So I’m moving into my new ‘crib’ in February —after 15 years here — and I need to get rid of some stuff. I think I’ll start with the refrigerator. Okay, nevermind the fridge part, cause it looks (and smells) like a horror movie. I’ll get around to that later when I’m ready to go to the local dump.

Let’s see what we’ve got in the freezer part. I hate to throw good food away, and most of this stuff is still good. Not everything, mind you. This, for instance, is probably not still good.

This is left over from our wedding reception (sniff) 10 years ago where we roasted half-a-hog and froze the rest. It’s been in the freezer that whole time. I don’t care what the package says, it’s no longer ‘fresh’.

There’s no way I’m touching that. I’ve kept it around all this time for sentimental reasons, but now that Wifey has run off with Raoul the Pool Boy™ (just kidding… she never ‘runs’ anywhere), it’s going to the dump too, along with what’s left of my broken heart (sniff… did I already say “sniff” ?). But let’s just forget about that and get on with what’s left worth saving.

Here I’ve added a can of cream of mushroom and a can of nacho cheese soup to a casserole dish. Cream of chicken would work too, I guess — it’s just what I had handy. Don’t obsess about it, just throw some frikkin’ soup in there. I’ve also added some chopped red and green bell peppers, about ½ lb. of frozen peas, and some bacon ends that I fried up.

Bacon ends tend to come in odd sizes, so while you’ve got them in the pan, cut the big ones down to bite size unless you really want to practice the Heimlich Maneuver on somebody later on.

I remember this one time when the whole family was at a get-together at the Old Spaghetti Factory here in Portland, Oregon. Good ole’ Mom was about half-drunk and talking a-mile-a-minute (LOUDLY!), while drinking wine and chomping on Italian bread, all at the same time. Suddenly, she gets a big chunk of the bread stuck in her throat and starts gasping for breath while clutching at her neck. EVERYBODY PANIC!

So after about five seconds of everybody panicking, my brother, Jesse*, reaches over and whacks her good, right between the shoulder blades. BAM! That chunk of bread came flying out of her face like a cruise missle headed for Iran, but it landed in the middle of the table somewhere instead… and then Mom goes on with her yakkin’ like nothing had ever happened.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the casserole. Now I’ve fried the hashbrowns to perfection and browned about 1lb. of hamburger. You can see the hashbrowns sitting on the dutch oven lid in the background in one contiguous patty, sorta. That’s the way you want them. Nice and crisp.

And when you brown the hamburger, brown it fer cryin’ outloud! You don’t want it to be grey. Put the burner on about 6, or whatever, until you hear the burger, literally, popping in the pan. Don’t forget to stir it unless you just need to check the battery in your smoke alarm. You want it to be crisp. With all that soupy crap in there already, you want to balance the texture with crispness. Did I just say “balance the texture with crispness”? Geez, I’m a fag. Anyway, you want it to look like this .

Throw that in the dish along with the onions you just saute’ed. Now stir it all up. If you’ve done everything right so far, it should look like it’s already been ate once — kinda like this.

 Now smooth that out and take your hashbrown ‘pancake’ and cut it/break it/arrange it to fit over the top of the casserole and shred some cheese all over it. Kinda like this.  

Put a lid on it and pop that bad boy into your oven (that you’ve already heated to 350 degrees) for about 45 minutes. If you have any stoner friends, now would be a good time to call them and invite them over to dinner.

But wait! “Why is it called A$$hole Casserole”, you might be saying? I thought you’d never ask…

Making the A$$holes:

The a$$holes are really nothing but onion rings, which you will be making while that sucker up there is baking. First you’ll need some beer batter. This is incredibly easy. Put one cup of flour in a bowl, crack an egg into it, and mix it up. It will be chunky. Once you’ve done that, start slowly pouring some beer into it while mixing with a fork or whisk until it becomes the consistency of pancake batter, more or less. That’s it. You may drink the rest of the beer.

Toss some flour into a big Ziplock bag along with the onion circles that you just realized you had prepared earlier. Shake it up. Take them out and toss  gently put them into the batter and then into the hot frying pan w/lots of oil that you had waiting for them. Cook until golden brown.

Seriously, cook until golden brown. I know everybody says that, but what does it really mean? It means “cook until golden brown”. Don’t forget to turn them over and cook the other side until what? That’s right; Golden Brown.

Now take the casserole out of the oven and distribute the a$$holes over the top. I would have used more of them but I was out of onion. Use more than I did. You will probably have some little Golden Brown drips of batter left in the frying pan. I call these “hemorrhoids”.  

Sprinkle the hemorrhoids around the a$$holes and shred a little more cheese over the whole thing. Not too much — you want the a$$holes and the hemorrhiods to stand out. Presentation is everything. 

You will now turn the oven to broil and pop that dish back in there. You will not go smoke a cigarette (or anything else), answer the phone, text/tweet/twitter, watch TV, or anything. You will stay right there and carefully watch the action. You don’t want Mr. Big Burly Fireman to come crashing through your door with an axe. Or maybe you do. Whatever. I’m not here to judge.

When the cheese has melted and the top is just starting to turn brown, take it out! NOW! It should look something like this.

Right about this time your stoner friends (if you have any) should be arriving for dinner. Feed them this. They will be forever grateful (if they remember) and you will have cleared-out some of the stuff in your freezer. It’s win-win!

*Incidentally, the song, That’s My Brother, was written about my brother Jesse. It took me two years to write that song, basically because that’s how long it took me to come-up with a rhyme for a$$hole. You can listen to a sample of it here at iTunes or go here and buy the whole CD download for only $1 dollar .  Such a deal I wouldn’t make for my own choking, blue-in-the-face mother!

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