Our Lady of Lourdes Broccoli Casserole
By Annamaria Settanni McDonald ArtByASM
Every year I make a pilgrimage to a hidden grotto in Cleveland that is dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes, a place influenced by the Grotto where the Virgin Mary was seen at the location of Lourdes, France by Saint Bernadette. The nuns cook up some great food with the help of some volunteers. Many nuns there are retired from my church and there are also missionary nuns from Africa and other places in the world. My favorite nun there is Sister Phyllis Ann who was my confirmation teacher at my church until she transferred to Our Lady of Lourdes which holds the home of Our Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity. This is also the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. We get the best food and we go with other women in our church's solidarity and pray, do the rosary and talk. It's a day of prayer we dedicate to do every year. At lunch we get spoiled with a huge lunch or we can get breakfast if we get there earlier. At lunch they make this Broccoli Casserole. It is so good that I can't help but get a second side plate of it. So here I am sharing this recipe with you. It means a lot to me because not only is it from some of the best nuns/people I know but it's a day and a dish that I share with family and friends. Yesterday I went with other members of the church along with my son (who was the center of attention) my mom and my sister. My mom, sister and I spend this day together every year! My sister and I exchanged gifts that we bought from the gift shop. It was beautiful, sunny fall like day and it was peaceful, even my 2 year old son was so well mannered, it was angelic! It was truly a miracle and a mommy and son spending day! Enjoy the recipe and God Bless! The Shrine's website: www.srstrinity.com NOTE: I do prefer using fresh broccoli for this dish, gives it a much more fresh taste on it's richness.
frozen chopped broccoli (or you can use cooked broccoli florets)
butter and margarine
pepper to taste
long sleeve of ritz crackers loosely coarsely crushed
melted butter or margarine
ritz crackers or more if you'd like
1In a large saucepan, cook the broccoli according to package directions; drain. Stir in the milk, cheese, butter and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat until cheese is melted, stirring often. Add the sleeve of crumbled crackers and stir to blend. Pour mixture into an 11×7-inch baking dish.