A First Time Foray

It took a little motivation, but I got back in the kitchen this week. As I had mentioned last week, work is kicking my behind so much that, when I get home, I’m just plumb tuckered out. Going into the kitchen to prep, cook, and clean just isn’t appealing.

When I went to cook dinner on Tuesday, I noticed our cupboards, pantry, and refrigerator were a little lacking. Basically, there wasn’t much to work with to make a dinner that didn’t need thawed out or was ready made. It has been a bit since the stock was so low. Definitely need a trip to the grocer and butcher.

What we did have is tuna and plenty of pasta. I could have made plain pasta since I recently made some sauce, but I wasn’t ready to use up a jar of it yet. Instead I decided I’d make my first tuna casserole. Not having any recipes that I remember in any of my cookbooks, I went to the Google. There were plenty of hits to choose from, and decided to take a chance on one by Martha Stewart. Can’t go wrong with Martha, right?

Thankfully, we did have all the ingredients (I hate peas so it didn’t matter if we had those or not). I got everything out, did the little prep that was needed, which was only dicing some onion, and started cooking. It really was a simple recipe of making some noodles, some sauce, and adding some tuna. The sauce didn’t want to thicken on the stove as the recipe indicated, but that was the only minor glitch.

Once the sauce was to the point where I felt it wasn’t going to thicken any more, I added everything together into the casserole dish. I did perform a little math measurement to confirm my dish was the right size. Although I was certain it was 9×13, I got the tape measure out just to confirm. All the ingredients just didn’t look like it would be enough to fill the dish—turned out I was wrong, it filled it nicely.

After being in the oven for about 20-minutes, and sitting for 10 more, the sauce ended up doing what it was supposed to do. It thickened up nicely. The end product didn’t look too bad. I will admit it was a bit on the bland side until adding some Cajun spices on top. When I was making it, I wondered about the lack of seasoning in the recipe, but went with the flow. Adding some spices will definitely enhance the flavor-fulness of the casserole next time.

Having one large zucchini left from the garden, I also made some zucchini bread muffins over the weekend. This end result was much more tasty. I’ve had one for breakfast almost every day since. I’m already planning on adding another zucchini plant to my garden plans for next year. Then I can make several loaves to freeze for a later time.

On the agenda for this coming week is an attempt at canning some spear pickles (see the picture for the latest cucumber harvest). I’ve got the bread and butter pickles down, which I think I had mentioned making several pints recently. Since I’ll have to have the pressure canner out anyway, I’m going to make a trip to the local farmers market/orchard to see if the corn is ready so I can can some of it as well.

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