Sunday, November 18, 2007
The Holidays Approacheth
The countdown has started: the local radio station that plays nothing but Christmas music for a month prior to the holiday has begun playing Christmas music. (Every year when they start this I want to hunt down the manager so I can scream at him, "Dude! It's not even Thanksgiving yet!") The malls have put up all their decorations - except Nordstrom's, thank goodness. This chain of department stores consistently refuses to put up Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving is over, for which I salute them.
I'm gearing up for another week on-call at the hospital which is going to include Thanksgiving Day; I'm not leaving town this year, for which I am grateful (I hate traveling at Thanksgiving). I'll be going to V.'s for dinner and bringing celery casserole, a good standby holiday dish. It's kind of like a twist on green bean casserole but it is much, much better.
4 cups sliced celery
1 can cream of something soup (I use cream of chicken)
1 small can sliced water chestnuts
1 small jar sliced pimento
1 bag of Pepperidge Farm herb flavored stuffing or other herb stuffing, crushed to crumbs
Butter, salt, pepper
Blanch the celery in boiling salted water about 3 minutes, drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water (stops the cooking). When cold, drain celery and dry thoroughly (I usually wrap it in a dishtowel and put it in the fridge – you can do this part several hours ahead of time). DO NOT OVERCOOK THE CELERY. Combine with soup, drained water chestnuts and drained pimento and place in casserole dish (9 in x 9 in). Combine stuffing with some melted butter and sprinkle on top. Heat at 325-350 for about 40 minutes or until heated through.
Guys in particular seem to love this. It doubles well and if you need to bring something to a holiday dinner, it's ideal because it can all be made in advance and then you just throw it in the oven when you get to your destination.