Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Guiding Light

A week ago we said goodbye to the longest running show in television history, the soap opera "The Guiding Light". After a 72 year run that started on radio and moved to TV in the 50s, the show was cancelled in April, and aired its last episode on Friday, September 18th. When I saw the advertisements that it was the last week of the show, my first thought was that my Grandma would have been sad. Although my Grandmother has been gone for close to 24 years, she helped shape me into who I am today. She and my grandfather were devoted CBS soap opera watchers. They were retired farmers and earned every relaxing day of their retirement. They spent weekdays watching their “stories” – they never called them soap operas – The Young & the Restless, Midday News, As The World Turns, and The Guiding Light. By default, because I spent so much time with them when I was younger, I watched these “stories” too. I haven't been a soap opera junkie since college, but, truth be known, I tuned in the last week to see how they would end this long running drama. Would Reva and Josh finally end up together? Would Alan stop his treacherous ways? Would Phillip live? They promised answers to all of these burning questions.

Many familiar characters were still on the show, and throughout the last couple weeks they brought back characters that hadn’t been on the show in years. YEARS. It was pathetically corny, and although happily ever after is not the soap opera MO, it all ended happily. I loved every minute of it, corny though it was.

In honor of my childhood and the many days I spent with my grandparents, I’m sharing a rice hotdish (hey, I’m a Minnesotan who now lives in Colorado) I made last week. The recipe was my grandma’s, although admittedly, I have updated it. It was a hit at my house!


2 cups cooked rice (I use whole wheat rice and cook in chicken stock for more flavor)
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
8 oz fresh sliced mushrooms
1 can cream mushroom soup (or cream celery)
1 cup milk
2 Tbs. soy sauce

Brown ground beef, drain. Place drained meat in large bowl. In same pan, sauté the mushrooms and onions. Once sautéed, add to the ground meat. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, mix thoroughly.

This recipe is very versatile. Add other vegetables, if you like. I added yellow and orange peppers as well as green onions. Fresh corn kernels would be great too.

Spray baking pan with non-stick cooking oil. Spread rice/meat mixture into pan. Bake 350 for 1 ½ hours.

I didn’t remember to take a picture before it was all gone. Next time!

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