The Ride There and Back

Made some tuna noodle casserole a few days ago and it was not bad. I have always had a thing for tuna casserole, ever since I was a kid and my mom made it on occasion, with peas in it and something crunchy on top. Nothing like home cooking, especially with recipes your parents used to make.

However, I confess I enjoy going out for dinner now and then, and so does Mr. S. It’s just nice to get away from home and sit awhile and eat food someone else loves to make. Doesn’t have to be a fancy schmancy place. Nope. I’ll take a hole-in-the-wall café anytime, or a pub, or what people are wont to call a “dive.” Food is food, and some of the best is served up in simple places.

Last night we ate out, and was it ever good. A little cabin-like place about 8 miles from home. We ordered cheese curds, and just as we finished, his burger and my fish arrived. Beer battered cod with onion rings, and his was a bacon cheeseburger with fries. We savored every bite, and talked about the kids and plans we have for the house and where we might like to road trip this fall. We laughed and tried each other’s food and sat in silence awhile and laughed some more. He told the stories of his day, and I shared the observations of mine, and then it came time for dessert. He said no, I said yes, and soon there was a lovely bowl of cinnamon bread pudding with whipped cream, two spoons.

I ate most of it.

I think it’s a good thing, now and then, to let the kitchen be and head out somewhere familiar or somewhere new for a meal someone else makes. It just is. The ride there and back is much of the glory, and poring over a menu is a mighty fine thing.

Here’s a recipe from back in the day, for one day soon when you have a hankerin’.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 T butter
2 cups elbow macaroni or noodles
1 cup sour cream
3 T butter
3 T flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 (10 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
A pinch of basil (or tarragon)
1/4 cup pimiento, chopped
2 (6 ounce) cans light chunk tuna in water, drained

Butter a 3 quart casserole. Melt 1 T butter in small skillet and stir in breadcrumbs and sauté until golden brown. Cook noodles or macaroni in lightly salted water according to package directions, and drain. Empty sour cream into a large bowl. Fold in macaroni.

Melt 3 T butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour, salt and pepper; cook until bubbly.
Add soup and basil. Cook, stirring until mixture thickens, and add sauce to noodles and sour cream, folding continuously. Mix in pimiento and tuna and pour into buttered casserole.
Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350, about 20 minutes.