As I was making dinner tonight it struck me as amusing the difference between the way the recipe I was using was written and the way it was actually unfolding in the moment. So here I offer insight into our home at dinner time.
I have set out to make a tuna noodle casserole (don't laugh, everyone in this house loves it) that I wanted to be ready when Doug got home with the twins. So I grab my recipe and ingredients, bring Reece into the kitchen with me and set out to make dinner. So, the recipe is my Mimi's Tuna Noodle Casserole - the only recipe my Papa wanted out of her recipe box when she died.
You will need (according to recipe card):
1.5 cups of cooked egg noodles
4 oz condensed milk
7 oz can tuna, drained
1/3 c. chopped onion, sauteed in butter
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 can of cream of something soup
All of this gets mixed together and dumped in a 1.5 qt (or 8x8) baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Top with more cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 until hot and bubbly - which is about 30 minutes.
Now what makes this funny is how it actually happened....
1.5 cups of cooked egg noodles .....or the half a bag of noodles way back in the cabinet that I found. I have no idea how many cups it was. What I do know is that it was way more than fit in the pot I had water boiling in. So I had to transfer said noodles - now hot and wet- to a bigger pot.
4 oz condensed milk...hmmm..this is now sold in 5 oz. cans. Dumped it all in a big bowl.
7 oz can tuna, drained...again, tuna is now sold in 5.5 oz cans. Better use two - I have a lot of noodles boiling!
Right as the noodles were finishing cooking, Reece decided he was starving and could not wait one second more for his bottle, so I drained the noodles and dumped them in the big bowl I was going to mix everything in and went and fed him.
20 minutes later - I'm back! Noodles are now one solid mass. Hhmmm...should have stirred them into the soup and milk before I left. Crap.
1/3 c. chopped onion, sauteed in butter ...1/3 cup? How about the half an onion I saw wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge. Good enough - right? Oh, and while I was fishing around for the onion I knew I had seen earlier I found a pack of mushrooms. Grabbed a half dozen of those to add to the pot, too. Done, and in the same pan I made the noodles - woo hoo! Dumped that in the bowl, too.
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese ...monster bag of preshredded cheddar from Costco. Check. Dumped it in until it looked like about a cup. Or two. Again - lots of noodles were made.
1 can of cream of something soup ...I had Cream of Celery. Store Brand. In it went (actually first.)
So I start stirring it and realize the masses of noodles are not giving up on their own and I am going to have to go in. Sleeves pulled up, word of warning to Reece that I will be otherwise occupied for the next few minutes, I stick my hands in the whole mess and start peeling apart the clumps of noodles.
While peeling apart noodles I realize I am going to have to make some veggies for the boys...OR ....to the freezer I go! I dump about 2 cups of frozen peas straight into the bowl.
Once that is basically mixed up I called it done and poured it into - well, not the 8x8 pan I got out - it was clearly not going to fit - but the larger 2 qt oval pan I found.
Top with additional cheese (ugh. I already put that away - get it out again.) and bread crumbs. Yeah - we don't by bread crumbs, we make them from stale loaves of bread. Check the cabinet for some - nope we're out. I COULD use my Mimi's standby of crushed potato chips, but we don't have any of those either. And then I remember... when I came in the house yesterday my FIL was standing in the foyer holding a sleeve of mashed up crumby crackers that he had apparently taken away from Grayson. Mind you, not before the child had chewed (?) through the sleeve and left a trail of crumbs all of the foyer. Looked all over and FOUND said crackers, further smashed them up on top of the casserole and sprinkled more cheese. Popped it in the oven. Where it bubbled away for at least 40 minutes.
Thank goodness this is an incredibly forgiving recipe. It might actually be impossible to mess it up. It was gobbled up for both lunch and dinner.