When my daughter, Brooke, was little it made me happy when she asked me to make shrimp and wild rice. I don’t know if it was the cheese or the shrimp, but Brooke took comfort in this dish in a big way. At a time when growing up is so confusing and unsettling, I was more than happy to provide her with some comfort any way I could.
It was during this time that Brooke designed this apron. I still wear it—halfway believing that doing so would keep my baby from ever growing up. But in spite of my efforts, she did, in fact, grow up.
When our children are small, we are their heroes. They depend on us for everything. Then we look away for what seems like a second and everything turns on its head. I even started to believe that my twenty-year-old Brooke didn’t need her Mom anymore, but then she asked me to make her shrimp and wild rice casserole.
I know she wasn’t just asking for her favorite dish. She was again asking for comfort—the kind that only a mother can give. Today, this special young woman invites me to sit down and share a meal with her, as her Mom and now her friend too.
Someday down the line someone else will serve Brooke her favorite casserole. I take pleasure in the fact that she’ll take a bite and say, “It’s good, but it’s nothing like my Mom’s”—just another way of saying, “I love you, Mom.”
Shrimp and Wild Rice Casserole
2 lbs. medium shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 box of cooked wild rice, cooked
In a large skillet, saute olive oil, butter, garlic, bell pepper and onion until onion is translucent. Add shrimp. When shrimp are done (pink), add cream of mushroom soup and 2/3 of the grated cheese until cheese is melted. Add cooked rice and pour entire mixture into 9x13 greased casserole. Top with remaining cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes