I Care Casserole

Before I retired there were days when I came home from work, took my shoes off ,  plopped into my easy chair and didn’t want to get up. But I knew that I had to. Especially in the days when I had children at home. Days off work were mine to claim except for supper time when  I had to feed a husband and my always hungry children. We were never a “take out” type family, so our meals were usually  something I had spent some time in the kitchen preparing. My husband was a good cook , but his hours often  were crazier than mine . So I was usually the one to plan, organize and serve supper.. Owning a restaurant we did have the luxury of eating whatever we wanted, when we wanted, but on days off or days we were closed, I cooked.
 One of my friends from church pulled up into my driveway early one Sunday afternoon, left her car running and hurried up to my door with a large casserole dish wrapped in a kitchen towel. “ I heard at church this morning that you weren’t feeling well,” she said, “ so I made your supper. It‘s ready to eat, just reheat when you want it.”  She didn’t give me a chance to feel humble, or to decline, instead she just waved her hand over her head in the air as she rushed back to her car. “ Just make sure I get my dish back. Hope you feel better.” And away she went.
The aroma from the casserole as I carried it to the kitchen was tantalizing to say the least. . As I unfolded the towel, took the aluminum wrap off  the top and revealed one of the most gorgeous “cheesy” bubbly tomato sauce dishes that I had ever seen, I realized what a precious and thoughtful friend that I was fortunate to have. Not being able to resist temptation, I retrieved  a spoon from the kitchen drawer and took a small portion from the corner of the dish. We had just made ham sandwiches a couple of hours prior for a quick lunch and this tiny bite let me know we were in for a real treat for supper. I put it in the refrigerator. Then later that evening,  after  re-heating and making  a quick salad, my family sat down to a delicious and much appreciated meal.
I wrote her a thank you note a few days later and told her the love that she  had shown us in a 9×13 baking dish really spoke more  than any words could say.
It gave me a good idea to use for years to come.
History and tradition have always offered us the opportunity to take food to help out when there is a tragedy such as a death in the family. It’s just what we do in those type of situations. But how about that senior citizen that you know who lives alone, or that neighbor that just mowed your yard, or maybe even just a friend that has had a rough week? Remembering a co-worker who helped you out at the job, or possibly for absolutely no specific reason at all other than saying, “I care.”  Gratitude, my friends, can still come in a 9×13. Here’s the recipe to help you get started.
I Care Casserole
6     10-inch burrito shells
2  lbs. Of ground beef or ground turkey
1 small onion ,finely diced
1 green, yellow or red pepper, finely diced
1  cup of mushrooms
1 26.6 oz. Can of Hunt’s spaghetti sauce (with meat)
1 8 0z. Bag of mixed blend shredded cheese
1 small box of frozen spinach ( thawed and drained) optional
Heat oven to 350 degrees
In a skillet sauté  ground meat with the onion and the pepper. Drain off any excess grease. Put in bowl and add mushrooms and spinach. Take each individual burrito shell and add some of the  mixture down the center then fold two of the sides over just enough to keep mixture in, then roll up the burrito. Place all six side by side in the 9×13 baking dish.
Pour the spaghetti sauce over the top, covering all of the burritos .Sprinkle the entire package of  cheese over the top. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes covered, then remove foil and bake another 10 minutes. ( My son likes these the next day right out of the fridge, much like pizza)
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One Response to I Care Casserole

  1. ernestwilson says:

    What perfect name for the Author and. Creator of this and all of the rest posted. I would not moss an issue. Look forward to all.
    By the way o gain weight just reading them. How about some meals for the dietary class’s of readers like this slightly (LOL) heavy person.
    By the way, perfect name for author. JEANIE. You come up with ingenious meals by the wiggle of your fingers. Someone already has the nose wiggle
    Kidding aside keep em coming.
    A lover of the script

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