Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Church Lady Special

In Smalltownland you can always find a church selling a cookbook as a fundraiser. You know the type of cookbook....everyone contributes a recipe and the book is printed with a plastic spiral binding. All the ladies of the church typically contribute their best recipe and these cookbooks are immensely popular.


It is what I like to call, "Church Lady Cuisine". To me a good church lady recipe has several hallmarks. The first being real ingredients that are readily available in any typical grocery store are used. No fancy sauces or spices are needed.


Second, the recipe satisfies children and adults alike. It is hearty and no nonsense. Fit for church dinners, picnics, or a funeral, church lady food is very versatile.


Third, and most important, to the church lady mantra is the addition of.....drum roll please......


cream of mushroom soup.


It is the glue that holds all casseroles together. That, "certain something", that church ladies just can't cook without.


And so I shall now share with you one of my favorite church lady recipes. It is a great cold weather supper with the addition of a salad/vegetable on the side.



Potato Sausage Casserole
1 lb sausage (I like to use a hot/spicy version.)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup (church lady glue)
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups peeled, sliced raw potatoes
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Brown sausage, drain and set aside. Combine, soup, milk, onion, salt, and pepper. In a greased 2 qt casserole dish, layer half of potatoes, half of soup mixture and half of sausage. Repeat. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with cheese, return to oven, uncovered for 2-3 minutes or until cheese melts.


49 comments:

  1. This is not the kind of things I like to read around noon (here) when I know that only a sanwdich is awaiting me.

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  2. MMMMmmmmmm!!! I've got to go get breakfast ;).

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  3. I have a whole collection of these types of cookbooks. In our community, our local radio station used to have a call in cooking show. They put the recipes into several of these types of cookbooks. Some of my favorite meals have been from these books. I totally agree about the mushroom soup!

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  4. I love "Church Ladies" cookbooks, and have tons of them. Cream of Mushroom soup is southern. No good southern cook would be caught without at least 5 cans of this soup in her pantry. I might make this for supper. Thanks.

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  5. Yum! I never thought to use raw potatoes for this, I usually use frozen hash browns. I'm going to try raw potatoes next time. You are right tho...I think every recipe out of my "church" cookbooks has cream of "something" in it.

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  6. Love it! I know exactly the type of cookbook you are talking about (and even have a couple on my shelf)! Thanks for sharing!! :)

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  7. Although I am NOT a fan of Cream of Mushroom soup this recipe SPEAKS to me! PURE comfort food!

    Some of my favorite dessert recipes are Church Lady recipes!

    I'm gonna try this one and you are right...I think the kiddos will think this one is a good one too!

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  8. di2009 - I bet I have about 15 of these cookbooks. They are the best!

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  9. Ha! What would potluck suppers be without cream of mushroom soup?:)

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  10. "church lady glue"....that is so true! Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I've always had it with frozen hashbrowns. I think this would be even better.

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  11. YUUUUUUUM!!!! BTW, our church currently has a cookbook for sale. LOL

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  12. That's a perfect name -- Church Lady Cookbook. I bet most of the recipes are comfort food.

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  13. So true! They are the most fun cookbooks.

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  14. So true! They are the most fun cookbooks.

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  15. Girl. I am all over that! It brings back so many memories of growing up. Love this and thanks for reminding me of it. I forgot about it

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  16. That looks delicious! A stick to your ribs kind of meal!
    I have several "Church Lady" cookbooks myself. I need to start digging around in them and see what goodness I can find.

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  17. This was too cute! "Church lady glue". :) And the dish looks really yummy! What's not to love about potatoes, sausage and cheese?!

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  18. I'm no church lady, but I do know the value of cream of mushroom soup.

    I think this recipe will be a great way to use up some venison and homegrown potatoes.

    Thanks for sharing it. :)

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  19. Church ladies glue? Never thought of it that way but love those recipes!

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  20. I,too, collected cookbooks at one time(before the big fire).Our school where I worked for 27+ years,would have a "Goody Day"on a regular basis, and everyone including teachers,aides,cooks,
    janitor,and principal would bring in their favorite dish.Out of the entire time I worked there, they only put together 1 cook book that I know of. Now those were some great dishes.Just like the ones you speak of in the church cookbooks. One of our local churches made one cookbook,in particular, that I use more than any other.You are so right.

