This blog contains affiliate links.

Meatball Casserole & DIY

Death is hard.  I remember like it was yesterday when my father passed (it’s been 17 years).  Someone close to my husband lost their adult child last week.  My husband took it hard, and worried for the woman.  Being the Southern Woman that I am, naturally I said I will make a casserole and we can go sit with her.  He was very happy, I had only met the woman once.

Our trip to Savannah is coming quickly and I am on a tight budget.  So I ran to Wal-Mart to collect items for an easy casserole that anyone would love.  A meatball casserole (or spaghetti with meatballs).  It’s simple to put together and can feed a lot of people.  Total including disposable pan $15.
printable recipe card (click photo above)
In order to save time I precooked the pasta, while letting the meatballs thaw in the sauce.  You can add pasta uncooked by adding 10 min to your cook time.  I was in a time crunch so I pre-cooked the pasta.  Also, not included on the recipe I added spices.  The pre-made sauce is good, usually I make my sauce from scratch so I add seasoning like salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to this dish.  Another thing you can do is add fresh cut peppers, onion, and/or mushrooms.  Again I was on a tight budget and time crunch.  A tossed salad would be a great side item to this dish along with garlic bread.  I love taking hamburger buns and putting butter on them under the broiler, then adding garlic powder or rubbing a fresh sliced garlic clove on the toasted bread.While the casserole is cooking, let’s make use of the jar!
One of my Aunts has an amazing flower garden.  I love to visit her and clip fresh flowers to take home.  On one trip I needed something to carry the flowers in, she gave me a plastic coffee can.  Which is when I learned that she saves all glass jars and coffee cans for flowers.  It’s an easy way to give something nice and not have the person worry about giving you a vase back.  Let’s face it vases can be expensive.  It’s very easy.  Simply clean the jar with soap and water.  Remove the label.  You can use nail polish remover to take off the glue used to affix the label.  If you have time you can soak the jar in warm soap water also.
I keep colored twine for occasions like this.  Once you have cleaned your jar, just clip some flowers to size and wrap twine around the rim several times and tie a bow.  It dress’ up the jar and makes the bouquet of flowers look complete.
Now a casserole for someone wouldn’t be complete without a card.  I pick up these $1 packets of note cards from Target in the discount bins.  They have come in handy so often.  As you can see I have several designs to select from.  I choose the single flower card, and selected a bible verse to write in the card.  It’s hard to know what to say when a loved one passes.  Simply writing ‘this sucks’ isn’t the proper southern thing to do.  I went with ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted’ Matthew 5:4.
The finished casserole with fresh minced parsley.  I covered it with foil and put the lid on it.  Affixed to the lid are instructions for re-heating, both frozen or thawed.  Death is hard no matter the circumstance, having a good meal at the ready can help when grief takes over.
I hope you got an idea for the next time you are presented with a similar occurrence.