My sister and her family are visiting this weekend, and I introduced her to our family’s breakfast casserole, which we call Christmas Casserole.
I find Christmas tricky to navigate as a pastor who is also a parent. There is no leisurely family time on Christmas Eve, because I’m at the church at 3:30 p.m. and not home until sometime after 9 p.m., by which time the children are all in bed. Unable to sleep, of course, but still in bed.
On Christmas Day, however, we do manage to carve out at least an hour or sometimes two together before I am out the door. (I realize this will all change when we have a house full of teenagers, but for the moment our gang are still early risers on Christmas morning.)
This is our routine: Mike gets the kids up who are not already up, while I get the coffee going and turn the oven on. Mike turns on Christmas carols, lights the tree and finds his cell phone for photos, while I pull out the make-ahead Christmas casserole from the fridge and slip it into the heated oven. When we’re ready, we give the okay to the kids waiting impatiently at the top of the stairs, and the chaos of gift-opening begins.
When the unwrapping is over: Ta-Da! The casserole is ready to come out of the oven. We have a hot meal and I get some protein to keep me going through the service. As a pastor, I get the *feeling* of having a leisurely Christmas morning with my family and a feast for breakfast, without much extra effort.
It takes me about 10-15 minutes to ready the casserole the day before. It’s filling enough to keep everyone satisfied until after I am home from church, by which time Mike, or members of the extended family are on Kitchen Patrol.
Google recipes for make-ahead breakfast casseroles. I use ones with frozen hash browns or tater tots because: easier.