Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Until We Meet Again

Who knew that getting ready to have a house tented to treat for termites could be so exhausting? My daughter laughed when I expressed those sentiments...she said it was like moving, only you return to the same house. Since I hate moving, that explains a lot.

So, dear friends, signing off for a few days. Going off into the woods to Camp Meeker to a lovely vacation home after work tomorrow. Except for a lunch in town on Friday, I will read and sleep and take walks with the dog and clear my brain. No cell phone service, nor Internet. Let's just hope that the power is back on there by the time I finish working. I know it's called Camp Meeker, but I'm not really wanting to camp out with lanterns.

If I had been smart, I would have put this casserole by Shirley Walker, a friend of mine, together to bake up tomorrow night at "camp". It needs to chill for a while (8-36 hours) to meld the flavors. Try it with multi-grain bread, too. Sorry no photo for this one, but you can well imagine the green of the broccoli, brown of the bread and mushrooms, the bubbly yellow orange cheddar cheese, with some of those great browned bits, too. Mmmm.

Broccoli Mushroom Strata
by Shirley Walker

1 loaf (1 pound size, ½ inch thick slices) whole-wheat bread, crusts trimmed
¼ cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine, divided
1 large onion, diced
½ pound mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
3 cups cooked broccoli flowerets OR 1 package (16 oz) thawed frozen broccoli spears
2 tablespons dry basil leaves
1 teaspoon pepper
1 pound Cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
6 large eggs
3 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Line the bottom snugly with a single layer of bread, cut to fit (edges can overlap slightly). Make another layer of bread to fit on top, then lift out an set aside.

In a medium frying pan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter and ad onion and mushrooms. Stir often until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Spoon into a bowl.

Chop the broccoli. Melt the remaining butter in the frying pan and add the broccoli; stir often until broccoli is very dry. In the frying pan, stir together broccoli, basil, pepper, and onion mixture.

Distribute half the vegetable mixture over the bread layer, then cover evenly with half the cheese. Cover with the reserved bread; repeat to make the top layer.

Beat the eggs and milk until blended and pour over the casserole, moistening evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 8 to 36 hours.

Bake, uncovered in preheated oven until edges of casserole are lightly browned and center is firm when gently touched, about 45 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes on a rack. Cut into rectangles.

Serves 6-8
Note: Different kinds of whole-wheat breads can be used in this dish. Choose a standard, whole-wheat, one with wheat berries, or try a multi-grain bread.

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.


  1. Elle, take cake!
    We will miss you around here.

  2. Sheesh, you have those something like Formosia termites don't you. Gad really sorry. But you don't have to pack much for this one.
    Take care.

  3. Have a lovely vacation!

    Having just come back from a little cabin with no cellphone and no internet to speak of I can attest to how nice it is to "unplug" for a while.

  4. Sounds yummy! Have fun at camp!

  5. I hope you have a wonderful vacation! Time without a cell phone and internet sounds refreshing.

    I am a huge strata fan, and this one sounds wonderful!

  6. Have a wonderful time Elle! It sounds like you're be having a very relaxing time!

  7. Anonymous10:04 AM

    Enjoy your days at the camp. It sounds like a nice getaway :)

  8. Bummer about you having to tent your house. Enjoy the woods.

  9. See you when you get back and enjoy the relaxation.

  10. The camping sounds fun. the termites not so much. Hope it all turns out okay.

  11. Hey, y'all, thanks for the support! We are back home and all those nasty critters are toast. Merlin the cat was VERY happy to see us and both he and Xam the lab were glad to have our laps to sit on AT HOME! I know that Xam is about 85 pounds, but he thinks that he is 5 pounds and is a lap dog :)
    Back to regular blogging soon, I hope.
    The good news is that my cupboards are almost bare and that most of my spices were fairly recently purchased, not ancient as I had feared. Guess I've been using them, and am now anxious to get in the kitchen again, cooking and baking up a storm.

  12. Anonymous8:01 PM

    Sounds like a lovely and well deserved getaway... the termites are doing you a favor :)