Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Grandma Mac’s Zucchini Casserole

First Grandma Mac is my Grandmother McCutchen, my maternal grandmother. Her house was the first place I lived after the hospital when I was born. I visited her place almost every vacation I had lasting more than a day. My doctors were in Portland Oregon too, so when I went to those appointments I stayed in her home in Newberg, Oregon. She is one of three very influential ladies in my cooking. The other two are my mother and my aunt Gloria.

                  
                                                  First Attempt

One of my favorite dishes is her zucchini casserole. It is basically a crustless quiche, with eggs, onions, bacon, zucchini, and cheese. I have a recipe, but in that version there is sausage and green peppers. The recipe I have is also a microwave recipe. I made the bacon, onion, and cheese microwaved version on June 20, 2015.  The eggs were rubber and the zucchini was mushy due to blanching them too long. I blanched them for 10 minutes. I loved the flavor, but I had to change how it was made, the texture issues were bad.

August 5, 2015 was my second try. The zucchini was not too mushy, but still a tad overcooked. I blanched the squash for 5 minutes. I had beaten the eggs with a fork and did not think they were mixed well enough. I am not a fan of egg whites. Baking it was good, but I still needed to adjust the time. The onions were sautéed with the bacon every time.

On December 18, 2015, I perfected the recipe. The blanching was only 2 minutes. I beat the eggs using my blender on low for a few seconds. I do not want to beat air into them; I just want them beaten so there are no whites showing in the finished product. This version was what I was aiming every time I have made this.

                              
                                                       Second Attempt

My brother won’t eat this even the version made correctly. He could not stomach the mushy squash and the rubber eggs. Grandma pushed him into to eating it when he was not fond of it. Let’s just say the results were not pleasant for any party involved.  Sometimes after eating a bad version of a dish that version overrides any possible new better version in one’s memory.

This dish brings back a great deal of pleasant memories for me. Grandma Mac also did a great deal of canning: tomatoes (stewed and spaghetti sauce), pickles, green beans, and so much more. She baked as well. When I realized this had been always a microwaved dish, from what family members had told me, I was a bit disappointed. That is why I worked on to figuring who to make this with a conventional oven. Rubber microwaved eggs are something I am not a big fan of. The other big family egg dish is deviled eggs. It has been a while since I made those.


Zucchini Casserole

8 cups zucchini and/or summer (or yellow) squash
1 package bacon
1 onion (I prefer sweet onions)
2 cups shredded cheese (preferably Cheddar)
6 eggs

Blanch squash for 2 minutes. Drain water.  Dice bacon and onion. Fry bacon  until done Add the onions to the bacon and cook onions till soft.  Drain grease and put bacon and onions on paper towel. Beat eggs. Preheat Oven to 350. Combine all in casserole dish. Bake for one hour.


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