Can you guess what those three foods have in common? Well, they are all foods that I loved growing up, and yes, you guessed it, they’re all casseroles. Tuna Noodle casserole brings back memories of my elementary school cafeteria, Chicken Enchilada casserole found its way onto the dinner table often in my childhood, and Spinach Broccoli casserole has always been a part of the family thanksgiving feast. Casseroles have been a crowd-pleaser in the United States for decades, but with so many different variations on the dish and the holiday season right around the corner, I couldn’t help but wonder, what exactly makes a casserole… a casserole?
Casseroles are defined by Merriam-Webster as “a dish in which food may be baked and served.” Technically this is true, but in my opinion, a specific food vessel does not encompass the full definition of casserole. Water in a casserole dish is not a casserole! To truly create a casserole, you need many different ingredients, baked together to create something that is more than the sum of its parts.
This might sound cheesy, but to me, HIP is one amazing casserole. We all bring our own ingredients – our experiences and life stories, and when we come together, something new and marvelous is created. There are so many ingredients involved in baking the HIP casserole, whether it’s our amazing volunteers, board of directors, staff, or the wonderful Lake City and greater Seattle communities that support us and our programs.
This Thanksgiving, I’m so thankful to be surrounded by a casserole of amazing friends here at HIP. In the short time that I’ve been a part of the HIP family, I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside incredible people, making incredible food (sometimes, we even make casseroles!). I’ve also learned that when things don’t go exactly as planned… just casseROLL with it!
Senior Meals Program Coordinator