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  21. You are absolutely right, right down to the cream soup. I keep telling myself I've outgrown using it, but casseroles are still my favorite comfort food. I'll have to try that recipe when I'm tired and cold.

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  22. Ever since my son was diagnosed with a gluten allergy, I have not been allowed to use my old stand by, cream of whatever soup. Dinner has never been the same.

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  23. Michelle - I have a friend who cooks gluten free and I know how very restrictive that can be.

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  24. This looks great Paula - my SIL makes a variation of this for my brother. Except she makes it in a huge casserole dish and adds some eggs to it. I guess it comes off more like a breakfast casserole and he can eat off of it for a week! Sure looks good! specially on these cold days we're having!

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  25. You weren't kidding, simple and to the point, everything is on hand...and my oh my does it look delicious!

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  26. I'm a vegetarian but I"m thinking I need to try this recipe out with fake sausage!

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  27. That looks so good, especially with all the cold and snow we have...nothing like comfort food. Thank you for sharing the recipe, I'm going to give it a try...Have a nice day!

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  28. I like the sound of this as I sometimes cheat by using a special brand of condensed Chicken soup added to mixed herbs for a sauce dressing. Maybe I can buy the Mushroom version now and give the Chicken risotto a rest !!

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  29. Cream of mushroom soup or Velveeta is always a staple! Sounds so good. I need to go back through all those cookbooks sitting on my shelf and try a few.

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  30. Amen, I love a Chruch Cookbook....I know that all of the recipes are delicious and comforting.

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  31. LOL! Church lady glue! Is it made from real church ladies?
    We always use "Cream of Stuff" instead. Any kind of cream soup mix except mushroom. My husband can't stand mushrooms... Cream of celery or chicken work well.
    I'm in the midst of putting a church lady cookbook together for my church. We've got some fab food at our potlucks!
    YUMMO - You've got me hankering for church lady glue.

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  32. Farmchick, this is a great post. Now, I don't do much cooking myself, but my wife must have 15 - 20 old church recipe books that are in active use after having been collected over many decades.

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  33. McVal - I confess that I often use cream of chicken or celery...cream soups are all the same...aren't they? lol

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  34. It's now a quarter past two, in the morning, over here. I'm hungry ;) Thank you. Please have a wonderful Wednesday.

    daily athens

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  35. This sounds soooo good...I need to remember and try it one day.

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  36. COM soup is my favorite! This sounds sooooo yummy!

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  37. haha...this kind of made me chuckle...the title, ingredients, and all. Yep...Church Lady Special....and I only learned of such recipes when I married a farmer;))

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  38. Now that looks tasty! Mushroom Soup must be a staple in church cookbooks it's not the first time I have heard of this.

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  39. I love those kinda cookbooks and have quite a few. You are so funny about the mushroom soup being the glue, but so right. I have a couple of those recipies of my own.
    Good ole comfort food. We all love it. Thanks for sharing that recipe. One I haven't tried but will soon.

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  40. I love this type of cookbook and have just recently contributed to one featuring our local Dairy Women. Everyone adds their favorite and tastiest recipes.....it's the best!

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  41. Wow, you've hit the jackpot with this post and this food. I'll just say "Me, too" on the dish and the GREAT phrase "church lady glue."

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  42. That sounds good. I love those church cookbooks and have many of them. Another commonly used glue is cream of chicken and cream of celery soup. I'm not too crazy about the cookbooks with the fancy recipes, my family doesn't eat that way.

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  43. It looks good!

    You know, I never buy those condensed soups! I have friends that claim them as one of the family staples!

    Mmm...I can almost smell that! :)

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  44. i've had potato sausage casserole at many a church potluck and it's delicious. i'll be stealing this recipe to make it for my punks!

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  45. My kind of fare ! My wife has a collection of these and the cream of mushroom soup makes a regular appearance at dinnertime. I need to slip this recipe into one of those books !

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  46. Mmm !!
    Thank you for this recipe !
    I'll try ! :))

    Bye**

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  47. This looks good! I giggled at the "churchlady glue" description of the cream of mushroom soup! I always made my tuna casserole with a can of the same..lol Now I have to watch my salt intake so I skip all canned soups and cook from scratch.

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  48. I had to pop back in on this post to let you know that I made this casserole and it was a huge success. The best part of it is that ALL SEVEN family members loved it! THIS is something that does NOT happen often!

    Gotta love a "Church Lady Special!"

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