The Deliciously Dirty Pages — Casseroles for busy families in the summer

This is the latest installment of the feature on to showcase old, tried and true, family favorite recipes handed down through the generations. And where are they found? On the dirtiest, most stained pages of beloved old cookbooks.

These aren’t The White Pages. They aren’t the Yellow Pages. They are the Deliciously Dirty Pages, where good cooking and memories of great cooks are forever preserved.

This writer has a collection of old cookbooks, ranging in age from 40 to 70 years old, which were used by her mother. She kept the cookbooks and has beautiful memories of making those favored recipes, as well as spilling ingredients on the pages. Also part of the collection, thanks to readers and friends, are many recipes from York County, in treasured local cookbooks.

The theory is the dirtier the page, the better the recipe.

Each Wednesday, JustMelanieW is featuring these culinary wonders, sure to still please because they have been made many times with great success – again, identified by being on the dirtiest pages of these archival hard copy treasures.

We would also love to share your family favorite recipes from your own Deliciously Dirty Pages. Just send them to And if you want to share pictures of the end product, or your family making it, or a picture of the dirty cookbook pages where the recipes were found – please send those my way as well!

Some of our greatest memories come from the kitchen . . . and those Deliciously Dirty Pages.


Today’s recipes: Casseroles for busy families in the summer

Today’s world is crazy, isn’t it? There is so much to do, so much to jam into each and every day, so many places to be. That’s especially true for families with kids because it seems like youngsters today are in so many sports, activities, organizations, the running never stops.

Summertime can be crazy, even though school is out. There are non-stop ballgames, outdoor work, swimming lessons, summer programs . . . the list is long. Plus, God gave us more hours of daylight in the summer so that gives us more motivation to try to jam in one more thing.

So that’s why I believe God also gave smart moms – many years ago – the inspiration to create the greatest invention for feeding families ever. Yes, I’m talking about casseroles.

The beauty of a casserole is that it is usually a one-pan wonder, taking simple ingredients, mixing or layering them together. They can be made ahead of time with the only remaining task is throwing them in the oven. A casserole is where vegetables, starches, meats and dairy can exist together – ending up as a whole meal in one.

All that poetry said, they are also time-savers. They usually take hardly any prep and the cook time is pretty much unattended – leaving precious minutes free to do other things.

I think the only challenge with casseroles is we tend to overdo our favorites and don’t venture out into new ideas very often. Plus, with the possibilities endless, it’s hard to know where to stop and start.

So I ventured out into the old cookbook world, on some old dirty pages in the Nebraska 4-H Cookbook from 1978, to look for casserole ideas. My mother was a big casserole lover and she often referred to cookbooks just for new inspiration when the clan became burned out on tater tot casserole, lasagna, beef and macaroni bake, and something she lovingly called quick chili suprise.

Today, we celebrate casseroles and their time-saving magic as well as economic benefits.


Broccoli Casserole by Mrs. Lumir Divoky

Processed cheese

¾ cup regular rice

2 cups water

1 package broccoli

2 tablespoons butter

1 can cream of chicken soup

Crushed potato chips or crumbs

Cube Velveeta cheese and cover bottom of pan. Cook ¾ cup regular rice in 2 cups water until soft. Drain and put over cheese while hot. Cook 1 package chopped broccoli. Add 2 tablespoons butter. Add juice from broccoli and 1 can cream of chicken soup. Cover with crushed potato chips or crumbs. Bake in a 9×9-inch pan for 30 minutes in a 350-degree oven.


Scalloped Carrots by Mrs. Nelda Jones

3 cups carrots (cooked and mashed)

1 cup shredded cheese

13 soda crackers, crumbled

1 cup cream

3 tablespoons onion, cut fine

Combine all ingredients. Add all the crackers except enough to cover the top of casserole. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350-degree oven.


Ham and Tatoes by Rena Anfinson

6 medium potatoes

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

3 cups milk

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 pound ground minced ham or big bologna

Pare potatoes; slice thin. Make white sauce of butter, flour and milk. Put half the potatoes in greased casserole, cover with half the sauce, seasonings, add all the ham or bologna. Add remaining potatoes and seasonings and then the sauce. Cover and bake for one hour. Uncover and continue baking until the top forms a brown crust. Bake in a 350-degree oven for one hour.


