traditions – Mom’s lasagna

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Picture of yesterday’s snow
because I don’t have a pic of lasagna

Yesterday, the meat sauce. Today, Mom’s lasagna…

1 box lasagna noodles (this works fine with the oven ready variety, too)
1 lb. cottage¹ cheese (or ricotta)
8 oz. grated mozzarella
8 oz. grated mild cheddar
1 or 2 eggs
spaghetti sauce
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Fresh grated Parmesan

Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Rinse, drain and let cool. (Or skip this step if you’re using the oven-ready variety.)

In a large mixing bowl, add the Italian seasoning & the egg(s) to the cottage (or ricotta) cheese. Mix well. Blend in the mozzarella and the cheddar.

In an 8×13 casserole dish, coat the bottom with 1/4 cup of sauce. Place a layer of noodles and 1/2 of the cheese mixture over the sauce.  Add another 1/4 cup of sauce. (Follow pkg. directions for amount of sauce with the oven-ready noodles – you’ll need a lot more sauce.) Repeat for layer 2: noodles, cheese, sauce. Add a final layer of noodles. Top that with a good coating of sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes.² Let sit before dishing out.

Serve with more sauce, garlic bread, and meatballs and sausage! Enjoy.

~ ~ ~ ~
¹If you wonder about using cottage cheese, my parents passed down the story of moving from New York to Georgia, and then South Carolina, in the late 1940s. Grocery stores in the south didn’t have ricotta cheese! Mom substituted cottage cheese. For years, I liked her version of lasagna better.
² You can also make this days or weeks ahead and freeze. When I was a kid, we had lasagna-making days. A huge pot of sauce bubbled on the stove top all day long, filling the house with wonderful smells. We’d gather at the kitchen table and create a dozen or more pans of lasagna – some to give as Christmas gifts, other to freeze and take out for other special meals after the holidays. Mmm…

Family Peace, Christmas, & lasagna

The final countdown has begun. I shipped the files for the novel to Jaye Manus for formatting. In a few days – assuming Jaye can make heads or tails of the .doc file – I’ll be reviewing proofs for Kindle format! You can’t imagine the work that goes into formatting a Word document to make it look good on an e-reader.

Jaye tells me once the proofs are approved, she’ll do some tweaking so the files are available in other formats. I’ll be making the novel available at Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords. I’m not sure what the timeline will be, so keep checking back here for that announcement. EEEEEK!

Now I can start thinking about Christmas. I used to decorate over my Thanksgiving break, but novel revisions kept me busy. I haven’t done a thing yet other than rearrange a couple of chairs in my great room. Found a few dust bunnies in the process. 🙂

I did make 3 pans of lasagna today in between my final files preparation for Jaye. One was delivered to co-worker Laurel – get well soon! The other 2 are in the freezer, ready to be whipped out for holiday meals with the family.

making lasagna
my lasagna assembly line

I’ve carried on my mom’s tradition of lasagna for Christmas dinner. My kids would be upset if we had anything else. I set up my assembly line today but had no helpers. When I was a kid, 3 or 4 of us would sit around the kitchen table and make a dozen pans. Mom had a humongous stock pot that bubbled with her homemade sauce. The house smelled wonderful! I know she’d forgive me for using doctored Prego – she stopped making her own when she was in her 70s.

So – lasagna is one Christmas tradition at my house. My writer friend Jen Fitzgerald has been blogging about her tradtions. What about you? What traditions do you have?