Big Mama's squash casserole was only made once a year - at Thanksgiving! It was as important to the meal as the turkey or sweet potato pie. So, what happens when Big Mama has gained her wings and her much beloved recipe has flown away with her? Little Mama had to get to work.
I am the "Little Mama" in this case. I am Valda Ford, a Registered Nurse and Public Health expert but, most of all, I am the one who figured out Mama's recipe! Of course, Kibi's Crazy Casserole is not my Mama's recipe. It is "differently delicious" and once you try it you will have to have it regularly.
Kibi, the reason for this labor of love, is my son. He has been the one requiring this recipe and is the one who has made it known to people outside of the family - to rave reviews. So, like the O'Jays said, "Got to give the people - give the people what they want!" We are ready for prime time and ready to share this differently delicious casserole cup with you.
Over the years many people asked what was in the original casserole. It was simple: squash, onions, some type of cream soup and some type of Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix. Mama was not much for demonstrating what she did in the kitchen. She worked really hard to raise five of us on her own so food was about getting the essentials done. No muss. No fuss. But, on Thanksgiving, she would always take the time to put out quite the feast. It was a full family smorgasbord with everyone bringing their best. Big Mama's best was her squash casserole. Once, when sitting beside her in the kitchen either peeling potatoes or snapping green beans, she remarked that the secret to having a great squash casserole was making sure that it was neither too wet or too dry. I saw her putting in her layers of ingredients and putting it into the oven. And that, people, is all the kitchen magic I learned from my mother!
When she passed we were devastated on so many levels. We found out that she was the true glue that held us and our extended family together. No one could recreate her charm, warmth, or generous spirit. But, we did work at making her recipes to fill the void a bit. My older sister became the queen of the sweet potato pie. My younger sister figured out that fried chicken secret. My niece rocked the roast beef the same as Big Mama. Truth be told I was not much of a whiz in the kitchen until my mother passed away. Maybe I was somehow passed a blessing from above.
One day necessity definitely showed up as the mother of invention. When having a dinner party in an area not known for having any convenience stores or markets close by I was well into making Mama's squash casserole. I had every eye on the stove working, the oven on and the microwave chirping. I had about 45 minutes to finish before I would welcome about 20 women into the house to support a new entrepreneur. And, as luck would have it, I was out of A LOT of ingredients or the ones I had were stale. I made some minor (and major) changes to the recipe. Ummm ummm! My, my my! Those women were literally scraping the casserole dish. The challenge - figure out what I had thrown together in desperation.
Over time, I got it right and consistently put out a product that people asked me to make for them. Time and again, some person would say "I don't eat squash" and someone familiar with this casserole would tell them to just try it.
What actually brought it all together? The pandemic and the opportunity for mother and son to have a passion project. The idea came up and was germinating when a tragic accident caused my son - Kibi - to have to stop working for over a year. He is the logistics guy and the one who always told me to stop giving the recipe away!!! Well, I listened and I picked his brain and here we are.
Kibi's Crazy Casserole - so named because Kibi badgered me to make it and to make enough to give to friends and family - is now available for your enjoyment. Whether you want a melt-in-your-mouth snack for your daily respite or you need hundreds to cater a larger homecoming or family reunion, we can do it all. We pride ourselves on something truly special and "differently delicious".