The original post was published 12/29/2011. I’ve update the recipe and added new photos. We still carry on the tradition of Christmas Morn Casserole.
Traditions play an important role in my life. Whether the traditions relate to family, religion or culture, they are the thread that ties together generations. One generation teaches the next the importance and meaning of the tradition. By carrying on traditions, you keep deceased loved ones alive in your heart and in your memories.
The generational connections made possible by traditions not only add a sentimental element, but they help define you and give you a sense of the values and customs of generations before you. Ancestors who you may not have had the good fortune to meet are a part of who you are today. Following their traditions brings them into your life in a way that’s permanent and meaningful.
I started a Christmas breakfast tradition many years ago. Y’all can be pretty sure that any tradition I start is going to involve food. I figure a food tradition is pretty safe and something that is likely to be handed down. After all, we all have to eat. A tradition of sky-diving on Christmas morning may not have the same lasting power generation to generation as a Christmas breakfast traditional dish.
For starters, I have no interest in jumping out of plane unless it’s on fire and no more than three feet above the ground. I do have a big interest in having a good, easy and stress-free Christmas breakfast. Plus, sharing a meal together is always high on my list of important things to do. Not so much with sky-diving.
A recipe I came across years ago in a Gooseberry Patch book seemed to be the perfect dish for a Christmas morning traditional breakfast. You make it up the night before and store it in your refrigerator. Make ahead dishes are a sure-fire key to stress reduction. The casserole bakes for an hour which you gives you ample time to celebrate and enjoy all the wonderful gifts and goodies left by Santa and all the other nice people in the life of you and your children.
Place the casserole in the oven as soon as you stumble out of your bed and it’s ready at the perfect time to be enjoyed by the whole family. My family loves this dish. To make it even more special, I only make one time a year. That gives them 364 days to look forward to the next time they’ll get to eat it.
My daughter, Amy, who has our only grandchildren, two-year old Jackson and Ella, lives near us. Last Christmas, Amy decided that she wanted them to have Christmas breakfast at their home so their could start their own Christmas morning tradition. I will admit to being heartbroken initially when I got the news. But I quickly realized I was being selfish. Her tradition was going to include the Christmas breakfast casserole, too. She wanted her children to become accustomed to the wonderful aroma of the casserole baking in her oven as they enjoyed Christmas morning in their own home and then sitting down to breakfast while the living room is covered in boxes and wrapping paper. She’s teaching them the importance of traditions and this Christmas morning tradition in particular.
While I miss not having my whole family together Christmas morning, I have the peace and joy of knowing that this tradition, so important to my daughter, will forever bind me to my grandchildren and hopefully many subsequent generations. The tradition that I started a few years ago has already touched three generations. That’s powerful.
We continue to enjoy this casserole on Christmas morning at our home even though we no longer have the Christmas morning hustle and bustle that you do when small children are around. Our oldest daughter, Marcia and our son Tyler and daughter-in-law Jaclyn, join us for breakfast on Christmas morning. It’s still a good time to enjoy a meal with people who you love. It’s not just the little children that anticipate certain things at Christmas. The big people do, too.
Y’all come see us.
Christmas Morn Casserole
Adapted from Gooseberry Patch Old-Fashioned Country Christmas . I modified the recipe by using Country Dijon mustard instead of mustard powder , half and half instead of milk. Also, I added more cheese. I prefer sharp cheddar in this dish. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
6 eggs, beaten
2 cups half and half
1 1/2 teaspoons Country Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup biscuit baking mix (I use Bisquick)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 pound bulk pork sausage, browned, drained and cooled (I prefer Jimmy Dean Original)
To beaten eggs, add half and half, mustard and oregano. Whisk until blended.
Add in baking mix, cheese and sausage. Mix well with a heavy wooden spoon.
Pour into a greased 9×13 casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 60 minutes or until browned. Serve warm.
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- Adapted from Gooseberry Patch Old-Fashioned Country Christmas . I modified the recipe by using Country Dijon mustard instead of mustard powder , half and half instead of milk. Also, I added more cheese. I prefer sharp cheddar in this dish. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Country Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup biscuit baking mix (I use Bisquick)
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 pound bulk pork sausage, browned, drained and cooled (I prefer Jimmy Dean Original)
- To beaten eggs, add half and half, mustard and oregano. Whisk until blended.
- Add in baking mix, cheese and sausage. Mix well with a heavy wooden spoon.
- Pour into a greased 9x13 casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 60 minutes or until browned. Serve warm.