What do you do with a zucchini the size of a small pony, enough basil to fill a wheelbarrow, so many small tomatoes that could choke a dragon, and ample packages of moose meat in the freezer? These items in themselves come with a million recipes. Zucchini this, zucchini that…
I wasn’t about to go to the store this particular day — long week at work, so I wanted to use what was on hand and felt a good cooking experiment was the ticket.
First, I picked out a big, oval, pretty Pyrex casserole dish with a pattern called “Homestead.”
While the moose meat was sautéing with a half onion and garlic, I cut up the zucchini and garden yellow peppers and basil. Everything was combined, plus a few on-hand spices like chili powder, and put into the Pyrex casserole dish. Then I stuffed in all the tiny tomatoes that would fit.
Family from Texas was arriving on this day, and with kids! This zucchini casserole plus a salad was to be dinner. Kids and veggies? The answer to that was adding a can of cream of mushroom soup to the casserole.
Family arrived, casserole was in the oven and fun times for all.
What casserole? With all the fun, no one noticed the overloaded zucchini/moose dish was lava-rolling out from the oval vessel.
Unhappy husband took the casserole out of the oven and wiped up the mess. I was sick to see that the overflowing goo was black-baked all over the outside of the Pyrex dish. I thought it would never be the same — impossible to clean, I figured.
I emptied the content into another bowl and began cleaning the baked-on mess of a casserole dish. Surprisingly cleanup was as smooth as grease on a rodeo pig. Then I put the zucchini concoction back in the now-cleaned dish, topped with a little on-hand cheese and put in oven to bake enough to reheat and melt the cheese.
Miracle of miracles, the casserole was a big hit. Everyone ate a lot and even had seconds.
Maybe the visiting family was just starved when they arrived — but I like to think it was my fabulous cooking.