disappearing but they're still going strong up in my favorite haunt, Door County Wi so maybe your book won't be fantasy after all.

Amy said...

Thanks for the note - yes, I find it hard to ever stop editorializing, just like in my real life talking, right?
This is good news indeed. We tried to drive to another today but the baby, who is sick with a cold or something, cried all the way up. Finally we ate at Sonic and called it a day. The coconut cream pie shake was pretty good, though.

Sparkleneely said...

So funny! I just bought this one a few hours ago!

we collect the old cookbooks, too -- we throw a mid century supper club potluck a few times a year, inspired by the group that's on Flickr. It's so much fun, and people get really, really into it.

I tried to link to my Flickr so you could see, but it didn't work. If you're interested, though, you can look at my sets (sparkleneely).

I love your blog -- the cookbooks and book commentary are terrific! thanks so much for doing it!

Amy said...

Thanks for this great note, and I may steal your supper club idea, too!