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Pinestraw Casserole

Mixing up the Pinestraw Casserole

I have been whipped by a casserole.

The first time that we had it was at Jay’s aunt’s house at Christmas at least 25 years ago.  The next year, I decided to make a Pineapple Casserole for my family.  However, I decided to make it low-fat because I was on one of my never-ending diets.  I used low-fat shredded cheese with the pineapple and hence, the name “Pinestraw Casserole” was born. The cheese turned into straw as, it would NOT melt.

I wish I had pictures of family members trying to pick their teeth with the cheese.  It has happened. Because like all southern cooks, I continue to try this casserole every year that we serve ham. It was delicious with ham, I promise!

One year, I even threatened to scrap the cheese out of the casserole and spread it into our flower beds. There would have been no danger of any animals eating it and it would have lasted about as long as the real thing.

Year after year, I have raked a whole casserole into the trash. I have even grated the cheese like in the picture above and yet, once the casserole is baked; the fruit is as sweet as sap, but the cheese is prickly and we need to wear gloves to serve it.

I think I know why now, and yes, I am making it again to take to my mom’s tomorrow night. I am determined to find out why MY cheese turns to straw (no matter what type cheese I use), but when I have it at others’ houses it taste delicious. It’s the same recipe, or so I thought….

My theory is this. In the past when I’ve followed the recipe directions, I’ve mixed the flour, sugar and cheese together and then mixed it in with the pineapple. The new recipe that I found below directs you to put the cheese on top. I am anxious to try this to see if we feel like we are eating needles THIS year.


Pineapple Casserole


    • 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
    • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
    • 1 2/3 cups crushed Ritz or Town House crackers
    • 3 tablespoons butter, melted


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. Combine the pineapple chunks and crushed pineapple with syrup. Mix together and pour into a 2 quart baking dish.
    3. Mix together the flour and sugar, sprinkle evenly on top of pineapple. Cover with cheese, top cheese with cracker crumbs and drizzle melted butter on top.
    4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve.

I will update you next week as to how this attempt works out. Needless to say, this should be my final go at this. But, I am stubborn, and I will NOT be whipped by a casserole. Surely, I’m not the only one who just doesn’t believe that most parts of a pine tree are edible.

Feel free to leave instructions or comments about your cooking mishaps. I love a good laugh, especially at myself – which happens a LOT.

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