Camp Serenbe and 30 Years Of Black Bean Casserole
In the summers when my three daughters were young and we still lived in Atlanta, we had Camp Nygren. A teenage boy the girls adored would come to the house from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and they’d do all sorts of activities.
Most kids outgrow camp, but my middle daughter, Kara, loved it so much she turned it into a career. Of all my girls, Kara was the only one who cared about baby dolls. That transitioned into an affinity for children and taking care of people in general. She’s so good at it that her college sorority created a new position for her called Sorority Mom.
A few years ago, when the opportunity to create Camp Serenbe arose, Kara took the challenge and ran with it. This year she’s added Spring Break camps to the summer sessions and is even doing a special Cooking & Farming Camp June 9-13 and July 14-18. Kids will learn about crops at Serenbe Farms and Kara has somehow roped me into teaching them how to make snacks and meals as well
I haven’t decided what will be on the menu yet, but I may have to share my Black Bean Casserole. It’s great for kids because the only thing that has to be cooked is the rice, which can always be pre-cooked. I created it when the girls were little and it was one of their favorite meals to have during family dinner hour—no phones, no electronics, just dinner with family every Sunday through Thursday night. I’ve been making this casserole for 30 years, which pretty much qualifies it as part of my family.
Black Bean Casserole
9 six-inch corn tortillas
1 one-pound bag black beans, cooked (or two cans, rinsed)
3 cups cooked rice
1 cup sour cream
¾ pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 four-ounce can chopped green chiles
2 cups salsa
Preheat oven to 375. Mix cooked rice with beans, 1.5 cup salsa, sour cream and chiles. Lay 3 tortillas on the bottom of a dish. Spoon ½ mixture over the tortillas and sprinkle with cheese. Repeat with 3 tortillas, rice and cheese. Finish with remaining 3 tortillas and ½ cup salsa and cheese. Cook 20-25 minutes until bubbly. Serve with sour cream, salsa and chips.