Monday, February 22, 2010

"Downhomer Household Almanac & Cookbook" - Tuna Noodle Casserole

Date I made this recipe: February 21, 2010

Downhomer Household Almanac & Cookbook (Canadian Best Seller) Edited by Ron Young
Published by: Downhomer Magazine
ISBN: 1-895109-02-7
Recipe: Tuna Noodle Casserole – p. 232

And now, a salute to the Winter Olympics…

“O Canada! Hmmmm, hmmm, hmmmm, hmmmm, hmmmm, hmmmm…” (leave it to Canadians to leave off the “h” in “Oh.” Must be a British-influence thing!)

Folks, we are now entering week two of the Vancouver Olympics and I have to tell you that I am glued to the set! Glued. I mean, what is not to love about the luge (single or two-man—can somebody explain what is up with that?!) or the bobsled or curling or [men’s figure skater] Evan Lysacek…or Evan Lysacek…and did I mention Evan Lysacek? Some advertising agency with the Brylcreem account should sign that man pronto!

So…Canada. I’m afraid I do not have much in the way of Canadian cookbooks save for the two I’m writing about here. Both of these provinces are easterly and as we (should) know, Vancouver is in the west, but hey (or “eh” as the Canadians say) they’re close enough for my blog.

Believe it or don’t, I have a Canadian Olympic tale to tell…well, sort of. Way back when (and I do mean way back when), my brother participated in the Upper Peninsula Winter Olympics, held in Sault St. Marie, Michigan, a hop, skip and a jump from the Canadian border. He played, of all things, ping pong (???) but we got to watch athletes from around the U.P. participate in ski jumping (very big in my hometown area) and figure skating and even curling. So I’m a curling aficionado from way back. (Okay, not really but at least I’ve seen the sport before).

As for Canadian food, I haven’t visited Canada much in recent years but if memory serves the food is underwhelming. Let’s just say if you don’t like fish (and I don’t) you are out of luck. (I reference the book, The Shipping News, where they ate cod…and more cod…and some more cod…and potatoes.)

So fish was out and gosh darn it, I forgot to put in my order for moose (and seal—ew!) (and I am not kidding when I say there are recipes for these meats in the cookbook) and so I took the coward’s way out and went with a tuna casserole. It’s as close to an homage to fish as I’m ever going to get. And besides, what with the two-man bobsled and the speed skating going on, I didn’t want to miss a second. (And can we all just agree that watching skiers on the moguls track automatically triggers a trip to an orthopedist?!)

This dish will not have you running to the supermarket anytime soon but it was fuel on a winter (dare I say almost spring-like?) day and so there it is. I rather like peas in my tuna casserole so I opened a can and added them after the fact which did nothing at all to the dish but so be it. I wasn’t out for an Olympic (culinary) medal I just wanted to cross the finish line.

O Canada!

Tuna Noodle Casserole – serves 6 to 84 cups cooked noodles (I recommend cooking them to “firm” rather than “well-done”)
1-7 oz tin (can) tuna
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp onion, grated
2 tbsp pimento
½ cup milk

Combine all ingredients. Mix with a fork until blended. Place in a buttered casserole. Bake in a 350F oven for 50-60 minutes.

NOTE: To cover or not to cover, that was the question. I went with a cover for a bit and then went uncovered for the last half as I desperately wanted to avoid a dish of crunchy noodles.

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