The only time I remember dreading going back was the year our school was renovated. The administration decided the only way to juggle all the middle school classes was holding split sessions. Which meant my sister and I had to get on the bus by six am. My mom, who hated mornings and didn't love cooking, could not face getting up at five to make us breakfast. But she did prepare sloppy Joes the night before (I'll spare you that recipe-think ground beef and tomato soup) so we could heat them up before heading out in the morning.
Over the years, between school days and becoming an adult, I learned to bake bread and cakes from scratch and canned my garden veggies and prepared elaborate soups and stews. But a lot of this flew out the window when I married my husband, who came equipped with two young school-aged kids. I was working, he was working, everyone was stressed; and the kids couldn't have been less interested in fancy food. So I punted in favor of anything they might eat. In fact my husband points out that my stepchildren will always remember me for my hot dog casserole recipe. Sigh.
With some regret, I share it here:
LUCY BURDETTE'S BACK TO SCHOOL HOT DOG CASSEROLE
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
6-8 best quality hot dogs, sliced into rounds*
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons barbeque sauce
2 tablespoons molasses or brown sugar
1 very large can B&M baked beans
Saute onions and peppers in small amount of olive oil. Set aside. Sauté hot dog slices until brown. Mix these ingredients with the baked beans, pork fat removed and discarded. Add mustard, barbeque sauce, molasses or brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce to taste. Mix and pour into a greased 9x11 casserole. Bake at 350 until bubbly.
You should probably serve this with something green:)
*Use your judgment on "best quality hot dogs"
Here's hoping that back to school for your kids and grandkids means more time to read! Because I happen to have a brand new book out this week-the second in the Key West food critic mystery series, called DEATH IN FOUR COURSES. It's the perfect thing to pick up when the kids aren't home yet and the hot dog casserole is ready to pop in the oven...
Here are some ways to order:
An Independent Bookstore
Barnes and Noble
And for a signed copy, call RJ Julia Booksellers 203-245-3959
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