The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: less is more

Carla’s Corn Casserole

Are you looking for a rich, buttery, holiday side dish that people will be talking about (in a good way) for years to come?

Well, look no further.

I have the world’s easiest, most scrumptious, stick to your ribs casserole right here.

It’s called Corn Casserole, not to be confused with Cornhole Casserole (Trish!), which is prison-speak for a damaged posterior region. So I’ve been told. {Ahem.}

My first exposure to Corn Casserole came at a school pot-luck holiday feast about 8 years ago. It was so good, I asked around to find out who had brought it, and then sent that lady an email which went a little something like this:

“Hello. My name is Iris. I’m new here and your Corn Casserole rocked my world. I know you don’t know me, but would you please share your recipe? I promise I’ll never bring this dish to an event where you will be. Nor will I do like my MIL and bastardize your recipe beyond all recognition and then say, ‘Oh, It’s Carla’s recipe!’ If you have it in your heart to share, I vow to always follow your recipe to the letter and to give you credit until the day I die. Please. I’m a good person. Let’s be friends.”

Miraculously, Carla didn’t call for a psych consult. Instead, she emailed me her family recipe. Who says southern hospitality is dead? (I do. But this is an exception.)

Here is Carla’s recipe. Respect it. It’s perfect the way it is.

I know my BFF Tammy is going to throw in a cup or two of cheddar cheese as soon as she gets her paws on this recipe because she seems to enjoy constipating her son and then sending him to my house to clog my toilet as a joke. But I’m here to tell Tammy you that sometimes less is more. Carla’s Corn Casserole is one of those times.

Also, word of warning, pay attention when you’re in the baking aisle at the grocery store. The Jiffy corn muffin mix looks almost exactly like the Jiffy biscuit mix. I’ve made this mistake before and it just isn’t as good. Moral of the story, friends don’t let friends grocery shop drunk, m’kay.

Don't buy this one...


...buy THIS one.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick (aka: 1/2 C or 8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can sweet corn, undrained (15 oz. can)
  • 1 can creamed corn (15 oz. can)
  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Mix everything together in a large bowl.
  3. Transfer to lightly greased 9×13” baking dish.
  4. Bake uncovered, on middle rack, for one hour or until golden brown on top.

Can be baked ahead and reheated.  Cut into 2″ x 2″ squares and serve warm.

This casserole is not just for Thanksgiving. We also make it on New Year’s Day to go with our baked ham. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do!

Oh, by the way, I don’t know anything about how to cook turkey. True story.

That’s The Gatekeeper’s job. And when it comes to turkey, I’m a “don’t ask, don’t tell” kind of gal. I’m in charge of all the other food, decorations, and entertainment. More on that tomorrow.

But never fear! My friend Julie over at Mamamash.com has put together a fabulous litany of turkey dos and don’ts. Check it out. She knows her stuff, and her writing is divine.

 

Wishing you luck, serenity, and not too much family drama as you prepare for Thanksgiving this week!

Your friend,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

Laundry Room Highs and Lows

It’s week # 9 in Org Junkie’s 52 Weeks of Organizing challenge. This week the topic is “What is your good enough?” God help us. This is going to be cathartic.

If you are just joining us and want to get caught up on all my previous projects, click here.

Ever since I revamped my laundry system a few weeks ago and stopped sorting laundry, I’ve been itching to organize my awful laundry room. Ultimate goal: for my 11 year old son to start washing his own clothes. But there was no way I wanted him farting around in my messy laundry room, mixing bleach with ammonia, or putting too much soap in the washer like that dumb-ass Bobby Brady.

Look, can I be honest? I frickin’ hate my laundry room. I truly could not hate it more if it were located over an Indian burial ground and haunted by poltergeists. It’s small, dark, cluttered, and worst of all, ordinary. It has no natural light, old nasty linoleum floors, and energy inefficient top loading appliances that were purchased at the end of the last century. And, this room is a passageway between my garage and my kitchen, so I’m forced to look at it all the stinkin’ time.