Sauerkraut and Sausage Casserole by Nancy Long

4 cups sauerkraut

2 tablespoons oatmeal

8 links sausage or 1 ½ pounds sausage made into patties

½ cup water

3 cups mashed potatoes

¼ cup grated cheese

Put sauerkraut in greased casserole. Sprinkle oatmeal through it. Top with sausage; add water. Cover and bake for 2-3 hours. Uncover last hour for sausage to brown. Cover with mashed potatoes after three hours, sprinkle with cheese and place in moderate oven until cheese is melted. Bake in a 350-degree oven.


Dried Beef Casserole by Miss Anne Sack

3 cups of cooked macaroni

1 can of mushroom soup

1 cup milk

1/3 cup of chopped celery

1/3 cup of chopped onion

1/3 cup green pepper (optional)

1 package of dried beef

1 teaspoon parsley (I used dry parsley)

1 cube of margarine

Small amount of grated cheese

Cook macaroni and drain. Melt the margarine and saute the celery, onion and green pepper until tender. Add cut-up beef. When the dried beef is hot, add the macaroni, mushroom soup and milk. Add the parsley. Stir until well blended. Place in casserole and top with grated cheese. Bake about 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes. In a glass dish, use a 350-degree oven.


Pork Chop Casserole by Mrs. Lee Nielsen

4 pork chops or shoulder steak

1 can cream style corn

Brown chops. Put in casserole and cover with the cream style corn. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 50 minutes or until tender.

Editor’s note: This one came with a handwritten note saying it’s “easy.” I think that’s an understatement.


Chuck Wagon Casserole by Mrs. DeWayne Hollibaugh

2 cups cooked beef, cubed

1 pound can whole kernel corn, drained

1 10 ½-oz. can condensed tomato soup

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon instance minced onion

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 can refrigerator biscuits or your own recipe

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup yellow cornmeal

Mix all ingredients together except biscuits, butter and cornmeal. Place in a shallow 2 ½-quart casserole. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Dip biscuits in melted butter, then in cornmeal. Arrange around the casserole. Bake 20-25 minutes longer or until biscuits are golden brown.


Chicken and Rice Dish by Mrs. Leroy Novotny

2 cups cooked diced chicken

2 cups cooked rice

3 cups moist bread crumbs

4 eggs

1 ½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon pepper

3 cups chicken broth

Combine all ingredients. Place in casserole or oblong pan. Top with buttered crumbs. Use a 9×12-inch pan. Bake for one hour in a 325-degree oven.


Tasty Casserole by Elaine Petz

½ pound bacon

1 7-oz package macaroni

½ cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped green pepper

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

½ cup sliced mushrooms

1 6-oz. can tomato paste or 1 cup tomato pulp

2 cups water

1 ½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon oregano

¾ cup grated cheddar cheese

Cook macaroni according to package directions and drain. Set aside. Fry bacon crisp. Crumble all but a few pieces. Set aside. Saute in three tablespoons of the bacon fat the onion, garlic, green pepper and mushrooms for five minutes. Add tomato paste, water, bacon bits and seasonings and mix with the macaroni. Stir in grated cheese. Turn into a 2-quart baking dish and bake 30 minutes. Garnish with bacon strips. Bake in a 350-degree oven. Serves six.


Goulash by Marsha Schmidt

2 pounds hamburger

1 ¼ cups macaroni

1 quart cooked tomatoes

1 tablespoon diced onion

Salt and pepper to taste

Brown hamburger with onion, salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and macaroni. Simmer for about one hour. Bake at 350 degrees.


Clock Watchers Casserole by Mrs. Donald Rothfuss

2 pounds of hamburger

2 tablespoons chopped onion

2 tablespoons butter

1 ½ cup Minute Rice

1 can mixed vegetables

1 can cream of celery soup

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon onion salt

1 ¾ cup water

Lightly brown hamburger and chopped onion in butter in a large skillet. Put in a 9 or 10-inch casserole dish the hamburger mixture, rice, vegetables and celery soup. Sprinkle seasonings over top of all and add water. Cover with lid and bake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in a 350-degree oven.


Shipwreck by Dwayne Dvorak






Green pepper (optional)

Cooked rice

Can tomatoes

Put in layers into electric fry pan or roaster. Potatoes (sliced), hamburger (seasoned, broke up into pieces. Add the cup up vegetables (can be varied as desired). Cover with the cooked rice and top off with canned tomatoes. Let bake or simmer until done. Approximately 30-45 minutes in a 350-degree oven.

Editor’s note: This recipe came with a hand-written note on the page saying “Ask Mom first.” I think that’s hilarious – I’m not sure who wrote it or why it’s written there, but it might just be because there are no amounts listed for the ingredients? I guess you better ask Mom first before making it. After all, it is called “Shipwreck.”

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