Newton Free Library

Not your mother’s casserole – wild rice, chicken and mushrooms.

california wild rice -photo from california wild rice websiteThis is the wonderful chicken and rice dish that our hostess made for the Spring Fling lunch. The original recipe calls for leftover turkey and I am definitely keeping it on file for Thanksgiving leftovers.

I am making this today and will put up the recipe now. I will let you know if it came out as well as the original!

Many thanks, lovely hostess!

Wild Rice Casserole – (Chicken) Leftover Turkey

Feed 16 easily – we are having 8 people for dinner so I can easily cut this recipe in half.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups wild rice
  • 2 lbs. sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cups of sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 6 cups cooked chicken (your choice of parts)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (if any nut allergies, just leave this out)
  • 6 cans chicken broth (I use boxed broth – I think three are comparable to 6 cans – will confirm)
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream

Wash rice thoroughly and cover with water, bring to a boil and remove from heat and let soak for 1 hour. Drain. (I did this last night and put the rice in a covered container)

Saute mushrooms and onions in 1/2 cup of butter until brown. Add the chicken, almonds and broth (not all, save out a can) and cream. Mix lightly and turn into two 2-quart casserole dishes.

Dot each casserole with 2 tablespoons of butter and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. (You can use one larger dish but this will add to the cooking time).

You can freeze these to be cooked later, chill the casseroles in the fridge, then wrap, seal and  freeze. When ready to cook, place covered casseroles – unthawed – in a 300 degree oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. Take off foil and raise the heat to 350 degrees (now dot with the 2 TB. of butter) and bake for 1 hour more.

Enjoy!

Spring Fling sprung even on such a cold, gray day with a lovely thank you lunch

volunteers with pre-auction baskets for newton Free Library Spring Fling fundraiserWe gathered at lovely artist friend’s home (so, so, so beautiful that it defies description except to say it is a perfect, perfect house) today to lunch and chat about the Spring Fling. I was (characteristically) late but (uncharacteristically) really late…on the upside, my hair looked really, really good (it only looks this nice when I have been to the salon and that was way past due).  So although I missed most of the lunch due to Boston streets tied up with pre-Marathon traffic, my lovely friend made me up a plate and I caught a few  minutes of the dessert and got the recipe for the chicken and wild rice that was incredible and just right for a raw, gray day. The fundraiser was a great success – we are sending out thank you notes – and it is put together by a few very trusty library employees, the Trustees of the Library and the sweetest volunteer committee ever.

Thank you to all who attended, helped and donated. It was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to working with this lovely group of women again next year.

Swollen feet, social ‘ept-edness’ and flowers at the library

Swollen feet notwithstanding, I had a great night.  The library fundraiser went off without a (discernable) hitch.  Sure, a computer crashed during check-in but only because of an over-zealous book return.  The library was transformed in to spring-like bower (flowers by Whole Foods and 1-800-flowers).  Authors* hosted and honored – check.  Guests well-fed (wonderful food from Bakers’ Best) and entertained (Tom Ashbrook and Bill Novak  as hosts – check.  Great silent auction items scooped up – check.

The library was transformed by a team of dedicated volunteers and library employees who have been working towards this day since last year.  We range in age from 40 (ish) to 80 (ish) and share a love of books and the library. We are some or all of the following: visual, literary, quiet, chatty, giving, caring, considerate, kind, opinionated, employed, retired, SAHMs, socially adept**, talented, and dedicated.  We spend a good amount of time in the weeks leading up to the event putting together auction items, labels, programs, name tags, planning the catering, setting up the event, getting babysitters,chatting up the event to friends, selecting and buying books to go with each auction item (from the New England Mobile Book Fair  – long-standing supporters of the library) , and wrapping, wrapping, wrapping.  We are lucky to have a community that supports the library with donations of professional services, goods and one time events (Kiss 108 concert and tour of studio) and the wonderful people who host authors, bid on auction items, support the library with time, energy and showing up for events like this one.

* Authors celebrated last evening:  James Carroll, Anita Diamant, Lisa Genova, Jean Kilbourne, Sara Lawrence Lightfoot, Mitchell Zuckoff.

** I have the temerity to invent the word “ept” as in inept or adept in front of the editor of the local paper, The Newton Tab.

Today, I look like an organized and together person when really I am not

While ferrying around in my trusty Mommy Car today, one stop was for the Library fundraiser – I was to drop off blank name cards at a fellow volunteer’s house.  She is going to use her (as yet unsung) skill in calligraphy to transform these randomly cut cards ( so green of me, I used the back of a calendar).  I had a big piece of plastic to protect them from the rain but hadn’t thought to leave them for her in a nice package.  Fortunately, Mommy Car is loaded with stuff and I was able to find a rubber band (from my stack on the gear shift from the take out sushi from Whole Foods) and further searching revealed a post-it note (although slightly wrinkled, not written on save for the cute PMS  joke on it) and a (working) pen.  I wrote a note, thanking my generous friend, put in on the (now ripped to normal size) plastic  over the (green) cards securing it with the rubber band and dropped it on her porch.  It looked like I may have even thought to package it this way before I left the house.  Not so.  Oh, well, now she knows I am really a disorganized wretch that sometimes lands on my feet and is pleased as punch but sometimes feels so guilty for looking together that I tell on myself.

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