I’ve tried to spruce it up little by little over the 7 years that we’ve lived here… a coat of leftover paint, some hooks, a set of really nice shelves my sweet Stepdad and I almost killed each other installing, a few cute baskets here and there. But all these little improvements are like putting a band-aid on a gushing hatchet wound. In other words… ain’t working. I still hate it.

I’ve always fantasized about one of those fancy schmancy laundry rooms with custom cabinetry, a built in ironing board, a spotless counter top for folding, gleaming glass canisters filled with organic plant based detergents… the works. You know — the kind of laundry room Martha Stewart would go to prison for.

But instead, what I have is this:

BEFORE: Cramped, cluttered, and ordinary laundry room.

Ugh. So very far from perfect, wouldn’t you agree?

But let’s face it – I’m not going to get that fantasy laundry room any time soon. So I would be wise to stop comparing and start decluttering. In the immortal words of Elvis, “a little less talk, a little more action.” Let’s do this, shall we?

Remember the PROCESS? (Plan, Remove, Organize, Containerize, Evaluate, Solve, Smile)

1.) Plan. Eh, f#ck it. I’m not a planner. I’m just gonna dive right in.

2.) Remove everything from the space. Check:

WOW! Looks so much better already, doesn’t it?! Decent bones, at least. Okay, I take that back, but at least my water supply hoses are made of braided steel instead of rubber. So there’s one good thing.

This would be a good time to paint the room the robin’s egg blue I’ve been coveting, but my husband said “NO WAY, JOSÉ,” since I have so many other unfinished renovating, crafting, and personal hygiene projects in the works. I swear, sometimes that man is about as much fun as a dead baby bunny on Easter morning.

In case you’re wondering where I put all that stuff… well so much for the clean dining room from last week:

BEFORE: decluttered dining room.

DURING: cluttered dining room revisited.

That’s okay. Just more motivation for me to keep moving and git-r-done.

3.) Organize. Once everything was in the dining room, I put like with like, and tossed (or recycled) a bunch of CRAP like a dozen cardboard toilet paper tubes I was saving for a craft we’ll never do.

4.) Containerize. Whatever I didn’t toss/recycle, I consolidated. Then I moved a box of pet supplies to the garage to preserve the valuable real estate I had created with all the purging.

Time to put stuff back into the laundry room!

And THAT is when it hit me: the less I put back in, the more organized and spacious the room would appear! I used containers to create boundaries, just like Org Junkie says. Turns out I don’t need a bigger laundry room… I just need less stuff. Talk about an “Aha Moment.”

And speaking of containers… I started thinking, what would oneshabbychick do to corral all her fabric softeners and stain removers? Her stuff is sooooo pretty and easy on the eye. Ooooh, I know…. she’d find something fabulous on the cheap at Goodwill and spray paint it Ivory or Navajo white. So I did just that. Check it out, my little Lookie-Lous:

BEFORE: ugly metal bin from Goodwill.

AFTER: same thing, but with satin ivory spray paint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. ) Evaluate.

AFTER: Iris' laundry room shelves.

 

AFTER: Iris' laundry room make-under.

6.) Solve. This is obviously a work in progress. I’ll keep you posted as I get used to the new decluttered space and discover if there are any problems that still need to be solved.

I am going to have my artsy pregnant friend Mama Cloud make me some pretty labels for the baskets so my kids and husband can find things. She has the most beautiful handwriting and needs something to take her mind off the ring of fire she’s going to experience in about 6 weeks.

7.) Smile. Can’t. Too tired. And all those spray paint fumes have me a little high. But I surely am grateful for the “Aha Moments” I experienced in this project and I’m looking forward to purging more stuff in my other rooms.

It may not be the perfect laundry room of my dreams, but it’s a hell of a lot better than it was last week. Maybe uncluttered is good enough for me.

Until we meet again!

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

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