Food is woven into childhood memories, is it not? I still remember butterscotch pudding eaten in ice cream cones, and chocolate snowball cookies at Christmas from my own childhood. The first time I made Pizza Tot Casserole I had no idea that it would end up becoming a family favorite that is fondly remembered by now-grown children.
Virtually every time we eat this casserole for supper, one of the boys reminisces about the first time we ate it.
They had been gone all day on a field trip to a Civil War museum, and returned home cold and hungry. Tumbling in the front door with coats and papers, they were greeted by the aroma of a hot supper. Earlier that day I had flipped through a magazine and discovered this simple recipe. The table was set with a pretty tablecloth and candles for cozy atmosphere. They even remember drinking chocolate milk with that meal, since it was a rare treat.
Funny how it’s the simple things like family meals that shape our children’s memories of home.
Meals don’t have to be fancy or expensive to be memorable, so don’t feel like you’re not enough. A hot meal together at the end of the day goes a long way towards making your family feel cared for.
Pizza Tot Casserole
leftover spaghetti sauce (or a couple of jars/cans of spaghetti sauce), preferably with meat
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (for a 9 x 13 pan, adjust accordingly)
1 pkg. frozen tater tots
Spread the spaghetti sauce in a pan. Cover with cheese and top with tater tots. Bake at 400 degrees until tater tots are golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.
I’m sure the magazine recipe was more polished and exact, but cooking for families is rarely either.