Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Murphy's Law strikes again.

I'm still working on the cookbook project, and am making good headway. I've decided not to share every recipe here, especially if the recipe is fairly straightforward. But today's recipe warrants a blog post -- not so much because it's fancy (quite the opposite), but because a full-blown comedy of errors took place in our kitchen this afternoon.

To start with, I had decided to be lazy and cook a really easy last-minute meal: tuna casserole.

Then I realized I was missing a key ingredient: the egg noodles. Steve said he would pick them up, so I went to take a bath.

And then I decided I would process the baked pumpkins and sweet potatoes that were waiting to be chopped and frozen for Kane's tummy food.

And then the blade got jammed on the food processor.

And then Steve almost forgot about the missing ingredient.

And then I realized I was following the wrong recipe! (I'm so glad I used the draft from the book or it might have gone to press with a dud.)

At one point, I was ready to order pizza because the kitchen was crammed with pans of sweet potato, bowls of food, two colanders, two pots of water, a dog (of course), my husband (at my request), three cutting boards . . .


Despite all this, I actually managed to keep my cool, without even having a glass of wine. Mind you, there were no toddlers peeing on me or screaming for something forbidden, so I really can't count my composure as much of an achievement, as Hell Hours go. I did cut one corner: I decided not to prepare the beets that would have been a nice, healthy, bright vegetable to round out the meal along with the green beans. No one died. Or complained.

Also, the casserole turned out really well. So here's the recipe.


Boil 375 g package of egg noodles (13 ounce?), drain and set aside. I've used rotini in the past, and the recipe has turned out just fine, but the authentic recipe calls for egg noodles.

(You'll notice that my recipes are a schizophrenic mess of imperial and metric. That's because the grocery store items are sold in metric, but I cook in imperial units.)

In a large bowl, combine:
1 small can tuna fish (170 g)
1 can condensed mushroom soup
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 sweet red pepper, diced
1/4 cup minced cilantro (you can substitute 1 Tbsp dried parsley, but it won't taste or smell as nice)
The cooked egg noodles
Grease a baking dish and dump everything into it.

In a small pot, melt:
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup bread crumbs or crushed crackers (I just crushed the crackers with my hands.)
Sprinkle this mixture over the casserole and bake it for about 5 minutes, until the topping is brown. (Don't leave it so long that the noodles turn crunchy.)

Without Murphy's Law kicking in, the whole thing, including prep time, probably takes about 20 minutes. In my kitchen, tonight, it took about an hour.

I think these teal blue soup plates are my favourite dishes ever.
Like I said, it's really simple, but not so simple that you can simultaneously prepare a week's worth of dog food.


  1. Sounds like a typical night at our house, too- missing ingredients (and sending hubby off to pick them up instead of having him around to entertain the boys and keep them out of my hair), trying to simultaneously prepare two different food items (baby food at one point, now likely something like granola, bread, chicken broth, smoothies...), plus a kitchen full of dirty dishes and small living beings running under my feet and suddenly a very simple meal turns into something that feels like running a marathon. :P We may have to give this recipe a try (with the rotini noodles instead of egg noodles because of the egg allergy). No one in our house is a huge fan of tuna (really anything in the way of seafood), but we try to branch out and introduce new tastes. This seems like an easy way to do it with some basic always-loved ingredients (who doesn't love noodles with cream of mushroom soup?).

    1. I remember reading all sorts of tips for getting through Hell Hour when you have youngsters in the house, but I don't think I ever found a fool-proof strategy. I was too busy just getting through it.

      You can hardly taste the tuna in this. It's mostly just for the meaty texture. When I really want to add a protein punch, I put in TWO cans of tuna. ;)

  2. looks delicious!! I wish my kids would eat tuna!!! but they won't touch it all. first the smell, ok -- when I was pregnant I couldn't stand the smell either. But mostly I blame Disney's Little Mermaid because they are convinced we are basically eating Flounder and Sebastian: their "friends."

    1. You could make it with any canned meat, I think. Canned ham or chicken?


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