Autumn: A Season for Casseroles

Whenever autumn is about to set its foot firmly on the calendar, I tend to dig my heels in a bit. Especially in Oregon where the summers are brief, ideal, and filled with raspberries.

But once autumn is all nestled in snug with its hot cocoa in hand, and once I’ve finally accepted that, I really do adore it. Heck I’ll make the hot cocoa if it’ll stick around a little longer.

What may have been the last of the raspberries draped over dessert

Because at this point I’m no longer salty at the cold weather, its chronic presence meaning the raspberries won’t come. Because Autumn is for Apples. Brussel Sprouts. Broccoli. Pumpkin. Spice Bread. Sweet Rolls. I could go on and on, but then I’d have technical errors from my own drool seeping into my keyboard.

Our last night cooking at the Chef's Studio: Apple Brussel Sprout Tart

And with this autumnal shift… No more summer vacations. No more planning trips to Haiti. Class at the Studio is over. There is a new invitation to come indoors and slow down for a little while.  

On that invitation, it’s back to buckling down on the work of the cookbook. That mural of butcher paper taped to my wall entitled “Table of Contents” needs some new life. Which of course means…Casseroles! Obviously.

Mennonite potlucks are chock full of casseroles. Though I've not yet dug deep into the research on this topic, I'm guessing the casserole made its debut in Mennonite cookbooks when they arrived in North America, not the Alsace. But I'll let you know what I find out on that. 

Admittedly, there was indeed a time I refused to let the casserole into the kitchen…  
Self #1: “No casseroles in my book!” (Or some snobby crap like that.)
Prevailing Self #2: “Get over yourself Katie. Casseroles are friggin’ delicious and you know it. Stop pretending you don't crave that chicken cheesy broccoli goodness, and just figure out the condensed soup problem.” 

Because as we all know - any casserole worth its weight in Pyrex has that can of soup within its silky folds. Packed full of its dreamy MSG. (There must be a line somewhere). No offense to Mr. Warhol

Hence my next endeavor… figure out the best homemade version of cream of mushroom soup that will do for my Broccoli Chicken Casserole what Phyllis Pellman Good did for the Crockpot.

Ok, that seems far-reaching but a girl’s got to have goals… Wish me luck!


  1. If anyone can crack the code to making an awesome alternative to cream of mushroom soup, it's you!

  2. Your vote of confidence is so great!! I love that my weekend to-do list includes cracking the code... I feel like Tom Hanks in that thriller movie, except more domestic. :)