“What are you having for Thanksgiving?” is a common question. When asked, I usually name off the usuals like turkey and ham, but whenever I get to the pineapple casserole I am interrupted by: “The one with cheddar cheese?”
“No,” I say, “this one does not have cheddar cheese.” This is always followed by a look of disbelief and a conversation about my pineapple casserole and what’s in it. Every year I have this conversation with at least one person.
My family’s traditional pineapple casserole, entitled Pineapple Bake, came into my family around 1970. My mom, Gladys MARTIN HEISER, saw a recipe in a magazine or newspaper and decided to give it a try one Thanksgiving. It’s a simple recipe, too, which I’m sure was part of the draw for my mom.
I don’t remember the exact year we had this yummy pineapple casserole for the first time, but I know that it immediately became a staple at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter dinners. We always had extended family visiting for these holidays, and everyone loved this casserole and came to expect it. It goes well with ham and with the cranberry sauce of a turkey dinner.
The recipe eventually became part of my holiday dinners, too. This year, my daughter brought it as part of her contribution to our Thanksgiving feast. And even though we didn’t do a traditional meal this year, this pineapple casserole was still a must on the table.
As I took photos of the casserole for this blog post (which wordpress refused to upload) I thought of my parents and my grandmother and the others who’ve passed away. I can still see us around a long table (sometimes more than one) passing dishes and platters, talking and laughing, and appreciating having food to eat and willing hands to prepare it.
Who would have thought that my mom’s desire for something different one Thanksgiving would become a 3-generation strong tradition?
Here’s the recipe in case you’re interested.
Pineapple Bake (4 – 6 servings)
- 3 eggs
- 1 stick butter or margarine, melted
- 4 slices white bread, crumbled*
- 1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
- ½ cup sugar
Preheat oven to 425°. Beat eggs. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well; pour into and ungreased 2-quart baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve hot, warm or cold.
*4 slices of bread is equivalent to 4 oz. of bread, so use whatever bread you like…just use 4 oz.
Copyright © 2016 Nancy H. Vest All Rights Reserved