On last week's Lelo Homemade show we waxed nostalgic for all kinds of casseroles and perused my collection of 1920's to 1970's cookbooks, promotional pamphlets and newsletters. There are all kinds of casseroles, some that are intriguing, some that are downright frightful. Don't believe me? Let’s take a walk down casserole lane and see what we find…
First we looked at Dishes Men Like. One of my favorite cookbooks. And such a great opening…
If you have a husband who likes to cook, pamper him! Encourage him! You are lucky indeed, even though you find yourself only a fetch-and-carry handmaiden while his genius glows. But men are wise, not one in a thousand really wants to take over the job. They usually have a few specialties to produce on occasion and leave the rest of the cooking to us.
And yes, this it real. Published in 1952 by Lea & Perrins, every recipe includes, you guessed it, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. Those ad guys were so smart, weren’t they? Casserole dishes are of course to be found, including….Beef and Mushroom Casserole with Sour Cream and Tuna and Chips in Casserole.
I'm tempted to ask the question, Would you hit that? But that might be offensive. Instead, I'm introducing a little series this week here on Lelo in Nopo where we’ll be exploring the good, the bad and the ugly of casseroles. I hope you’ll join us! What’s your favorite or worst casserole?
Tomorrow? We’ll take a look at the casserole recipes in “Shortcut Cooking.” And this one comes with photos. Until next time, the casserole hotline is open.
Growing up Lutheran, I became quite the church potluck casserole connoisseur. However, we Lutherans prefer the term "hotdish." "Casserole" sounds so pretentious.
My question for the hotline is: can it really be considered "hotdish" if there is no cream of mushroom soup in the recipe?
I love casseroles. Almost as much as I love my 1968 Betty Crocker cookbook (make breakfast more palatable to children by putting a scoop of pre-made frosting in their cereal! The way to a man's heart is by making him pie! And if you don't know how your husband prefers his eggs, you will probably die alone after he divorces your ass, etc.).
I will have to look through it for some nasty gems.
Favorite all-time comfort casserole for me is chicken & rice casserole; cheese stirred in & topped with Ritz crackers.
Favorite modern casserole: butternut squash gratin...YUM!
Ooh - good question Gretchen!
I was raised a Midwestern Methodist, so I, too, know the lure of the church potluck hotdish.
Gretchen: Casserole sounds pretentious? Really? Okay hotdish lover. Great question. I say a great casserole does not require cream of mushroom soup, though many recipes call for cream of something soup, whether it be mushroom, golden mushroom, or celery. Some call for a can of white sauce. So put that in your hat! The purpose of the cream of mushroom soup is to be the binding for the casserole, but from what I can tell going through my cookbooks, the precursor of this is a bechamel or a classic roux: butter, flour, cheese. I'll be writing a post exactly about this topic later this week!
Amy-I can't wait to see what you dig up. Are you serious about a scoop of pre-made frosting in your kids cereal? It really says that? Great casseroles you mention: I've heard a lot about these Ritz cracker toppings. That seems to be the favorite thing people remember from their childhood casseroles.
I love love love casseroles. Tuna! Chicken! Noodles! Love them. This is a fabulous idea, LeLo! And that cookbook. Well. It's so Mad Men-ish.
Lizzy-I'm working on remaking the classic Tuna Noodle Casserole. If you have any favorite casserole recipes, you should share them! You're such a fabulous cook. AND, I couldn't agree more about the Mad Men-ish description of the cookbook. The copywriting, however, would never have been penned by Peggy Olson! ;)
I will have to dig through some Lutheran Women's League cookbooks. I'm sure there are some gems.
Listened to the show today Lelo - and well, you know about me and casseroles! (For the record - not all Lutherans call it hot dish!)
@Heather I wonder if it depends on which synod you are in.
@Heather & Gretchen - maybe it's more geographic?
I will pull out my old United Methodist Women cookbooks & see what I can find. :)
so I grew up w/no church and parents who stayed away from 'cream of **' soup, so I had never even heard of green bean casserole until I was in college. (!! seriously!) I had no idea I was so sheltered!
My husband on the other hand was one of 8 kids. so they pretty much had 'em all the time. his favorite was tuna w/cream of mushroom soup, peas and potato chips on top. he can't remember any of the particulars about the nasty ones, just that there were quite a few.
Oh boy, you're bringing up a MILLION memories of potlucks in the church fellowship hall. Potato chips and tuna....everywhere! Ick.
I love those words: Covered dish. Hot meal. Hee hee.
There is also a special category for those casseroles you make, freeze and bring to your friends and neighbors when a family member dies. The grief casserole.
Gretchen - thought about the synod thing, but the grandparents were LCMS and we were ELCA. Then I thought it might be a German/Norwegian thing, but I'm both and both sides of the family called it casserole! I'm guessing it might be a geographic thing - I'm a Kansas Lutheran, but I know a lot of those Minnesotans call it hot dish!
Also - I had friends who lived in Idaho for a while and they told me everyone had their particular potato grief casserole specialties!
Thanks for good stuff
My mother was one of the original healthy eaters, and yet there was STILL a great deal of cream of mushroom soup in my childhood (she used to add it to homemade chicken soup in order to make it creamy).
As far as casseroles go, I have very fond memories of a dish we called Ruth's Chicken and Rice. It's simply rice and chicken parts, topped with a slurry of water, Lipton's Onion Soup Mix and (yes), Cream of Mushroom Soup.
Baked for an hour or so, it becomes quite delicious (although it's something of a salt bomb). I wonder how I could make it without all the packaged crap...
@Heather - You have correctly identified me as a descendant from Minnesotans :)
But I think the South Dakota side also calls it hotdish. Maybe you call it hotdish if you hail from a cold climate.
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