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Kitchen Adventures: Enjoying the food in Mom's kitchen

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By Becca Owsley

One of my favorite things to do is go to my mom’s house for dinner. There’s just something about my momma’s cooking.

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After staying at her house a few days while I had some home repairs completed, she made one of my favorites — broccoli casserole.

As a kid, you couldn’t get me to eat broccoli if you paid me a million dollars. But now this dish is a favorite.

It’s even better the next day as leftovers. It’s almost like food crack. 

She doesn’t make the kind with crumbled up crackers on top. Mom uses rice mixed in with the broccoli as well as delicious cheese and other ingredients. She leaves out the celery and onion in the recipe listed.

While she was making dinner we talked about cooking. It’s something you have to enjoy to do well, she said.

Most of the good cooks she knew were people who enjoyed eating and making good, hot meals. When she first got married she said she didn’t cook much. Her mom cooked for a school district and was a cake decorator but Mom didn’t do much cooking growing up.

After she married, she became involved with the Stephensburg Homemakers. She credits those ladies with helping her expand her cooking and enjoying it.

There is at least one dish I remember growing up that I wish she hadn’t made. It basically was macaroni in tomato paste — not sauce. This was not my favorite. She said Papaw Owsley always liked it, but to me, it just looked like brains.

But other than that, she’s one of my favorite cooks. I’d almost rather eat at her house than a restaurant.

Also for this meal she made a roast with potatoes and carrots. She told me the secret to her roast was to add an envelope of Lipton onion soup mix and a can of Campbell’s golden mushroom soup. She usually cooks her roast, if it’s a large one, in the slow cooker all day until dinner time.

My mom also is known as the queen of sweet tea. This is good old southern sweet tea full of sugar. It is so good she became the designated tea maker for many events.

Another favorite of mine is a dessert she makes called Strawberry Delight. This also can be made in a chocolate or butter pecan version but strawberry is my favorite.

It’s a cold, layered dessert I could eat a pan full of.

My brother’s favorite meal cooked by Mom is pork chops, mashed potatoes and fried apples. I have to admit, that’s one of my favorites, too.

Mom might not be a fancy cook, although she does like to try new things. But her home-cooked meals are a treat. No matter how many times I make these recipes, they always are better in her kitchen.

Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Broccoli Casserole

1 cup uncooked rice
1 cup water
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2-3 inch chunk of Velveeta cheese
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon Worchester sauce
1 squirt prepared mustard
1/2 cup chopped celery (optional)
1/2 cup chopped onion (optional)
1/2 stick margarine
2 packages frozen, chopped broccoli 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook broccoli until almost tender. Drain and set aside.
Sauté celery and onion (optional).
Melt cheese into a sauce. Add one cup water, one can cream of mushroom soup, one cup milk, one teaspoon Worchester sauce, one squirt mustard, 1/2 stick of margarine and onions and celery if used.
Turn off heat and add uncooked rice and broccoli.
Pour into a sprayed two-quart casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. 

Mom’s (Linda Owsley) recipe from Carol Cook.

Strawberry Delight
Crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick melted butter
1 tablespoon sugar 

Mix curst ingredients together and press into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. 

Filling
1-8 ounce package cream cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 pint fresh strawberries
1 package strawberry glaze
1 tub whipped topping

Graham cracker crumbs for garnish 

Cream 1-8 ounce package of cream cheese and 1/4 cup of milk. Mix and spread on top of the graham cracker crust.
Slice one pint of fresh strawberries on top of cream cheese mixture.
Pour one package strawberry glaze over strawberries.
Spread cool whip over the glaze and sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs.
Refrigerate before serving. 

Recipe from Linda Owsley