So give me a quick guess. In your collection of recipes and cookbooks, how many recipes for squash casserole do you have?
There are six in the Bread of Life cookbook by the First Baptist Church of Hardeeville. I selected this one because of the green pepper and the red pimento, which give added flavor to the dish and make it pretty.
If you have a vegetable garden, your garden basket is probably running over with squash, which one of the easiest vegetables to grow. If you don’t garden, the farmers’ markets and your supermarket shelves have big displays of the pretty yellow vegetable.
Squash is the dieter’s friend. One cup has only 20 calories. When you add the cheese, eggs, and bread crumbs, that goes up a bit, but you’ll think the dish is worth the calories.
Donna Ridgle of Hardeeville contributed the recipe to the church’s cookbook. Jay Coder has been the pastor at First Baptist for almost three years, and the church is in Savannah River Association. John and Donna Ridgle joined the church in 1994 after moving to Hardeeville from Savannah, Ga., where they had lived for 31 years.
When I called, Donna wasn’t home and I chatted with John.
Donna, a former floral designer, has not been well for a year and has had to curtail her church attendance. John, who owns and operates a garage in Hardeeville, is a deacon and attends Sunday school. The couple have two daughters. Victoria and her husband, Jon Parker, live in Waycross, Ga.; and Kenna and her husband, Roy Robertson, live in Walterboro with their children Kelly, Ashley, Adam, and Jamie.
The Ridgles enjoy camping, and for 13 years had a permanent camp site at Lake Marion but had to release it because of Donna’s health.
This “Glorified Squash” recipe is from his mother Jane, says John, and she cooked with a pinch of this and a cup of that. Donna’s recipe is really good, but probably you could be a little relaxed in the measuring. When I made it, I think I used a bit more onion and pepper but followed the other instructions.
Everyone at our lunch table liked the dish, and seconds were taken.
Let this be your squash casserole. We thank Donna, John, and John’s mother Jane for sharing it. This is the kind of recipe we like: it can be prepared early in the day, refrigerated, then baked after church just in time for a healthy …. Sunday Dinner.
Jane Ridgle’s Glorified Squash
2 cups cooked yellow summer squash
3/4 cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoons butter or bacon drippings
1/2 cup milk ( or enough to make a “soupy” mixture; it thickens while baking)
2 tablespoons onion, chopped
2 tablespoons green bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons pimento, chopped
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup grated cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Buttered bread crumbs
Mash the squash well, then add remaining ingredients except the buttered crumbs. Pour into a greased baking dish. Top with the buttered crumbs.