Broccoli Crumb Casserole~Holidays in July

      In the middle of July with the temperature roasting us at 104 degrees, you may be asking yourself, "Why would she turn on the ovens to make dinner?" For our family, these past couple of weeks have been like winter holidays for us--as far as the dinner fare is concerned.
     We've taken this opportunity to celebrate as if these were holidays, fixing our youngest son's favorite meals and side dishes~as we all prepare for the real farewell. Farewell to the moments of having Jordan stretched long and lean across the family room floor; farewell to hearing both sons rip into the latest sports news; farewell to evenings of him wrestling with Chip, the Wonder Dog; farewell to mounds of laundry everywhere; farewell to trips to the grocery store with youngest for spicy chips and Gatorade; farewell to seeing his face across the table from mine.
     Instead of focusing on the inevitable July 18 date of his departure from our home and arrival at Navy Boot Camp, where he will become a man and leave behind his childish ways and any dependence on Mom, we have chosen to celebrate! I've prepared everything from Aunt Mary's Enchiladas to No Bake Peanut Butter Bars; from Beef Stroganoff to the dish our family calls "Those Potatoes." We've had Popcakes with strawberries and powdered sugar for breakfast while feasting on Sweet and Sour Meatballs in the evening. We've also delighted in homemade chocolate chip cookies, more than once.
     Tonight, we had our Thanksgiving special--"Broccoli Crumb Casserole." I paired it with Sesame Seed Chicken (what other meat do we serve here?) and some Stove Top Dressing--an outdated box I found in the pantry. Without further adieu, we present to you Broccoli Crumb Casserole.

Golden Crumb Broccoli
     as featured in "Better Homes and Gardens All Time Favorite Casserole recipes"
(c) 1977 by Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, Iowa

1 and 1/2 ponds fresh broccoli (weighed with stems on-if you buy just the heads, buy less)
1 10 and 3/4-ounce can of cream of mushroom soup
1/4 Cup of Best Foods mayonnaise
1/4 Cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 TBLS chopped or diced pimiento
1 and 1/2 tsps. lemon juice
1/3 Cup of crushed Ritz crackers (about 8)

     Now you have to realize, I probably have not made this recipe without at least doubling it or even tripling it in the past 12 years (guys appetites have increased and then you add in the company for dinner).

This gives you an idea of what the soup mixture looks like as you stir it in--thick

     Cut up the broccoli to have just the flowerets. You should have about 6 cups. I steam my broccoli for about 7-8 minutes, with the lid on the pan, after the water has come to a boil under the steam rack. Then I drain the broccoli, holding the lid askew and let the steaming water pour over the broccoli. Put the broccoli, which should still be somewhat firm into a 1 and 1/2 quart casserole. 
     Mix the soup, mayonnaise, cheese pimiento, and lemon juice. Pour over the broccoli and gently mix it in. Top with the crackers and a few pieces of cooked broccoli to decorate the top.
     Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 35 minutes (until it bubbles). The recipe says it serves 6, but in our house, it only serves 4 with a little left over.

    Hope you enjoy! I'll save the Sesame Seed Chicken for another post.

From My Heart to Yours,
Linking with Food on Fridays at Ann Kroeker's 

Labels: , ,