December 10, 2005

The Gift Of Feeding

When we give presents, we don't tend to give food. The people we give presents to wouldn't make soup from a jar of artistically layered beans. Most of them wouldn't even consider such a jar a worthy decorative object. Similarly, I suspect that if I gave away my homemade pickles they would, as an act of undue caution, be quietly flushed away. Our baked goods are well received,but as our style of baking runs to the more temporal, cakes rather than cookies, they are for immediate sharing rather than gifting.

We are generous with gifts of food, but we do it in another context. My wee wifey and I are, as they say in her theology, unequally harnessed. She an active churchgoer, and food is a part of her church activity. In addition to providing fellowship nibbles as a member of the carbohydrate committee, she participates in the
church community of support for its members by preparing meals for those households whose usual cook is otherwise occupied. Make-ahead casseroles are ideal for this purpose. Also ideal are the metal baking pans with plastic covers available at Family Dollar. By using these, or Pyrex from the thrift store if we have any in inventory, we relieve the giftees of any obligation to track our dish whilst avoiding the tackiness of the crinkled foil pans.

Sausage-Rice Casserole

Double Batch

2 lb uncooked bulk sweet (mild) and/or hot Italian sausage
1 cup onion -- chopped
5 cups white rice -- cooked
2 cans chopped green chile peppers -- (4 oz) drained
2 can mushroom stems and pieces -- (4 oz.) drained
2 cans condensened cream of chicken soup -- (10 3/4 oz.)
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese -- (6 oz) shredded

Single Batch
1 lb uncooked bulk sweet (mild) and/or hot Italian sausage
1/2 cup onion -- chopped
2 1/2 cups white rice -- cooked
1 can chopped creen chile peppers -- (4 oz) drained
1 can mushroom stems & pieces -- (4 oz) drained
1 can condensened cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
3/4 cups cheddar cheese -- (3 oz) shredded

1 Cook sausage and onion in a 12-inch skillet until sausage is brown, stirring to break up sausage; drain off fat. Note that altho we go for the hot sausage, recipients of such meals tend to prefer the mild. Adjust accordingly.

2 Meanwhile, in an extra-large bowl stir together rice, chile peppers, and mushrooms. Stir in soup, milk, and cheddar cheese. Stir in cooked sausage mixture. Divide large batch evenly between two 2-quart baking dishes; small batch makes one. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Advise recipients to bake, covered, in a 350 F oven for 65 to 70 minutes or until heated through. Lumnum foil should be substituted for the plastic lid on the cheap baking pans at time of baking.

Chicken Potato Casserole

10 oz. can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1-1/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
3-1/2 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
1-1/2 cups frozen peppers and onions
1-1/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1-1/2 cups crushed potato chips

In a medium bowl, combine soup, sour cream, milk, chicken and 1-1/4 cups cheese. Spread three-quarters of this mixture in a greased 2-quart baking dish.
Sprinkle hash browns and peppers and onions over the top of the casserole and press down lightly, then top vegetables with remaining soup mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese

Wrap casserole in freezer wrap or heavy duty foil and freeze. Reserve potato chips in pantry. To thaw and bake, let thaw overnight in refrigerator. Uncover and bake at 350 degrees F for 60-70 minutes until bubbly. Then top with crushed potato chips and bake 5-10 minutes longer.

Posted by triticale at December 10, 2005 10:46 AM | TrackBack

When we give presents, we don't tend to give food.

I do.

The people we give presents to wouldn't make soup from a jar of artistically layered beans.

I'd probably refry them and stuff them in some tortillas.

Pickles, by the way, are nummy. They're also low cal, low fat and keep a good long time.


Posted by: James R. Rummel at December 10, 2005 04:46 PM

The carnival of the recipes is up at:

and your recipe has been posted. :)

Can you please post a link to the carnival on your blog? Thanks!

Posted by: trouble at December 10, 2005 06:25 PM
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