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There are lots of things that I can thank my mother for–for encouraging reading and education as essential (and school as occasionally optional to achieve them), for letting me roam the wilds of our 1950’s style neighborhood like we’ve forgotten how to do today, for welcoming all of my friends into our home without complaint or judgement over blue hair or crazy early 90’s fashions, and for having a progressive and common sense view of sex and sexuality based in medical science rather than religious morality.  But today, I’m paying homage to something else I can thank my mother for: the willingness and ability to toss random foods together, cook them, and eat the resulting product, no matter how unlikely.

My momma is a caker.  Until a couple of weeks ago, I had never heard of the term “caker“…and now, it explains so much.  Green-bean Casserole?  Caker.  Hashbrown Casserole?  Caker.  Pumpkin Dump Cake?  Deliciously caker!  I don’t make caker recipes all that often…usually when I’m in a funk or when I need to cook for a potluck (like for Friday, at work).  Instead, I like to keep us on first order foods as much as possible (and preferably local), though we do have a number of “convenience foods” in the cupboard because…well, sometimes I just don’t have that much time or energy.  And because caker food is comfort food.

So here are some of my favorite caker recipes*.

Hashbrown Casserole
1 Bag Frozen hash browns (shredded or squares)
1/4 c melted butter
1 c grated mild cheddar cheese
1 tsp Lawry’s season salt
1/2 small container of sour cream
1 cup of crushed cornflakes
1 can cream of chicken soup

Mix all ingredients but cornflakes and butter.  Sprinkle cornflakes on top, pour melted butter over.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes. Can also be made in the crockpot.

Broccoli, Rice and Cheese Casserole
10 oz pkg of chopped broccoli
1/2 stick butter
1 can of cream of chicken soup
3/4 c milk
1/2 c Cheez Whiz (I think Velveta works too)
1 c instant rice, uncooked

Cook and drain broccoli according to package. Mix with soup, milk, cheese, and rice in casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes uncovered.

Corn and Green bean Casserole
1 can white shoepeg corn
1 can French cut greenbeans
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 c cream of celery soup
1/2 c sour cream

Mix together and place in baking dish. Take 1 roll of Ritz crackers and mix with 1/2 c of slivered almonds and sprinkle ove the top. Pour 1/2 c melted butter over everything and bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Can also be made in the crockpot.


*I had thought about typing the Pumpkin Dump Cake recipe out, but when I called my mom to get the recipe, she was all like “‘Get a can of Libby’s and follow the directions, but add 4 eggs, then….” and by the time she was done, I didn’t remember what I should do.  So I went online.  This one looks about right.