Well, we've passed the point of no return. No....I'm not referring to the presidential election (although I would like to congratulate President Elect Obama). I mean Halloween. It seems like once Halloween comes and goes, the rest of the year flies by. Turn around once and it's Thanksgiving; turn around again and it's Christmas; then, BAM, New Year's Day!
Thanksgiving will be here soon. Families will be gathering and there will be lots of food to prepare. As with most families, there are certain foods that must be on our table or it isn't an official holiday. You might as well just call the whole thing off! For us, one of those holiday staples is "Green Rice Casserole" (for those of you who are squeamish about casseroles, you might want to go check your status updates on Facebook or something because I'm about to give the recipe).
When I was a child, we lived in Sedalia, Missouri for a while. My mom worked in the X-Ray Department of the hospital there and they served this casserole in the cafeteria. Mom tried it one day and liked it so much that she asked them for the recipe. Now it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving or Christmas without it.
GREEN RICE CASSEROLE (from Bothwell Hospital, Sedalia, MO)
6 Cups Cooked Rice
13 Ounces Frozen Diced Onion
1/4 Pound Butter
26 Ounces Evaporated Milk
25 Ounces Undiluted Cream of Chicken Soup
1 1/2 Pounds of Old English Cheddar Cheese, shredded (no substitutions -- the cheese makes the dish)
2 Pounds Frozen Broccoli
Steam broccoli until tender/crisp. Saute onions in butter until tender. Combine evaporated milk, soup and cheese in a large pot over medium heat and stir until the cheese melts. Add rice, broccoli and onions. Mix well. Divide equally into two 9" x 13" greased (I spray with non-stick spray) baking dishes and bake at 300 F for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
Give it a go. I hope your family enjoys it as much as ours does.
As a footnote, my mom lost her recipe and tried to fake it for a couple of years. It just wasn't the same. So a few years ago, I looked up Bothwell Hospital and called and spoke with one of the ladies in the cafeteria. As luck would have it, the lady remembered my mom and was glad to give me the recipe. After more than 20 years, they are still serving this dish. All members of my family now have a copy of the recipe and I have framed a copy for my mom so she can't lose it again. (She thought it was funny, but keeps the framed recipe on the kitchen counter!)