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Irene Mooney Bruske’s Party Ham Casserole

Irene Mooney Bruske’s Party Ham Casserole

4-6 oz. broad noodles 1 can cream of mushroom soup 1/2 cup milk 1 medium onion 1 cup sour cream 2 tbsp. mustard 2-3 cups baked ham, diced 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 2 tbsp. butter 1/2 cup bread crumbs 1 tbsp. shredded parmesan cheese 4 oz. can mushrooms

Cook and drain noodles according to package directions and set aside. Combine soup and milk in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Add onion, sour cream, and mustard and mix well. Add the remainder of ingredients and mix all together. Put into a greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

I have to say this is a great way to use leftover ham. I used 6 oz. of noodles and baked for 30 minutes plus only added about a 1/4 cup of walnuts just because my family doesn’t care too much for cooked walnuts. I have to say though, this was very delicious. It had great flavor despite no seasoning being used, except the little bit I added to my own plate. You could taste the smokiness of the ham with a hint of the sour cream mixture. If you make it you won’t be disappointed. Easy dinner with easy cleanup!

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Last August we featured Irene Mooney Bruske’s recipe for Barbeque Pork Chops. To learn more about Irene Mooney Bruske, please click on this link.

A Faded Advertisement for Ham A faded advertising sign connects us with a chapter of Saginaw’s meat packing history and highlights the complexity of corporate mergers. Just barely visible on the South Franklin Street façade of Wrege Fish Market located at 226 Millard St. is a sign advertising Amour Star Hams. The building housing Wrege’s was once a creamery connected to a large facility that was constructed for the Cornwell Company – earlier named the Saginaw Beef Company. Designed by Saginaw architects Cowles and Mutscheller in 1915, plans for the building are preserved in the museum's connection. Originally it was serviced by a now removed railroad spur and included spaces for the functions of a meatpacking facility – including a space for live chickens.

In his history of Saginaw County, James C. Mills records: “It was in 1863 that the Cornwell Company, or the business to which it succeeded, was founded by the late Lewis Cornwell, who in that year began supplying Saginaw, Bay City, Lansing and Jackson with cattle on the hoof.” After describing the tremendous growth and success achieved by the firm, he details the features of the new building and proclaims: “In all Michigan there is not another meat establishment to compare with this modern, six-story structure, with complete facilities for the sanitary and careful handling of choicest meats, poultry, butter, eggs and provisions.”

The Swift Company purchased Saginaw Beef Company/Cornwell Company in 1924.Swift operated in Saginaw well into the mid-twentieth century. After being used by other businesses, the plant was gutted by fire in the 1980s; however, the smaller creamery building remains intact. Eventually, rival meat packing giants Swift and Armour became linked through corporate mergers and buyouts, and hams packed by Swift were labeled with the Armour name.


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