Friday, February 19, 2016
I have long said there is nothing you can do to hurt a salad, stew, casserole, or soup. You can add almost any ingredient and it will simply add a new flavor or texture. You delete almost any ingredient and not miss it.
Casseroles are good made from scratch but I also like them to use up leftovers. If you have a piece or two of chicken in the refrigerator and a little macaroni and cheese with maybe some leftover peas you have the basis of a casserole. Pour a can of creamy soup (like mushroom or celery) over the top and heat it in the oven. You have supper.
Of course you can get even fancier. You might add a bit of flavor with chopped onions. Maybe some color with chunks of fresh tomato. You could mix a bit of wine or soy sauce with the creamy soup. Your imagination is the only limit.
My father was a scout master for the Boy Scouts. Of course my brothers were part of the troop. They did all the fun things Boy Scouts do. I often sat off to the side and learned many of the same things.
Each summer the scouts would camp out for a week in the local park. They had great fun roughing it. They caught fish to cook over the campfire. They had all sorts of food that they made outdoors.
The last night was their favorite night of the campout. That was night they made atomic stew.
Each scout brought one can of something from home when he came to the campout. The label was torn from the can by his parents so no one knew what he brought including the scout.
Daddy noticed that mothers often sent a can of something not wanted at home. There was usually at least one can of spinach and one can of pork and beans.There was even an occasional can of fruit.
My father and the other scout leaders provided the meat for the stew. Once the meat was browned each can was opened.
The boys guessed at what was in the can. Often they would groan because it would be something they were sure they would not like. Then another can was opened.
After going through all the cans everything with no exceptions was dumped into the pot. When it was finally done one of the leaders would serve each boy his portion of the atomic stew.
Every last atomic stew turned out to be the best one ever. None of the boys ever refused to eat. In fact they all liked it. Spinach and all.