Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Words for Wednesday: Comfort and Ceramics







I am back home in Providence, after being back home in New York City since last Tuesday, when Mom was released from the hospital. She really needed someone there, ie, moi, to help get her back up on her feet, literally. Mom is a small person, so her weight loss of 10 pounds is ALOT. This weight gain calls for drastic measures and that falls under the category of COMFORT FOOD!!! In our family (extended as well), that means 'Grandma's Spaghetti'. 'Grandma's Spaghetti', is a baked casserole dish with lots of cheese and other ingredients that will most assuredly raise your cholesterol with just a few bites. But, every now and then it is a must. THIS was certainly such a time. Mom lives in a great building in Battery Park City, called the Hallmark. It is an independent living building for Seniors. I refer to it as a dormitory for 'Seniors'. So, when I needed a casserole dish in which to bake our famous family recipe, her good friend Phyllis Morse (and my friend too...hi Phyllis!), offered up a beautiful hand thrown ceramic casserole dish, that her companion of many years, Arthur Pogran, (who is 95 and a well known ceramist) crafted. For Phyllis, in return, a hearty portion of 'Grandma's Spaghetti', of course! The casserole always looks beautiful after I take it out of the oven, but this time, it looked especially beautiful in Arthur's dish, so much so, that I had to take photo of it....so, ta daaaa.

Here is the recipe:
1 lb pasta (the 9-10 minutes cooking time kind)
2 bricks orange extra sharp cheddar cheese
2 cans Campbell's tomato soup
milk
Crisco solid
Pre-heat oven to 350 and put down a piece of foil in case of spill over...it happens..
Take the cheese out ahead of time to be room temp. (it's just easier to cut) and cube into about 1/2" pieces...set aside
Open up cans of soup
Get milk and Crisco ready
Boil pasta according to directions...no need to salt the water as the cheese is salty...drain pasta and put back in pot.
Throw in the cubed cheese and 2 cans of soup
Add 1/2-3/4 can of milk. ...use the tomato soup can for measuring...swish is around to get out all of the soup
Add 2 'almost' tablespoons of the Crisco solid...there's a certain feel to how much...
Get some good mixing spoons and mix everything thoroughly... the Crisco will melt...make sure of that..the cheese won't melt but make sure that you really stir it up from the bottom.
That's it...put in to casserole baking dish...round is good
Bake for 1 1/2 hours...the top should be nice and dark and bubbly and crispy...
ENJOY!!!

24 comments:

janedeaux said...

YUMMMMMMMMMM. That looks so yummy my mouth is totally watering. I am going to have to make that.
Thanks AMY!

Kim said...

oh my mouth's watering Amy...
I've gotta make this one !!!
thanks for the recipe :)
good to hear that your Mum's out :)

Amy Lilley Designs said...

Oh Miss Gabby, I knew that you would love this recipe...and I was too tired to write you a note, so, I figured that the blog would catch you up a bit on what's been going on. I think about you often as well...still checking your blog Miss G....XXX

Kim, please forgive my verbal absence on the blogs...it was an exhausting and challenging week w/ Mom, but I was thrilled to be able to have downloaded firefox on the computer in the library in Mom's building along w/ the EC toolbar, so that I could still drop...words were not coming....I rested all day today and should be perkier as the week goes...love to you...you too, you will LOVE this recipe...

Sandi said...

looks and sounds yummy!

Amy Lilley Designs said...

sandi, it IS yummy...looked @ your blog...what an inspiration you are!!!
Make Grandma's Spaghetti...comfort!

bubble said...

thanks for the recipe!!!1 now i know what supper is....although it's my first time in your blog glad to hear about your mother....
Bye!

LizzyT said...

Looks and sounds delicious. Good news that your mum is home.

Shinade said...

Looks delicious and welcome back! I am glad to hear that your mom is back at in her dormitory..LOL!!

Glad all is okay.

Happy day:-)

Amy Lilley Designs said...

bubble, you checked in on a great day...Grandma's Spaghetti for dinner...I can't think of anything better...nice meeting you as well!

thank you lizzy for your warm wishes for my Mom...too bad we don't have a 'good smell' feature on the internet!!!

yes Shinade, she's back in the dorm...getting a little stronger everyday..thank you for your well wishes for Mom...and yes, Grandma's Spaghetti IS off the charts delicious!!!

