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The first time I laid eyes on a half-emptied casserole dish of Scalloped Pineapple I was at a Pot Luck at a Lake Jackson church we’d just joined.

Strangely enough, at least to my Baptist upraised eyes, the dishes were spread on top of a covered pool table in the church’s youth center.  These Methodist folks apparently didn’t subscribe to The Music Man’s notion of  “Ya Got Trouble”  — you  know the “Trouble that starts with “T” and that rhymes with “P” and that stands for pool” — at least the kind that would eventually lead their youth from pool to gambling to other devilish bad habits.

It’s a wonderful bit of irony to reflect that it was a Pot Luck spread on that pool table back in 1991.  After all, am I’m the only one in the world to have found that Pot Luck’s live up to their name in being a bit of a gamble?

Use to be that people took pride in what they brought to a Pot Luck.  Even in Jan Karon’s Mitford series, wasn’t Esther Bolick known far and wide for her three layer Orange Marmalade Cake?  But maybe that’s only the rule in heart-warming fiction; in my version of everyday life, I’ve seen last night’s leftovers brought to a Pot Luck before.  So depending upon your stomach for adventure and the mysterious, it may be best to attend with a belly partially full.

My last Church Pot Luck spread was a mix of home-made and store-bought dishes; KFC ‘buckets’ of fried chicken, plastic deli containers of salads and many grocery store bakery pies and cookies kept company with all the home-made mystery casseroles and familiar staples of Deviled Eggs and Jello Salads and Four-Layer Dessert.  It’s funny that I always tended to gamble towards the mystery casseroles while my boys flocked toward the sure-thing buckets of KFC!

Sometimes it pays to gamble;  I hit the Pot Luck Jack Pot back in 1991 when I tried that mysterious pineapple dish.  Not everyone was so fortunate.  Being a brand new church member, I didn’t track down the recipe; the combination of being an introvert and new to the flock made me ‘church family’ in name but not in spirit, and all the sea of unfamiliar faces sent me  swimming toward the safety of four walls.

But blessed are the meek and the timid; the first may inherit the earth… but five years later, the second ran across the recipe in a southern cookbook.  And after a little fine-tuning, my rendition of the recipe tastes just as good as I remembered.

I serve Scalloped Pineapple as an accompaniment to Baked Ham, in the same way I serve Cornbread dressing with Roast Turkey or Cooked Apples with Pork Roast.  But Uncle Larry finds it just right for dessert.  It works for either or both.

Tonight, I’m planning to half the recipe and serve it with our store-bought Honey Baked Ham.  In my life, sometimes store-bought really is best…

From my life to yours.

Scalloped Pineapple

8-10 servings

In a bowl, mix until combined:
3 eggs, well beaten
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups fresh bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple (in its own juice), undrained
1/3 cup butter, cut into 1 inch squares

Pour into a lightly greased casserole dish (10x6x2).  Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

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