I spent the weekend in Liverpool with Judson and a friend of mine from college, doing all the things you'd think we'd do in Liverpool... a lot of Beatles stuff and a lot of pint-drinking, mostly. While I was there, it struck me how I was walking into the very places my mom would have dreamed about visiting fifty years ago, and how the magic of that city still feels very real and not at all cheesy, the way I would have expected. I got to see Eleanor Rigby's actual grave, you guys. I didn't cry, but I totally thought about it. We danced in the Cavern Club, drank a pint at John's favourite hole-in-the-wall bar, and drove down Penny Lane on the sunniest day I've seen since we left Miami in January. (Oh, and we even stumbled into a mansion-turned-Irish-bar where we spent a couple of hours listening to two elderly British gentlemen sing Motown songs while a lot of elderly people danced along. Eleanor would have loved it.) Also, here's a weird fact: you know how the Beatles all kind of talk the same? It never occurred to me until we got there, but everyone in Liverpool sounds exactly like that. It's uncanny and a little weird to hear Paul McCartney's voice coming out of every cabbie, bartender, and child you meet, but there you have it.
Anyway, the weekend was more about Eleanor Rigby than my Eleanor, so it feels nice to get back into the swing of cooking again. Naturally, after nearly a week without cooking a single meal for ourselves, I dove right back in with a recipe for... 'tasty tuna casserole for two.'
(I know. Why do I do these things to myself? Partly because it sounded like good comfort food and partly because I tend to forget about tuna for about 364 days out of each year, then when I remember it, it's like a weird craving I can't get rid of until I have it.)
This isn't exactly light fare, though according to the newspaper clipping, it only has 331 calories per serving. We had it alone, but you could pair it with a nice rocket salad if you're ravenous. It was the perfect meal for these transitional days, where it's warm during the day and then cold as soon as the sun goes down. Plus, how often do you find a casserole for only two people? This makes an awesome dinner on a night when you're hungry and in a rush, but still want some proper homemade comfort food. Best of all, it's fast and cheap, so have at it! Next time you're stuck in traffic on your way home from a rainy day of work, make this casserole for dinner, then curl up with a book and a blanket and relax your way into a better evening.
The newspaper clipping that this recipe came from recommends serving it with a “marinated bean salad and hot coffee, for a hearty and even elegant dinner.” Unfortunately, it not being the 1970s, I didn't know what a marinated bean salad was, and drinking coffee with this seemed like a bad idea. If you try it that way, let me know, but don't hold me responsible if it's terrible.
3 spoons out of five. It's easy, fast, relatively low-calorie, and cheap... but it's not glamorous and it's not a beautiful meal if you're having guests.
Cheesy Tuna Casserole
Grease the rims of two individual casseroles or ovenproof tureens.
Preheat oven to 176C/350F.
Saute onion in butter until tender but not brown.
Stir in remaining ingredients except cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes until hot through.
Sprinkle cheese onto each casserole and bake 5 minutes longer.
½ c chopped onion
1 tsp butter
½ can cream of celery soup
2/3 c tuna
3 tsp lemon juice
1 c cooked rice (we used Uncle Ben's microwave rice)
Salt and pepper
1/3 c grated cheddar cheese