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Depression Era Egg and Gravy Casserole

November 10, 2010

Photo by Gerik

My family lived through the depression as did many families.  Growing up, our family gatherings were filled with stories of what they did to survive during those years and I would listen to the telling and retelling of the sometimes wonderful, sometimes devastating memories they had of that era.  To hear them tell it, it was hard to live through, but as the old adage goes “Adversity makes great memories”.

In my tween years, Dad had some health problems and Mom took him to California during the winter to bask in the sun and regain his strength.  I was sent a few short blocks to live with my Aunt Bobbie and Uncle Eddie along with my two favorite cousins.  I remember hours of giggles and shenanigans and although I missed Mom and Dad, the winter was filled with loads of fun.

Aunt Bobbie was a fabulous cook and I learned a lot from helping her in the kitchen.  There was one casserole in particular that I really loved.  I’m sure it was invented years before to use up the breakfast leftovers and ranked right up there with the depression stories of school lunches packed with leftover biscuits stuffed with cold gravy.  I remember telling Aunt Bobbie I would have to be pretty hungry to enjoy that lunch.

Aunt Bobbie’s casserole uses leftover scrambled eggs, a good Southern milk gravy and cheese.  She also used sauteed mushrooms which I really love so that was probably what hooked me onto the casserole in the first place.

By today’s standards, this casserole looks pretty ordinary but wouldn’t it be fun to serve it nestled inside a large, fresh-from-the-oven buttermilk biscuit, and eaten sandwich style.  Ah, warm comfort food!  Sometimes we just need a little breakfast for supper!

Scrambled Egg and Gravy Casserole

Photo by Pat

Serves:  4

6 large eggs, beaten, seasoned with salt

1 T. butter

* * *

4 T. butter or olive oil

1 heaping T. flour

2 cups milk

salt, pepper to taste

* * *

1 cup sliced mushrooms (I like baby portabella)

1/2 cup onion slivers

butter or olive oil

salt

* * *

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat skillet over medium/low heat and add 1 Tablespoon of butter.   Pour in the eggs and let eggs gently cook some before pushing them into beautiful fluffy clouds. Don’t break the clouds into little pieces and don’t cook the egg clouds dry, leave them beautiful and glossy!  Set aside.

Make the gravy by melting the butter in a medium sized skillet over medium heat.  Add the flour and stir fry the flour until it begins to bubble.  Quickly stir in the milk and keep stirring until the gravy thickens.  Season with salt, pepper is optional.

Fry 1 cup of mushrooms and  a 1/2 cup onion slivers until golden, season with salt.  Set aside

In a medium sized casserole dish (I use a casserole bowl), layer up the eggs, cheese, vegetables and gravy, making a double layer.  Sprinkle the top with cheese.  Cover and bake in the oven until hot and bubbly.

Printed, Columbia Tribune, Nov. 24, 2010

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