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Recently, Rick and I were discussing how our eating patterns have changed over the years. I grew up eating more meat and potatoes and he grew up eating casseroles. I had never eaten a casserole until I met him and ate his mother’s cooking. So after we married I cooked many casseroles. I thought you might enjoy having some of these recipes and it might even be more fun to cook some of them at a reunion or another time when we are together. Let me know if you decide to try out any of these nostalgic recipes.

Grandma Carruth’s Chinese Hamburger

1 pound ground beef
1 chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 can water
2 tablespoons or less soy sauce (the original recipe called for 1/4 cup and it was too salty I haven’t made this for ages so it might still be really salty with 2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup raw long grain rice
1 small can of the crunchy type chow mein noodles (do they even make these anymore??)

Brown meat and vegetables in a frying pan and drain the grease. Combine everything except the chow mein noodles and put in a casserole dish and bake covered at 350 for 20 minutes. Sprinkle noodles on top and bake for an additional 10 minutes

Grandma Carruth’s Rice Casserole
This was always served as a side dish to ham. The recipe originally called for 1 stick (4oz) of butter. I have reduced to 2 tablespoons and have even left out the butter entirely and it is much better. One stick just makes greasy rice, but we actually ate that way when she cooked it.

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup long grain rice
1 can French onion soup
1 soup can water
Sliced almonds

Melt butter and combine with rice, soup and water in a casserole dish. Sprinkle almonds evenly on the top and bake covered at 350 degrees for 60 minutes

Nana’s Chicken Chestnut Casserole
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup diced celery
1 cup sliced water chestnuts
1 cup long grain rice
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
1 cup soft buttered bread crumbs *(see directions below)
1 package slivered almonds (optional)

Cook rice according to directions and set aside. Boil chicken breasts with onion and a little poultry seasoning, salt and pepper until done. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and put in a 9 X 13 pan. Top with celery, water chestnuts and rice. Mix lemon juice, salt, mayonnaise and soup until well combined. Pour into pan and fold all the ingredients together. Top with bread crumbs and sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

*Bread Crumbs
I used sliced bread or leftover buns for this. I would grate several on my grated to make soft crumbs. Then melt 2 or 3 tablespoons of butter in a non-stick frying pan and add the crumbs stirring until just browned.

Tuna Rice Casserole
This is from a Relief Society Cookbook

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk

3/4 cup raw long grain rice cooked
1/4 cup chopped pimento
1 can tuna drained
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon marjoram

Brown the onions and green pepper in butter. Add the flour and stir until the vegetables are well coated. Slowly add the milk and stir until thickened. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bake in a casserole dish at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.