Thursday, May 15, 2008

French Fry Casserole

French Fry Casserole

Dorcas Annette Walker

A major portion of motherhood is spent in the kitchen planning and preparing nutritious meals. This month I’m giving recipes that are time-saving and easy for any family member to make. So invite your family into the kitchen and let them prepare a meal while you sit on the sidelines and boss. On second thought this might be a good time to disappear- after listing all emergency phone numbers in large print - and go shopping or take a leisure bath. Either way have a great Mother’s Day!

Even though my father had severe hemophilia, I wasn’t prepared for the challenges I would face when my own son was born with the same condition. Raising a boy who averaged two to three internal bleeds a week has made me a stronger person, stretched my patience, taxed my strength, taken me to the brink of despair, and lifted me to great heights of joy. Motherhood with a severe bleeder is:
- the awe of holding a perfectly normal-looking newborn close and wondering if maybe the doctors are wrong
- walking a hospital floor for two hours crying as they try to find a vein in your tiny son then, kissing all the ugly bruises on his body from needle sticks
- gripping your hands behind your back to let your son fall as he learns to walk
- hearing the doctors say that there isn’t anything more they can do as your nine- month-old son keeps hemorrhaging
- feeling chubby arms around your neck and slobbery kisses of a toddler who says, Luv ou mommy, after an exhausting day
- spending hours at the hemophilia clinic or in a tiny emergency room week after week
- learning to give your son factor infusions in his veins at home in an effort to have a more normal lifestyle
- trying to keep a hyper-active four-year-old still in bed for days at a time to get a joint bleed under control
- wrapping your son’s right arm to a pillow to render it useless after talks of shooting basketball flares up his elbow falls on deaf ears, only to find him down in the gym laughing with glee as he shouts, “See Mom, I can still shoot baskets with my left arm!”
- trying to answer hard questions like: Why do I have to hurt all the time? Why can’t I be like other boys? Does God hate me?
- asking a ten-year-old with two ankle bleeds, why, after jumping out of his tree house in a race with his older sister back to the house, seeing him grin, and say, “It’s worth it mom. I beat her!”
- endless hours of tutoring for missed days at school and constantly filling out stacks of paperwork
- blinking back tears as you watch your thirteen-year-old limp painfully behind his team on the basketball court after two knee surgeries
- sitting with a sixteen-year-old on the sidelines watching him wrap numerous joints as his team warms up just so he can play in the game and trying to talk him out of it, only to see him shoot basket after basket for his team
- seeing him stagger in the door barely able to walk and trying to stay calm when finding out that he didn’t factor before playing basketball, he was knocked off balance and slammed into a wall during the game, and instead of coming home he stayed to finish the game even thought it meant he could only use one foot and one hand to drive
- reaching up to hug a young adult towering over me, hearing him laugh and say, “Mom you worry too much. See I’m alright!” after coming home from traveling out-of-state in his restored pick-up the very week a sniper decides to shoot at pick-up’s on the interstate my son was traveling

My French Fry Casserole is sure to be a hit with the entire family and is something that can be popped into the oven on short notice if you have leftover hamburger in the freezer. For a zestier taste you can add salsa instead of soup to the hamburger. My French Fry Casserole takes about fifteen minutes to prepare and this recipe serves eight.

French Fry Casserole

Brown two pounds of hamburger. Add garlic salt and a tb of dried chopped onions.
Mix in:
1 can of mushroom soup diluted with ½ can of milk and ½ can of water
¼ block of a 32 oz process cheese spread cut into chunks
Simmer until the cheese is melted. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Top with:
2½ pounds of French fries (I split a large bag)
Bake at 350ยบ for thirty to thirty-five minutes until the French fries are brown and cooked. Serve hot!

Weekly tip: The trick to crispier homemade French fries is to coat the sliced potatoes with two tablespoons of cornstarch before frying them in hot oil!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, syndicated columnist, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more information check out:

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