Go with What You Get

Archived | May 12, 2009 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. There was a full moon that evening so everything was a bit off, if you know what I mean. The kids were a bit more rambunctious than usual at the dinner table, Mr. Sundberg — while out for an after-dinner walk — thought he heard a bird call his name, and I felt compelled to make French silk pie. Not just one, mind you, but enough pie to empty the flour bin, the egg box, and the sack of chocolate on the pantry shelf. Enough pie to visit, on Sunday morning, a few mothers I find rather special and wish them a Happy Mother’s Day, and hand them a French Silk Pie, with whipped topping. And chocolate shavings.
“When’s the next full moon?” Mr. Sundberg asked. The Full Strawberry Moon is coming up next, I told him, on June 7. “Oooh. Can I place an order for Strawberry Pie? With glaze and fresh whipped cream?” I can’t make any promises, I told him. But I’ll make a note of it.
That’s the thing about what happens during a full moon. It’s like a storm or a mood or the postal service or birthday or a test result from a doctor’s visit. You know something’s happening, but there’s that element of surprise. A tornado might appear, or you may lose your temper. There may be a letter from a long-lost friend, your friends might throw a surprise party, the tests could very well come back positive for Lyme’s disease. Or not. You just never know. You can’t control things, so you go with what you get. One month you’re making pies, the next you’re thinkin’ pickles. And who says it has to be about food? One full September moon I built a catapult right out the backyard, out of two-by-fours and nails I found in the garage. We spent that October catapulting pumpkins into the trees, and was that ever a humdinger of a time. And then there was the full February moon when I had a notion to stencil little chickens all along the top of the kitchen walls. That was way back in my chicken phase, of course. Thank the Lord that one passed quickly. Most things do. They come and they go, and each full moon is another month of life lived, and lived well, if you’re blessed and tend to see the bright side of things.
Cashew Chicken Casserole
Here’s a recipe you can make ahead of time, something warm for a stormy spring evening. Serve it with biscuits, and strawberry pie for dessert.
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
1/2 cup cubed American cheese
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 (8 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/3 cup milk
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2/3 cup crushed saltines (about 20 crackers)
3/4 cup cashew halves
In a greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan, layer the first seven ingredients in the order listed.
In a bowl, combine the soups, milk and broth. Pour over water chestnuts. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Toss butter and cracker crumbs; sprinkle over casserole. Top with cashews. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Serves about 6.