Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Casserole Queen.

I am Queen of the Casseroles. My general rule when it comes to making a casserole is to half the meat, double the vegetables and toss in a can of beans (ie kidney, pinto, navy or garbanzo). Alas I'm NOT Queen of the side dish. Most nights we have a main course (ie a casserole), raw vegetables (ie spinach salad for me and Mr Wrath, sliced cucumbers and raw carrots for the boys), and rice or potatoes.

There will be a lot of casseroles eaten in this house over the coming seventeen days while Mr Wrath works 12-hour long night shifts. Because he misses dinner, I've decreed that Zarf, Klaxon and I will be eating easy meals in front of the television. Tonight I'm serving The Frugal Gourmet's Irish Beef Stew with Guinness (but instead of Guinness I used Merlot, and added a tin of navy beans) and we're watching Mighty Ships.

Our weekend was a bit hectic. Firstly, it was our last weekend before the dread-vile 12-hour long night shift madness commenced. Secondly, Mr Wrath took down four more walls in the basement. Thirdly, it was Thanksgiving.

Mr Wrath -- in addition to being very handy with DIY projects -- is a great cook. He's more adventurous and skilled than I when it comes to cooking and eating. I realized this not long after we met: he owned his own spice grinder. A man who owns his own spice grinder -- AND uses it -- is a treasure, to be sure. He put that spice grinder to good use this weekend making a turkey. Then upon deciding the turkey was too dry for his liking, he deboned it, pressure cookered the carcass (with some crazy, delicious combination of spices) to make some amazing turkey broth. He used that to make gravy. The gravy along with an assortment of vegetables AND the turkey meat wound up in pot pie he topped off with biscuits. I think it's the first time he's ever made a casserole.  He is an excellent Royal Consort.

And where was I while all of this was going on? I did one load of laundry, and played with the cat. I don't know why he puts up with me.

So what are you having for dinner?


  1. I love this post! Sounds like me and my husband. He is a fantastic cook and so creative. Yes, he has a spice grinder -- and a salt collection (did you know they taste different?) among other chef-like things. And why does one need so many knives? I look in the cupboard and don't see much and decide we need to eat out; he looks in the cupboard and makes a gourmet meal. I'm good at playing with the cat too :o)

  2. Oh yeah, husband is taking our niece to a celebrity chef author signing and won't be home until after dinner time. I am on my own. That means I eat the leftover hamburger and whatever raw veggies are in the fridge. And leftover b-day cake.

  3. I dearly wish my children would eat casseroles. They hate any food with variable texture, so I am out of luck. I tell myself that maybe they will outgrow this.

  4. My husband USED to be the cook in our family. Now he's kind of useless around the kitchen, and I'm not totally sure how that happened. Perhaps I'm an enabler. I don't mind being the cook because that means I make whatever I damn well please! Which means a lot of Greek salad.

    Tonight we had pasta with sundried tomato sauce. And the boys had meatballs. Which I bought pre-made and heated up in the oven. There is only so much beef handling I can do.


  5. I thought I was the only one who did the salad/raw vegetables thing, and I always expect people to make fun of me when they find out about it. I don't know how to make many casseroles, but I'll eat black beans in anything. My husband can't really cook, but he can really gay up a table (his words).

  6. My husband went grocery shopping for me yesterday. He called me from the store to mock me (gently) because there were two kinds of mustard on the list.

    I can't help it, I need good ingredients. :)

    We do the cut-up raw vegetables thing for our kids, too. All the time. The young one doesn't like the texture of cooked 'green stuff' and hey, raw veg is better for you, anyway.

    Hubby can cook, it just usually falls to me since I'm home all day. Which is fine. He has perfected a recipe for baked chicken wings that would bring tears to your eyes, though. I think if he had more time he would probably be more creative in the kitchen.

  7. More casserole recipes please! We ate leftovers last night and even though the girls love salad (romaine lettuce and spinach only) they eat a lot of raw veggies as well. In fact, I often serve them both.

    If the choice is raw broccoli and carrots vs no broccoli and carrots why would you make it battle?

  8. The Frugal Gourmet! I forgot all about him.

    I'm making that stew. It sounds delish.

  9. The timing of your Thanksgiving always screws with my mind! My husband, God bless him, does not cook. But I am the one who married a man straight out of the dorms (our university's fraternities are housed in dorms...he lived there for five years). So really, I brought it on myself. His first kitchen, ever, was the one in our first apartment. He makes mac n cheese, anything from the freezer, and spaghetti. Oh, and grills meat. That's it.

    I do enjoy casseroles, they make me feel nostalgic because my mom always used left over meat to make a casserole. Dad was never happy about it, but mom was frugal. Good times.

  10. GAH! Sorry for being so late in responding to everyone.

    @Teri B -- My husband doesn't have a salt collection (yet!) but, he had to alter his plans to brine our Thanksgiving turkey b/c he couldn't find his stash of kosher salt. I have a faint recollection of scattering it on the front stoop one day after a freezing rain. But let's keep that between us...

    @Veronica -- My kids don't like them either. But I just can't be bothered to cater to their fickle tastes and dreams of an all-carb diet.

    @Nicole -- I think becoming soul-cook is a trap that many SAHMs fall into simply because of time constraints. Mr Wrath v. seldom cooks on weekdays for this reason.

    @Bibliomama -- "gay up a table" Your husband is awesome, I can just tell.

    @hodgepodgeandstrawberries -- look at you and your fancy mustards! Raw vegetables are just so easy & my kids are slow eaters so their vegetables would just get cold anyway.

    @Jenifer -- my kids won't eat salad, aka that pile of leaves on their plates. WHY?!!?!!?

    @Mary-LUE -- the Frugal Gourmet books came w/ the spice grinder when I moved in w/ Mr Wrath.

    @Omaha Mama -- Canadian Thanksgiving always takes me by surprise. But even in Canada it has a much lower profile than the US version.