Broccoli Rice Casserole

Comforting side dishes are necessary to complete any meal in my kitchen.  If you can find a basic one that includes a rib-sticking starch and a vegetable, you can add or switch ingredients and make several different variations.  In my family, this one combination is the most requested.  This came about as an emergency addition one Thanksgiving dinner when my son, Andy asked if we were planning to serve it. (This was in answer to my question, “Are you coming to dinner?”   It has become a part of the menu planning to be sure I have everybody’s favorite.  So, I call this one Andy’s Broccoli Rice Casserole.

Rice was a favorite with my husband.  His family was from the South and rice was included in many meals.  It was new to me, and I had to scrub a lot of pans until I learned the right way to prepare it.  I burned it, let it dry out and served it undercooked!
Burning it is the worst clean up job there can be.  I think it forms a particularly strong bond with aluminum when not prepared correctly.  Non-stick pans weren’t around when I began to practice cooking.

The Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe came from a long-time high school friend when I was just married. Hank didn’t like soup combined with his rice and let me know it.  Then an Aunt made this and he raved about how good it was.   He even requested it with
his favorite meal which was a ham.