Monday, May 5, 2008

It's Time To Move The Cows Again Casserole

This is the time of year when you have to expect the unexpected. That’s why it was not really surprising that my husband announced early one morning that he and the neighbors would be trailing his cows to a new pasture.

On one of his previous cattle-moving excursions, he assured me that I didn’t have to worry about feeding the six to eight people who would be helping him, since they would finish the job long before noon.

Five hours, 15 minutes, 70 runaway cows, and one dead horse later, the weary riders were gathered around my table eating the meal I was assured I didn’t have to fix.

This time, I told Shane that we better be prepared to feed the crew in case everything didn’t go just exactly according to plan.

I failed to mention that around this outfit, things rarely go anywhere close to according to plan.

I then started the preparations for It's Time To Move The Cows Again Casserole. It’s a lovely little recipe I’ve created for impromptu situations such as this, especially when I have not set foot in a grocery store for two and a half weeks.

It’s really quite simple. First, you defrost a package of hamburger in the microwave and dig out a package of that sausage you had made from the tough old buck deer that your husband shot on the last day of hunting season. It’s perfect for these occasions.

Another meat combination I like to use is elk burger and pork sausage. Sometimes I throw in a little bit of pepperoni or summer sausage. Any combination short of seafood will probably work.

After browning the meat with some chopped onions, you toss in whatever is left in your cupboard or your fridge.

Your toddler can even help with this step by emptying the cupboard for you while you are busy with the breakfast dishes. You simply pick up whatever is closest to you on the kitchen floor. The last version of this recipe that I tried included mushrooms, corn, and cream of mushroom soup.

Since it’s nice when the casserole resembles something familiar, top the mixture with cheese, mashed potatoes, and some paprika. Then call it by a familiar name, like shepherd’s pie.

Last week, I made the casserole with the variation of tomato soup and leftover spaghetti sauce in place of the mushroom soup, and I added noodles instead of topping it with potatoes. When someone asked what it was, I answered, “Supper.”

I have learned that men will eat just about anything when it is accompanied by homemade bread, so I whipped up a loaf of whole wheat while I was defrosting the meat. As is typical around here, my plan went awry, and the bread that went into the oven overflowing in the loaf pan came out of the oven two inches high. I cut the bread into squares and pretended it was supposed to be that way.

This is not the type of meal that requires a gourmet side dish, so I heated some frozen peas and submerged them in butter. The meal was finished off with lemon cake (straight from the box) doused with some lemon Jell-o and some canned frosting flavored with lemonade powder.

The nice thing about feeding men is that they don’t care what the food looks like, which is fortunate when you are serving It's Time To Move The Cows Again Casserole. It is never pretty to look at, but it occasionally tastes pretty good.

Men never ask for the recipe, which is also beneficial, since it doesn’t exist. As long as the food includes the three food groups (meat, potatoes, and dessert), they will happily scrape their plates clean and be on their way.


Dawn said...

I am laughing my behind off!!!

We don't even have cows in our suburban subdivision, and I made a similar version of your casserole tonight. One can of chicken meat. Add left over chicken gravy from last night. One small bag of defrosted mixed veggies. Stir and heat 'til bubbly in the microwave. While that's heating, mix up two boxes of Jiffy yellow corn muffins. Pour on top of heated chicken/veggie mixture. Bake at 400 until puffed and brown on top.

What is it? Mom's fast chicken pot pie! They ate it. Amen.

Mum-me said...

Sounds like some of the meals I have improvised around here, although I don't usually have to prepare for 8 people.... well, at least not 8 adult people.

Please tell me the dead horse didn't make it into one of the casseroles ;)

Treasia said...

What a grand idea for a meal. I know trucker says (and it's so true)that he doesn't care what I cook he's gonna eat it regardless. And also say how good it tastes since he didn't have to prepare it. LOL.

We have nights around here called "root hog or die". Meaning if you can find it, you can eat it.

Andrea said...

LOL! That is great! I love the answer, "SUPER!"

Ranch Mommy said...

Oh my gosh ~ I can just picture it....especially because this frequently happens at my house. That's what happens when you live on a ranch with a bunch of single guys!!

Jen said...

Around this place it would be The cows are out and won't go back in or stay in casserole or the sheep shearers are here...sorry I forgot to tell you they were coming casserole! I agree as long as there is meat, potatoes, bread and dessert they are happy or they are just way too polite to complain LOL. Lately supper here has been "yo-yo" supper, You're On Your Own.

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