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My First Casserole

My First Casserole

Try a tuna casserole for supper tonight

By FamilyTime

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If you are ready to use the stove — with supervision, of course — and you are eager to cook a meal for the family, how about making tuna-noodle casserole? Few main courses are easier and to round out the meal, all you need is make a fresh green salad, too.

Getting Started
Begin with the right size casserole dish. For a family of four, a two-and-a-half quart size is adequate. Of course, the dish must be ovenproof, which is why Pyrex and Corning dishes are popular.

Assemble all the ingredients on the counter before you begin:  a can of tuna, dried egg noodles, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and milk. To make the topping crunchy, you might want bread crumbs,  canned fried onions, cornflakes, or potato chips.

First Steps
The first thing you need to do is cook the noodles. This means bringing a pot of water to the boil and adding the noodles. A parent or older sibling might want to do this for you.

Once the noodles are cooked al dente, or just until firm to the bite, drain them and leave them in the colander. This can be very hot work, so take care you use potholders and are very, very cautious.

Assembling the Casserole
Start by emptying the tuna fish into the bottom of the casserole dish. Add the can of cream of mushroom soup, stir with a fork, and add a little milk to thin out the mixture. Using the fork, break up the tuna fish into small pieces. They don’t have to be tiny. The mixture ought to be a little chunky.

Season the tuna and soup  mixture with a little salt and some pepper. Remember, the tuna and soup are naturally salty so you won’t need much, if at all.

Slide the noodles into the casserole and stir them together with the tuna mixture. If you think the mixture is too dry, add a little more milk. You don’t want the casserole to be soupy, but it should not be too dry, either. Use your judgment! You won’t go wrong.

Sprinkle the topping over the casserole, which may be bread crumbs, crumbled corn flakes, fried onions or potato chips.

Baking and Serving
The casserole will need 45 minutes to 1 hour in a preheated 350⁰F. oven.  Check it after 45 minutes by carefully opening the oven to take a peek. It’s done when it’s bubbling around the edges and the topping is golden brown and crisp.

Using oven mitts, remove the casserole. This might be a job for a grown-up. Let it cool for just a few minutes on top of the stove or on heatproof surface. Or, carry it directly to the table and put it on a trivet or heatproof pad. You might want Mom or Dad to transport it for you!

Serve the casserole while it’s hot. What should you serve with it? A green salad and perhaps some bread.

Congratulations! You have cooked dinner for the whole family!

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