30 January 2008

Just Like Grandma Used to Make

This recipe is something of a tribute to my late grandmother, along with being a fairly obvious case of Empty Pantry Syndrome. My grandmama was my Daddy's mother, and her food was always the sort of simply, down home country cooking you associate with grandmothers. I don't remember her cookies, but she did make a fantastic squash casserole, and also a broccoli casserole that I vaguely remember involved Campbell's cream of mushroom, broccoli, and some sort of a crumb topping (and perhaps Cheddar cheese). She and my Grandaddy lived in Charlotte, so I didn't know her quite as well as my Grandpa who lived in Raleigh (and whose name will certainly come up when I blog after my birthday tea party). We did try to visit once or twice a year, though, and I still donate to Salvation Army on her behalf whenever I see the little red kettles.
What I came up with was a bit different, because I was constrained by ingredients. I didn't have any Campbell's on hand, so it was a choice between Wolfgang Puck or Amy's. I went with the Amy's, which was tasty, though surprisingly salty. I also had to go with Parmesan cheese, as it was the only variety I had available last week. For the crumb topping, I actually did consult the internet for an idea, which was probably a mistake. The recipe I looked at suggested melting two thirds of a cup of butter and mixing with a cup seasoned breadcrumbs. I used the same amount of butter and a mixture of dried herbs, crushed Ritz crackers, and wheat germs. It was very wet and mealy, and though it did make for a tasty, buttery topping, it could have been a wee bit healthier.
So the recipe isn't really a recipe, but I'll give it to you anyway. Pour a can of soup in a baking dish. I used a 9-inch square casserole dish, and due to the size probably should've gone with two cans of soup. This made a very thin layer. Cook a bag of frozen broccoli and throw in with the soup. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Top with the above described crumb topping and spread out evenly as possible. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or so, or until the topping is golden brown and the soup is hot. For something so impromptu, I thought it was pretty good. Cheesy and buttery, but with broccoli so you don't feel like you're killing yourself. Next time I would use a less salty cream of mushroom, though.

Speaking of soup, don't forget! AVF #2 entries are due February 22nd! Also, if anyone knows anything about Is My Blog Burning, can you leave me a comment? This is the second time I've tried submitting and gotten an error, and then e-mailed my submission and gotten no response. If anyone would be willing to submit the event for me, or knows of another food blog event listing I could use, please let me know! Thanks!


Carver said...

I think that's so thoughtful for you to donate on behalf of your grandmother. Something else she did that was great was she told adults how to read. She was still doing that through an adult literacy program when I first met her. I'm enjoying your food posts. Love, Mom

Anonymous said...


Your site is WONDERFUL !!!

We have a similar site at

I love your recipes and it would be wonderful if you would be able to submit a webpage for our site. If you are not interested absolutely no problem, but your recipes are fantastic and our regular granny visitors would love them!!!!

Best wishes