Cooler weather means it’s time for casseroles

posted Sept. 11, 2017 8:04 a.m. (CDT)
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by / Janelle Thomas | Food Columnist

I love summer and all that it brings, but as much as I love the warm months, there’s just something soothing about fall. I am careful not to rush the seasons, and I’ve held back, but now that I’ve been to several football games, drank a cup of hot chocolate to warm up, made an early stop at an apple orchard and put another blanket on the bed due to temperatures falling into the 40s, I think it is safe to say fall is in the air.

The farmers’ markets I’ve been to in recent weeks are brimming with produce, and I am not ready to give up those fresh fruits and vegetables just yet, but I am also planning ahead because I know they won’t last much longer.

I have frozen bags of sweet corn and peach pie filling in the freezer. I have plans to add apple butter and apple pie filling in the month ahead. I am not a canner, but with the freezer getting full, I might have to consider it.

While I never completely stop making casseroles, even in the summer, we certainly eat fewer of them during the warm months. Now that there is a chill in the air, we all seem to enjoy sitting down to a hot casserole. It is especially fun this time of year to use the seasonal produce available when preparing them.

Zucchini and other squash is easy to hide in casseroles and apples add a fun flavor when combined with sausage in dishes that can be served any time of day. Remember, chopped, fresh vegetables will easily replace frozen vegetables called for in recipes. Use your seasonal favorites before they are gone.

Janelle Thomas can be reached at

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