My Great Aunt Joyce and Great Aunt Sheryl have respectively been making Aunt Fanny’s squash casserole for as long as I can remember. We had it twice a year, once at Thanksgiving and again during Passover when it was prepared with matzah meal instead of cracker crumbs.
The rich, creamy vegetable side dish was always a favorite of mine that I looked forward to at each of these occasions. I would pile it high on my plate, going back for seconds and always requesting leftovers to bring home.
A few years ago, my curiosity piqued about this beloved Aunt Fannie. I couldn’t recall meeting her and to be honest, wasn’t even sure if she was still with us.
I turned to my mother and asked, “Mom, is Aunt Fanny alive?”
She took one look at my serious expression and burst out laughing.
Turns out, Aunt Fanny ‘s was actually the name of a restaurant started in Georgia in the 1940’s, and this was one of their famous side dishes.
Even though this good old-fashioned cooking didn’t come from a relative after all, it’s still been a favorite amongst my family for many generations. While I’ll never find Aunt Fanny sitting down to any of our holiday meals, you can be certain her recipe will be always on our table.
3 pounds summer squash
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and wash and cut squash into 1/2 inch chunks.
Place squash and onions in a pot of water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork tender. Drain VERY well.
Use a potato masher to puree the squash.
Add cracker crumbs,
Half the butter,
Season with salt, pepper and sugar.
Pour mixture into a 2-quart buttered casserole dish.
Pour remaining butter evenly over squash.
Sprinkle with additional cracker crumbs.
Bake for approximately 1 hour or until nicely browned and cooked through.
Eat and enjoy a part of history!
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