Comfort Food: How to Build a Southern Casserole

What do you eat on Super Bowl Sunday?

Ermagarsh, y’all. I have sausage balls in the oven as I type and it’s all I can do not to shove them in my face right now. Happy Sausage Ball Super Bowl Sunday! Want the recipe? I’m working on making an index of all my recipes online here, and the sausage ball recipe is in there. Be forewarned though, there are a lot of immature sausage ball jokes in the article. As you recover from the Super Bowl this week, you’ll probably want easy meals. And casserole is just about as easy as it gets.

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Casserole is good any day of the week.

What’s a casserole anyway? You might call it hot dish, one-pan meal, covered dish, or pasta bake. Or maybe you’re more specific: tuna noodle casserole, Chicken Divan, Turkey Tetrazzini. A casserole by my definition is a dish full of food, often determined by what you have left in the fridge and what you might unearth from the pantry or freezer, that you cook in the oven. (Yes, a slow cooker counts.)

My favorite casseroles are reminiscent of the southern cooking of my childhood. We ate them on Tuesday (or any other night of the week), at church, on holidays (hello, my gorgeous cheesy, potato chip covered string beans!), after my mom had another baby, and after someone died.

It isn’t until someone you love dies that you fully understand the breadth of casseroles in the world, and how each one, prepared by different hands in a different kitchen with a different history, is as delicious as the last. Those casseroles taste like oh-my-God-it’s-going-to-be-okay-it-has-to-be-because-someone-loves-me-and-oh-yum-cheese-and-crumbled-Ritz-crackers. In the days after my parents died, casseroles pulled me from the abyss. After I had babies, casseroles saved my sanity. And on a random Tuesday when I haven’t been to the store? Casserole feeds my family, and maybe a few friends.

Anyhow, if you want to learn how to make your very own casserole, out of whatever you happen to have lying around, here you go. And I can hear you already, “Doesn’t every southern casserole have a can of cream soup in it? I don’t like using canned food.” I got you. Here’s how to make your very own, super-easy versionĀ  of canned soup from scratch.

Who wants a glass of wine?

In other news, have you tried Lula Drake yet? Main Street’s newest wine bar is a great addition to Columbia. I stopped by after work the other day for a quick glass of wine, ended up having a few and making a meal out of a few snacks from the menu. Highly recommend.

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So, what’ve you been up to lately?
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One comment on “Comfort Food: How to Build a Southern Casserole
  1. Gail Barnes says:

    So glad to see a shop tart post!

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Anne Postic

The Shop Tart

Local arbiter of all that is fresh, fashionable and flavorful in Columbia, the Shop Tart has been blogging about shopping, eating and having a great time since 2008.

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