Mrs. K At Home This and that, and all the things I love!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thanksgiving & What It Means To Me

I have noticed, in the communities I frequent, that there seems to be this backlash against Thanksgiving, similar to that of Columbus Day. Many people have become overly sensitive and beyond politically correct. I can't agree with them and I will enjoy my Thanksgiving. So... what does Thanksgiving mean to me? Well, many things, as i found when I really thought about it. From now until Thanksgiving I will share some of those things - memories, nostalgia, just good stuff.

I celebrate Thanksgiving with gratitude for all the year has given me... and that's the name of that tune! Others may feel differently and get angry and negative about things that happened hundreds of years ago, well, that's their right I suppose, but I'm not interested in hearing about it. As I said, I am all about giving thanks and being with people I love.

This year we will be doing something a little different than in years past. Instead of joining Mr. K's cousin, we are going to my very good friend, Diana's. We met over a year go and found we have SO much in common we couldn't help but become close friends. We are both the same age, we love all  things Victorian, we love the same books, we love needlework, antiques, and drinking tea! So... naturally when she invited us to join her family for Thanksgiving, we said yes, indeed! One can never go to Thanksgiving empty-handed, so I suggested I bring my squash carrot casserole and the suggestion was enthusiastically accepted.

Ah, squash carrot casserole, I just love this! I first found it in a book I mail-ordered in the early 1980s from Better Homes & Gardens - Better Homes and Gardens  American Christmas, Crafts and Foods. What a treasure of a book! So may wonderful country-style craft projects and recipes. It is a great pleasure to just browse through, which I do often at this time of year... and others when I need a little nostalgic boost.

The book is just brimming with projects, some which look a little dated, but so what! 

Some sections of pages have separated, but I keep it all together. 

You can see how well used this page used, not just the casserole, but
the creamed onions recipe was the first I used.

So this book is worn to bits, but I love it. There is a lovely Christmas sampler I would love to stitch, as well as one that says, East West, Home is Best! The book has many photos showing the crafts and craftspeople who made lovely things that were included, lots of projects and good instructions as well as wonderful art quilts.

Here is the recipe as I make it, a bit tweaked from the original, but not much.

Squash Carrot Casserole

7 cups yellow crookneck squash
A large sweet onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
 1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 can Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup (10.5 oz)
1 cup of regular sour cream
½ to ¾ quarters bag of herb-seasoned stuffing mix
(I use Pepperidge Farm and like plenty of crumbs on top)
½ cup real butter, melted
(or as much as you need for your crumbs)

Cook the carrots in a pot of salted, gently boiling water for 5 minutes then add the crookneck squash for another 5 minutes. Drain very well and set aside in a bowl lined with a cotton cloth. Sauté the onion in a little butter until translucent and just starting to brown. Toss in the chopped garlic for just a couple of minutes and remove from heat. You want that garlic barely cooked so it doesn't taste bitter.

Stir the cream of chicken soup and sour cream together, add all veggies and gently stir so the veggies are coated well with the soup/sour cream mix. Butter a baking dish - 12 x 7 x 2, then add the veggie mix and spread evenly in the dish. You can prepare the casserole to this point the day before and set it in the fridge to keep until ready. 

Preheat the oven to 350.  Place the casserole in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or so, just as it gets bubbly around the edges. While it bakes, melt the half cup of butter over medium low heat in a pot that will hold the crumbs and you will be able to mix easily. When the butter is completely melted, add crumbs, mix with a fork until those crumbs are well coated and softening up. Remove the casserole from the oven and sprinkle evenly with the crumbs, return to the oven for another 10 - 15 minutes, but keep an eye on it so the crumbs don't over-toast. The casserole should be boiling up a bit here and there when heated through.

Let the dish sit for 10 minutes, then serve and enjoy!

A very forgiving recipe, double or triple, it is very easy and really yummy.

(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens American Christmas, 1984) 

Deliciously yours,
Mrs. K

1 comment:

  1. I remember this book and also the recipe. I fixed it for my family and they loved it but then I mismanaged my sources and forgot where I got the recipe. You have just brought something wonderful from my past back to me. I am grateful for it and you. Like you I have friends who are anti-Thanksgiving folks. So be it, I guess. But I too feel that I have way to much to be grateful and thankful for. I love the sharing of food, thoughts and the feeling of the holiday as we have taken to celebrate it. Thanks for this posting, xoxo Oma Linda