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


CHEESE SOUFFLE Do you know someone who does everything perfectly, and do you still like them? Seriously, sometimes the perfect people like to assure you of their superior perfectness. But not my friend Maryanne.

Maryanne is a dignified English woman, living single in a charming little condo which she has equipped with every imaginable convenience, making her fortunate guests eager for the next invitation. Along with our mutual friend, another single woman of an interesting age, after I meet up with them I feel buzzed. People like that, with interests ranging from politics to cooking and in between, are a like a jolt of caffeine putting your brain in gear for days afterward.

Maryanne is famous for her cheese souffles, as well as turning out a remarkable roast chicken. I know, in these days of Costco rotisserie chicken, why would anyone actually go to the trouble? Believe me, it’s worth it, and it really isn’t any trouble. Not to say yours or mine might turn out as well as hers.

At a luncheon the other day, she presented us with a perfect cheese souffle, and if I hadn’t seen the dessert brought by my other friend I might have begged seconds. I know you are probably asking what I contributed to the repast. I blushingly admit that I only brought a small hostess gift, but I am currently planning what I will tender next time we meet.

You may remember the sad obituary of my 45 year old stove in a previous post necessitating the purchase of a new, modern, electronic, and also very beautiful, new one. The evening of the cheese souffle I decided to surprise the nice Dr. with a cheese souffle of my own. Now, I have to remind you that I have been cooking for many years, (too many to count) and have served up quite a few souffles, including chocolate, which is my favorite.

Having mixed up the ridiculously few ingredients, and scraping them into my very English souffle bowl, I placed it into the new oven, which had never been used by me or anyone else. I had actually only made oatmeal and warmed up some soup on the top of the stove. I got the “Bake, temperature” thing right on the shiny new dial, but when it came to setting the timer, I must have been stymied, because 45 minutes later, it looked the same as it did when it went in.

Dr. Advice being such an accomodating soul, opened up a can of beans and called it dinner. I think I may have the timer figured out now.