BeadedTail said...

Looks and sounds yummy! Glad to hear that your mom is home too!

Kim said...

good to hear that you got through your tough week Amy..
Mums are very precious :)
it's freezing over here ...we've had a cold snap and I'm back in winter gear...so I'll be looking forward to trying out your recipe ..though I have a feeling that mine won't turn out as good as yours...have a relaxing day eh :) :)

Pamela Plumley said...

Looks YUMMY! Thanks-I must try it-sure beats regular spaghetti again for our family!

Ragtree said...

Oh, I wish your mom a full recovery. The recipe looks delicious!

Renee :)

Amy Lilley Designs said...

good morning beadedtail...it is yummy!!! Mom is getting stronger everyday...love your blog!!

Yes Kim, Mom's are precious, and challenging all at the same time...a fine line we walk when becoming care-givers to the marvelous women who raised us...and, BTW, there's NO WAY you can NOT make Grandma;s Spaghetti as good as mine...sorry about your cold snap...Spring is tricky, yes?

Pamela, yes, by all means, give it a try...it's the BEST!!!

thank you Renee for your kind thoughts for Mom and yes, the recipe is delicious...I love your whimsical and very interesting sculptures!!!

Kim said...

ah yes Amy...I can mess up recipes at the click of a finger :)
btw..you are the featured artist this week at TAD ;)
have a wonderful weekend :) :)

The Muse said...

oh I do so wish I could cook :) Looks wonderfully tasty :)

ShantanuDas said...

oOoOoOoO Yummyyy!! And all that coating is Cheese you say? Ohhh... I would love to become fatter!!!

nancy said...

Sounds delicious!

capybara said...

That recipe has got me drooling all over my keyboard. Thanks for sharing.

Amy Lilley Designs said...

Kim, just took a look @ TAD..WOW...thank you...really different from the others...hmmmmm...you too have a wonderful (hopefully warmer) weekend!!!

Ms. Muse, I would come and make it for you myself ANYTIME!!!!

shantanudus...yes, lots and lots of cheese...it's fabulous!!!

and so it is Nancy, delicious....

capybara, you should make it...it's pretty straight forward!!..clean up that keyboard...lol!!!

Christy DeKoning said...

Amy, I love the dish. Gorgeous piece of art!

As to the recipe, well I might have loved it at one time, but our meals have taken a huge change since I read "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Weston A. Price DDS and then, subsequently, the cookbook "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon.

After Mom died from cancer, I questioned the reason why SO many people are sick, and I've come to the conclusion that we need to nourish our bodies with whole foods the way our ancestors did. It's a long journey of changes but it is almost freeing to finally eat butter again! We make broth that simmers for days to get all the minerals out of the marrow, and I soak our daily oatmeal in filtered water and whey overnight before cooking it. I even make my own yogurt, whey and cream cheese (by-product of making whey).

Wow - long comment here. Sorry, but I thought you might be interested in the concept of preparing meals without any processed foods.

So very glad to read about your mom. Will chat soon!
Christy

Amy Lilley Designs said...

good morning dear Gal...I read your comment late last night and was too bleary eyed to respond...you are absolutely right, and I agree w/ you whole heartedly about the foods we eat. I came to the same conclusion years ago that what we put in our mouths is not just for our eating pleasure, but to benefit our daily overall health...when Edward was diagnosed w/ Juvenile Diabetes, we paid even more attention, as we were suddenly counting every carb that passed his lips. As for Grandma's Spaghetti, there is no question that it is NOT a healthy food by any stretch, but for my Mother's sake, that's what she wanted. Mom will be 85 in January so given all of her health issues (years and years of smoking have taken a huge toll...she only 'really' stopped about 5 years ago), a couple of meals of her favorite food was the best medicine. I will most definitely have a look/see @ the books you've mentioned and if I start making my own yogurt, we can compare notes!!!

Thank you for your comment as I know it comes from a place of love and concern....we must continue this most interesting conversation...love love love...

storybeader said...

that's great that you're close enough to led a helping hand. I'm sure it appreciated. I'm not even going to copy down that recipe, but it sure looks good!

Amy Lilley Designs said...

thank you storybearer...yes, Mom was and is very appreciative that I could be w/ her...we had our moments, but, all in all it was a most important time together...