Mrs. McGregor’s Garden Casserole
See our Homage Recipe Below
Mr. McGregor’s Dinner
The Tale of Peter Rabbit
by Beatrix Potter
Once upon a time there were four little rabbits, and their names were—–
Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter.
They lived with their mother in a sandbank, underneath the root of a very big fir tree.
“Now my dears,” said old Mrs. Rabbit one morning, “you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don’t go into Mr. McGregor’s garden. Your father had an accident there. He was put into a pie by Mrs. McGregor.”
“Now run along, and don’t get into mischief. I am going out.”
Then old Mrs. Rabbit took a basket and her umbrella, and went through the wood to the baker’s. She bought a loaf of brown bread and five currant buns.
Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail, who were good little bunnies, went down the lane to gather blackberries.
But Peter, who was very naughty, ran straightaway to Mr. McGregor’s garden and squeezed under the gate!
First, he ate some lettuce and some French beans, and then he ate some radishes.
Then, feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley.
But round the end of the cucumber frame, whom should he meet but Mr. McGregor!
Mr. McGregor was on his hands and knees planting young cabbages, but he jumped up and ran after Peter, waving a rake and calling out, “Stop thief!”
Peter was most dreadfully frightened. He rushed all over the garden, for he had forgotten the way back to the gate.
He lost one of his shoes among the cabbages, and the other shoe among the potatoes.
After losing his shoes, he ran on four legs and went faster. He might have got away altogether if he had not unfortunately run into a gooseberry net, and got caught by the large buttons on his jacket. It was a blue jacket with brass buttons, quite new.
Peter gave himself up for lost and shed big tears. But his sobs were overheard by some friendly sparrows, who flew to him in great excitement and begged him to try to free himself.
Mr. McGregor came up with a sieve, which he intended to pop upon Peter. But Peter wriggled out just in time, leaving his jacket behind him.
Peter rushed into the tool shed and jumped into a can. It would have been a beautiful thing to hide in—–if it had not had so much water in it.
Mr. McGregor was quite sure that Peter was somewhere in the tool shed, perhaps hidden underneath a flowerpot. He began to turn them over carefully, looking under each.
Presently Peter sneezed….“Kertyschoo!”
Mr. McGregor was after him in no time.
He tried to put his foot upon Peter, who jumped out of a window, upsetting three plants. The window was too small for Mr. McGergor. He was tired of running after Peter and went back to his work.
Peter sat down to rest. He was out of breath and trembling with fright. He had not the least idea which way to go. Also he was very damp from sitting in that can.
After a time he began to wander about, going lippity–lippity–not very fast, and looking all around.
He found a door in a wall, but it was locked. There was no room for a fat little rabbit to squeeze underneath. An old mouse was running in and out over the stone doorstep, carrying peas and beans to her family in the wood. Peter asked her the way to the gate, but she had such a large pea in her mouth that she could not answer. Peter began to cry.
Then he tried to find his way straight across the garden, but he became more and more puzzled. Soon he came to a pond. A white cat was staring at some goldfish. She sat very still. Peter thought it best to go away. He had heard about cats from his cousin, Benjamin Bunny.
Peter went back toward the toolshed. Suddenly, quite close to him, he heard the noise of a hoe—-scr-r-itch, scratch, scratch, scritch. Peter scurried underneath the bushes. But soon, as nothing happened, he came out, climbed upon a wheelbarrow, and peeped over. The first thing he saw was Mr. McGregor hoeing onions. His back was turned toward Peter, and beyond him was the gate!
Peter got down very quietly off the wheelbarrow and started running as fast as he could along a straight walk behind some black-currant bushes.
Mr. McGregor caught sight of him at the corner, but Peter did not care. He slipped underneath the gate…
…and was safe at last in the wood outside the garden.
Mr. McGregor hung up the little blue jacket and the shoes for a scarecrow to frighten away the blackbirds.
Peter never stopped running or looked behind him till he got home to the big fir tree.
