Graduation gifts or graduation party food, – which is tougher to figure out? I’m going to a graduation party in 10 days so I’ve been thinking of ideas for both.
The way I see it, graduation gifts should be gifts that last. They should be gifts of quality either by their usefulness or sentiment so that they are kept for a long time to mark the grand accomplishment. On the other hand, graduation party foods must be high quality enough to thrill the guests so that the food disappears fast from the party table. No host wants a lot of mediocre food left-over.
So what gift to bring? What dish to pass? Keep reading for my graduation gift ideas and recommendations for fun party food.
Here’s a recipe that won’t win any contests. It’s a recipe for simple honest food that satisfies the belly, comforts cold limbs, and most people like – including people under twelve. The recipe is probably as old as the hills. And if you’re old enough, you’ve probably made some version of it or another. I found it in my battered, old recipe box and the bottom of the recipe card reads ‘From the kitchen of … Mom.’
Yes, my mom made this recipe for Pork Chops and Green Beans regularly when I was growing up. And I know why. The recipe is easy plus fool-proof. Whether it’s made ahead of time or served late, it’ll taste pretty much the same, which means good in many respects. True, if kept warm too long, a wrinkled skin will form over the casserole’s top. But a quick stir eliminates that. So let’s not worry about wrinkles.
So is it a casserole? You could call it that. The pork chops and string beans all cook together in a creamy, soupy sauce. But it lacks the starch filler common to casseroles. So I generally serve it with rice. Mom accompanied it with baked potato. But a simple hard roll will do just as well.
Is it bland? Usually, but if I were cooking only for me and my friends who love spicy food I’d substitute chilies for thyme. However, it’s seasoned enough that nobody complains and most come back for seconds. All of which make it a very congenial food to bring to pot-lucks. It travels well and won’t mind sitting or being kept warm in a crock-pot.
Pot-lucks were on my mind this weekend because our church was having a pot-luck lunch to kick-off the fall season. No, I didn’t bring pork chops and string beans – it was hot out so I brought a pepper salad. But the idea of a pot-luck joined my other ruminations about giving and sharing. If you’re interested and have got the time, click on ‘continue reading…’, otherwise, click here for the recipe for pork chops and green beans.