"I don't do tator tot casserole."
My sisters and I love those words, not because they have anything to do with casseroles, but because they have become a signal of defiance in the Dorr family.
Within a few days of my parents' wedding, my young mom made that very dish for my dad.
It was a valiant effort, and she certainly tried.
She just didn't realize she'd married a man who would rather be subjected to having his eyes gouged out with an ice cream scoop than eat a casserole.
And so it was that when she set it down on the table in front of him, he blurted out, "I don't do tator tot casserole."
(While we girls urge him to more tactful forms of politely declining such dishes today, Mom at least knew where he stood.)
Now, when one of us girls doesn't want to do something we've been asked to, when we disagree with Dad, or simply can't get on board with an idea, we turn to one another or to our parents and say, "I don't do tator tot casserole."
And then usually collapse into a small fit of giggles.
(Now that I think about it, let's not talk about what our husbands undoubtedly thought the first time we whipped out that phrase in the middle of a political discussion.)
So while I won't serve my dad beef and broccoli Wellington the next time he comes to visit (it does look like a casserole, after all), I will give him grief for not indulging in two delicious food items: dairy and beef.
Because when you combine some Heins beef and some mozzarella cheese with a dollop of sour cream, well, let's just say: I DO do casserole.
Beef and Broccoli Wellington
1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
Broccoli (you can use a package of frozen broccoli if that helps)
2 8-oz. packages of mozzarella cheese
8-oz container sour cream
2 8-oz. tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
Brown ground beef, onion, and mushrooms in a skillet over medium heat. Drain. Stir in broccoli and cheese. When cheese is melted, stir in sour cream. Line a lightly greased 13x9 baking pan with one tube crescent rolls. Spoon mixture over rolls; arrange remaining tube of rolls on top. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 6.