He was so tired that he flopped down upon the nice soft sand on the floor of the rabbit hole and shut his eyes.
His mother was busy cooking. She wondered what he had done with his clothes. It was the second little jacket and pair of shoes that Peter had lost in a fortnight!
I am sorry to say that Peter was not very well during the evening.
His mother put him to bed and made some camomile tea. She gave a dose of it to Peter!
“One tablespoon to be taken at bedtime.”
But Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail had bread and milk and blackberries for supper.
Brodie’s Bunny Stake
When my son Brodie was a little boy in school he made the ‘bunny stake’ above that is in one of my pots. He simply painted a tongue depressor white, glued some white and pink felt onto the back of the stick, to represent the bunny ears, and drew a cute face onto the front. I still have it! I never throw away my children’s art or papers. 🙂
Veronica and Brodie’s Easter Bunnies
One year when we were living in Hawaii the Easter bunny brought Veronica and Brodie the giant bunnies. Maybe one day they will want them. But until then, I will keep them safe.
Flower Pot Napkin Ring Craft
I made the little pot napkin rings many years ago. I simply bought a bunch of small clay pots from a hardware store, and then painted them white with some flowers on them. To make it a napkin ring just pull a napkin up through the hole in the bottom of the pot, like so.
Very nice to enjoy your garden vegetables for Easter.
Bunnies, Flowers, and Easter Baskets
Outside in the Garden
Happy Spring and Easter
Most Beautiful Time of Year
What’s in YOUR Easter Basket?
Veronica’s Easter Bunny w/ Watering Can
Mr. McGregor’s Garden Potting Bench
Peter Rabbit Trailer
My Peter Rabbit Blog Post did coincide with the new Peter Rabbit Movie, 2018.
I had no idea this movie was even being made. I actually took these photos for our Peter Rabbit post a few years ago and finally got around to working on it. My children have always loved the Peter Rabbit story. I hope they always do!
Don’t forget your Easter Treat!
Julie and Gordon
Mrs. McGregor’s Garden Casserole
Mrs. McGregor uses vegetables that her husband grows in his garden to make her delicious and healthy foods.
Here she created a garden casserole for their dinner.
What a great meal!
(This Recipe Made Two Casseroles.
One to eat and one to freeze.)
30 Brussel Sprouts
6 Tbsp. Seasonings – Any you like
2 Gallon Baggies that you Seal (You will divide the Brussel Sprouts, Seasonings, and Olive Oil into separate Baggies to marinate.)
1 Cup Olive Oil – 1/2 Cup in each bag
4 Cups Small Carrots
1 Large Head of Broccoli
4 Cups Pasta (we used Fusilli)
2 Large Sticks of Margarine/Butter or 1 Cup
1 Cup Flour
~4 Cups Milk
3/4 Cup Parmesean Cheese for the Mornay Sauce
3/4 Cup Fontina Cheese
3/4 Cup Pecorino Cheese
1/2 Cup Parmesean Cheese for the Casserole Topping
1 Cup Whole Wheat Panko (Japanese Bread Crumbs)
You can use regular bread crumbs in place of the Panko.
1 Cup French’s Fried Onions
What I, Julie, love about casseroles is that you are given a medley of many things all together and all that is ever required to eat it with is some bread.
To start, prepare your Brussel Sprouts the day ahead… or in our case 3 days ahead. You want to marinate them in your spice mixture.
Cut 15 Brussel Sprouts in half, then wash them. Per Bag!
To the right below, is the seasoning we used.
You can use something with herbs, garlic, with a touch of salt and pepper or you can use an already prepared seasoning as we did.
Place your cut Brussel Sprouts in two large zip lock bags.
Add about 1/2 Cup Olive Oil to the bag and your seasonings.
Zip the bag shut and toss to mix the ingredients.
The oil will help distribute the seasoning.
Place the bag in the refrigerator overnight to let the sprouts marinate.
We left them in the refrigerator 3 nights before cooking. That extra time with the marinade made them extra tender and delicious.
Here, we marinated the two bags of sprouts with different seasonings.
