(Gertrude Cochran’s recipe)

 Mac and I are temporarily staying with friends because of Hurricane Ike. I cannot reveal their names because the hostess didn’t want me to mention them, however, anyone who knows us will know who it is. They have been extremely gracious in making us feel welcome and comfortable in their home.

We evacuated to north Louisiana, staying with Mac’s sister Ava McWhorter. Then we spent a couple of days in Spring with daughter and son-in-law Pat and Bob Kuehn. We returned to Bridge City with some family members, including Pat and Bob; son Mike McWhorter; daughter and son-in-law Carol and Herb Farley, who helped with the cleanup process. Wouldn’t you know, Mac gave us all a scare. He was alone and went into his muddy workshop; then slipped and fell. He called for help but no one heard him. Finally we began to look for him. Herb and Mike found him. When Mike, Bob and Pat left that day, we sent Mac home with them, not to return until the slimy floors could be safely dried. Herb returned to Louisiana and Carol stayed behind. After we finished working in the house that day, Carol and I retired to our host’s home. Our hostess had prepared dinner, not knowing that shrimp is Carol’s favorite food. Nothing could have pleased Carol more than this shrimp casserole. I didn’t keep track of how many helpings she took. The recipe is from McDonald Baptist Church’s cookbook, “McDonald’s Magnificent Menus” and submitted by Gertrude Cochran. Our hostess adds a few extras and it is excellent. If you like shrimp, you will want to add this one to your files. It is a keeper!

• 1 1/3 cup precooked rice
• 1 cup finely chopped onion
• 1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
• 2 tbsp. butter or margerine
• 2 tbsp. enriched flour
• 1 1/2 cups tomato juice
• 1/2 tsp. worchestershire sauce
• Dash Tabasco sauce
• 1/2 cup grated American cheese
• 2 (4 1/2 ounce) cans or 1 1/2 cups or more shrimp (may use frozen)
• 1 cup bread crumbs

Our hostess’ additions:
• 1/2 cup chopped celery
• 1/4 tsp. red pepper
• Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
• Minced garlic to taste

Prepare rice as directed on package. Saute onions, green peppers and celery in the butter until tender but not brown. Gradually blend in tomato juice. Add seasonings and cook until thick. Add cheese and cook on low, stirring until melted. Add cooked rice and shrimp, mix well. Pour mixture into greased 1 1/2 quart casserole. Top with bread crumbs and dots of butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until brown. Serves 8.

Post Note: Ike has helped us realize what is truly valuable in life. The Lord has blessed us because we have each other, loving family and dear friends. We have only lost “things.” The Good Lord has promised us a castle someday and we will not have to deal with storms, problems or sorrow. We regret to see the destruction the hurricane has caused so many. There are those that have experience worse damage than ourselves and my heart aches for them. We keep all of you in prayer.