Nationality: European, Lebanese
Occupation: Children's Book Writer
Residence: Brea, California
Date of Performance/Collection: 8 April 2012
Primary Language: English
You start by buttering slices of bread and decrusting them and then cutting them into little cubes. Then you put them all in a big baking dish and mix 2/3 quart of milk (as this recipe got handed down it really got complicated), four eggs, a teaspoon of dry mustard, 2/3 a teaspoon of dry salt and you mix all of those ingredients together and whisk it and then you pour it over the bread. Also before all this, you would fry up eight pieces of bacon. So, after you have the bread in the pirate’s pan and the milk poured over the eggs you crumble the strips of bacon and sprinkle them on top and then put it in the refrigerator and let it sit overnight. Then, in the morning you bake it at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Every Easter, my informant would have this Cheese Casserole/Souffle. Her mom used to make it every Easter and she had it given to her by a friend at a church and the church was the one she used to attend when she was little, so she would eat it there too. Her daughters say that they will make it for their families as well.
For me, it was interesting to here that a casserole dish was so popular amongst a family. For some reason, all my childhood, I had thought that brussel sprouts, casseroles, meatloaf, and fruit cake were the four no-no foods in American society. I had never eaten any of then because my mom would always make us traditional Chinese food and though I always ate more American food anyways, my mom knew nothing about casseroles. So, to hear that this dish was passed down so many generations and actually liked was so mind-blowing. In this case, the informant always made this for Easter Day and I believe that it is made on that particular holiday because of the main ingredient of eggs and the yellow color of the dish. I remembered last year actually when I celebrated Easter with my friend’s family, there were an array of egg-based dishes and only egg-based dishes, but such an assortment it was. Since on easter we have the tradition of the Easter Egg Hunt and Spring chicks, that is a natural food we eat on that Holiday as well.