You could freeze one for later use if you like.
BUT FIRST, allow them to marinate for a day or two so that all the flavors can blend together before you place them in the freezer.
After 24 hours or so, place the sprouts on aluminum foil laid over a large sheet pan.
Ensure the sprouts are cut side down.
Roast them in the oven for ~35-40 min. at 350’F
Here is a great picture of what they should look like when done.
The tops are well browned and the cut side caramelized.
While the sprouts are cooking you can go ahead and steam your carrots and broccoli.
Place your steamer in a large pot with ~1 inch of water
Wash your carrots…
Place your carrots down first, then top with the broccoli, as the carrots will need more cooking time than the broccoli.
Wash your large head of broccoli
Then cut off the stalk and slice the stalk into florets.
Our Pasta’s for our Casseroles
Try to make a statement with your pasta choice.
The pasta on the right, really fits this dish! We had both left over from meal’s past.
After about 10 min of steaming, remove the broccoli florets while they are bright green and still have some bite to them. Place them in a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process.
Cook your carrots about 5 min. longer, so they too still have some bite to them and not at all fully cooked.
Remove the carrots from the heat, and place them in a colander and run cold water over them as well.
Broccoli and Carrots Ready
In the meantime, cook your pasta to al dente, or a little less as there is still some cooking to do when combined in the casserole dish.
We used the Flowers in One Casserole and the Fusilli in Another
Prepare your (Mornay) or cheese sauce.
This is basically a Bechamel sauce with cheese added to it.
We used Fontina, Pecorino, and Parmesean cheese in this sauce.
When the pasta is done, pour them into a colander and rinse with cold water.
Here, I used two full sticks of butter for the sauce.
Slice your cheese…
Melt your butter over medium heat.
Add equal parts of flour to the melted butter and mix well.
You will then have a roux.
Add enough flour until the mixture looks like wet sand.
Just about like wet sand.
Now, it’s just right!
Cook the roux for about 3 min.
Doing this will remove the flour taste to the roux.
Add milk to the roux and whisk.
You will have to add about 4 cups of milk, but add it in 1/2 cup stages.
The flour will absorb more and more as it cooks, so stop when it is as thick as you like. As it sits, it will likely become thicker, so just add a touch more milk.
You now have a Bechamel sauce.
This is great on biscuits with just some chopped sausage added to it or have it as it is. It is also nice on mashed potatoes or baked chicken.
Add your sliced cheese to the Bechamel sauce.
Whisk until fully melted and combined.
You have now made a Mornay Sauce!
Now, combine all your cooked items together to make the casserole.
The Ingredients Here are Enough for TWO Casseroles
Here we are using a Casserole Dish and a Cast Iron Skillet
Place some of your Mornay sauce into your casserole dish or your cast iron skillet.
Here, we are starting with the cast iron skillet.
Then add some carrots, broccoli, and pasta.
Then add your sprouts and then add more sauce and repeat.
Place your vegetables and pasta into the skillet in a decorative fashion.
Ladle in more sauce.
Adding more pasta to the mix, then finish with some Mornay sauce.
We topped one with Whole Wheat Panko…
You can see the Panko Bread Crumbs on Top
then topped with French’s Fried Onions…
(A childhood favorite of mine. Julie) 🙂
and a little shredded Parmesean cheese!
(I do think that Gordon went a little overboard with the Parmesean cheese. Although the taste was wonderful I would have liked to see more of our beautiful vegetables peeking through.)
Bake in the oven at 350’F for ~30-45 min. or so…. depending on your oven.
Here we used the same process using the casserole dish as we did the cast iron skillet.
Again, strategically place your vegetables and pasta into the dish.
Add your Mornay sauce and repeat.
We froze this one to eat for a nice brunch.
Adding those delicious French’s Onions
And now here comes all the cheese! 🙂
When the top is brown and the sauce is bubbly, take it out of the oven.
Serve while still hot… hopefully you too will have a lovely setting like Julie made.
Treat yourself… WHY NOT!?