QUEEN OF THE CASSEROLE~~~~Porcupine Meatballs

My Grandma was Queen of the casserole. She almost had to be to make dinner stretch for the paying guests. We always seemed to have an extra room to let, and Grandma never let anything go to waste, and according to her if it was good by itself then several things together would probably be just as good and maybe better.

I’m always wary of cocky recipes. You know the sort. They swagger right off the page–or screen–all braggadoccio and conceit. They promise the best chocolate cake or they oversell themselves as the only mac and cheese recipe you will ever need. They’re the culinary equivalent of an overly enthusiastic end zone dance by a preening football player who managed to stumble his way to his only career touchdown.

And I think we all like to smirk a bit after we make one of these recipes. It’s only human nature to take a bite or two and ask, hey, is that all you got?

Having said that, today’s recipe isn’t a casserole, but it does contain ground beef and is a go-to for me, and will even stretch in a pinch. I know you’re going to roll your eyes and say “More meatballs?”, but trust my grandma, they’re good.


2# ground beef
1 package onion soup mix
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup uncooked rice
1 cup water

1 can French onion soup condensed
2 can condensed golden mushroom soup
1 can water

Brown meatballs, mix soups and pour over, cover and simmer 30 min.
After this, you will need dessert, and my friend Judy’s Grandma has a good one.


4 cups peeled, sliced apples
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix apples, sugar and cinnamon together and place in baking dish

Combine 1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup sugar
12 tsp. salt
1 egg unbeaten

Mix with fork, sprinkle over apples. Pour 1/3 cup melted butter over crumb topping.
Bake 40-45 min. at 350

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

13 thoughts on “QUEEN OF THE CASSEROLE~~~~Porcupine Meatballs”

  1. Kayti, Kayti – how come you been hiding this cooking side of your character for so long ? I shall try these soonish; autumn is officially here but the humidity not yet departed. THANKS ! 🙂


    1. I love using ground or minced beef. You can do so many things. I have done one dish from some island somewhere, I don’t remember where. It’s called “Minchie”, and uses minced beef, onion and grated potato. It has some spices too. I remember it was quick and good. Funny how we lean toward “quick” isn’t it?
      I thought of you this morning at the market while looking for a ham bone (no joke intended) for split pea soup. It’s still time here for soups according to the calendar, but the thermometer says otherwise.


  2. “They’re the culinary equivalent of an overly enthusiastic end zone dance by a preening football player who managed to stumble his way to his only career touchdown.” Now THAT’s some good writing!! I love your sensible, simple recipes, Kayti.


    1. Thanks Barbara. Do try the Apple Crisp too. My friend kept this one a secret for a long time, but I wormed it out of her. She is from Jamaica, so maybe it came from there. I had one way of making apple crisp for 50 years, but hers is better! I hate to admit it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have that exact recipe for the porcupine meatballs in my recipe box. Not only that, it’s written in my mother’s hand. “Oldie but goodie” certainly applies here.

    I’m interested in the apple crisp topping, too. I finally have found the perfect biscuit topping for cobbler, but I’m still on the hunt for the crisp topping I remember. I’ve give this one, and see if it might be “the one.”

    By the way, I just received a small packet of materials from the Comfort, Texas, historical society. It turns out that Nora Sweetland’s Pioneer Madonna and child bears a striking resemblance to the sculptor because she used her daughter and grand-daughter as models for the piece. The sculpture still is in Comfort, in the hands of a man who presently owns the Comfort Museum. As I understand it, his grandmother began the museum in an old building there, and it’s been passed down through the family. I’m guessing there will be another Nora Currie Marlar Gammel Sweetland post, once I’ve made pilgrimage to Comfort.


    1. Yes that recipe probably was from during the Depression. The Apple crisp I always made had oatmeal and walnuts in the crisp. This one is very good though.

      You will be proud of me—I tried to vbring over a youtube video for the Iditerod piece. I got it over to Facebook, but couldn’t get past copy and paste. It’s a start though.

      I brought my pic which was on flash drive over onto my desktop, but can’t use it. I will keep trying.

      Interesting about the Nora Sweetland piece in Comfort. You wonder how these things travel. I’m sure I unwittingly used myself or someone I knew as models. Easy to do.


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