And, here we are, back at Way Back Wednesday. And, I've got Tuna Casserole on the brain. We were in the grocery store the other day and they were offering a "combo loco" (crazy combination) deal of Mac and cheese, a large can of tuna, and cream of mushroom soup. Buy the Mac and cheese and get the other items free.
When I saw the display, my first thought was Tuna Casserole. That's almost all the ingredients. So, I said it out loud and both Rob and Sydney said "I'll eat that" and "I haven't had that in a long time", so we got it and we made it.
Now, here's where the remembering comes from. My first apartment was a garage apartment I rented from an old nurse. She had worked in a detox facility and she rented rooms in her house to people in recovery, where they could come live with a little supervision and a nurse on site in case they suffered physical effects. She'd rent to them for a month or two and then they'd move on and a new person would come in. Sometimes it would be someone that had been there before and needed a little refresher. Well, there was one lady and her daughter and they were both alcoholics, but the mother was in recovery and the daughter was still drinking. Adele let them both live there until the mother was able to move out on her own, but the daughter stayed for a long time, never giving up her vodka and water. YUCK! Anyway, it was the daughter that gave me the recipe for tuna casserole.
At the time, I was working for the Association for Retarded Citizens in Ouachita Parish (ARC/O). I worked Friday evening to Sunday evening in an apartment complex with clients housed all around. If they needed somebody, I was there. And, I organized weekend events for them and made sure they got laundry done and made good choices in the grocery store. But, that left my weeks free to attend school.
One of those years, we had revival at the church with two services per day. There was a day service with a covered dish lunch and an evening service. I brought my tuna casserole to one of the covered dish lunches. My Mom was there and she was MORTIFIED that I would bring Tuna Casserole to a covered dish lunch. Tuna Casserole was certainly not the kind of thing my family would offer at such an event where members of the church would be sampling...and discussing...the food. I know she was embarassed. I'm sure she brought something delicious, but unfortunately, I can't remember what and it isn't really germain to this story.
Anyway, I didn't tell anybody what I'd brought. I don't know if my Mom asked me not to, or if I just knew it would be the wrong thing to do. But, when I went to get my dish, it was empty. And, my Mom shared that when they were doing dishes, everybody wanted to know who's dish had the casserole in it, so they turned it over and there was my name on a piece of masking tape. People told her over and over again how delicious that casserole was, how it was the best tuna casserole they'd ever had.
Anyway, Tuna Casserole has fallen out of style. I doubt many people can even remember it. And, even I can't remember why I thought it was so good. But, here's the recipe in case you want to give it a try.
1 large or 2 small cans of tuna packed in water, drained
the pasta from a box of mac and cheese, cooked (reserve the cheese packet)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
milk to fill the empty soup can
salt and pepper to taste
Combine the milk and soup and cheese packet and add the pasta and the tuna. Pour into a baking dish. Stir in the tuna and the salt and pepper. Top with bread crumbs and bake at 350* until set.
Okay, so I wrote this memory yesterday. And, last night, we had the casserole. Now, I remember why tuna casserole went out of style. But, Rob said it was like a comfort food for him because they had lots of tuna casserole when he was growing up and Sydney said it was good. But, this is from people who don't like for fish to taste fishy. What can I say. It brought back good memories, but it will be a long time before I make it again.
Take care and have a great Wednesday. And, if you have a good Tuna Casserole recipe, I'd love to make it for my Mom some time. Send it via email. Lane