Wednesday, March 23, 2016

"Tuna Noodle Stuff" - from scratch...

Back in 1976, my husband was teaching middle school earth science in Aurora, Nebraska.  Pay for teachers was not stellar at the time and money was tight.  We had 3 small children.  We realized one day that we had all but run out of money for food, and it would be two weeks before we could buy groceries again, so we sat down and "put our heads together" to figure out what to do.  We did have items for breakfast and lunches, but nothing for suppers.  With the amount of money we had left, we figured out that we could buy enough ingredients to make "Tuna Noodle Stuff" (as we call it) every evening for those two weeks.  So, that's what we did.  We bought egg noodles, cans of tuna and cans of condensed mushroom soup.  Fortunately, we really like Tuna Noodle Stuff.  :)

Fast forward 40 years.  I was trying to decide what to cook today and feeling a little fuzzy in the head.  In the front of my recipe box I have a list of meals that my husband likes, so I got it out and noticed Tuna Noodle Stuff.  Yes!!!  That's what I'll make!  But I made it from scratch.  Here is what I did, with the recipes involved.

First I made egg noodles and boiled them for 5 minutes.

Here are the noodles:

Here they are boiling:

Then, I made homemade cream of mushroom soup:

And combined the cooked noodles with the soup and drained canned tuna:

It is very good.  Here are the recipes:

Cream of Mushroom soup

8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced thinly
3 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup corn starch
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 teaspoon sea salt

Melt the butter and saute the sliced mushrooms until they are soft.  Combine the milk and corn starch in a jar and shake it all up well together.  Add the milk mixture to the sauteed mushrooms, and stir constantly until it is all nice and thick.  Then add the salt and stir.  Remove from heat.

Egg Noodles

2 large eggs
1 teaspoon sea salt
unbleached white flour

Using a fork, stir the salt into the eggs and then, a little at a time, add flour until the dough is not stiff, but firm.  Knead on a floured surface until smooth.  Divide in half and, using plenty of flour, roll the dough out as thinly as you can and then, using a pizza cutter, cut it into strips.  Then do the other half of the dough.

Drop noodles into boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.  Then drain in a colander.  Add the noodles to the soup, add 2 cans of drained tuna, and stir well.  Serve!

By the way, you can add more milk to the soup if you want to eat it as soup.


  1. I miss Nebraska visits. My parents were both from there (southeast corner) and are both buried there. My sister and I had hoped to go this Memorial Day, but doesn't look like we will be able to. I make tuna casserole (what we call stuff) when I can't think of what to prepare too. I always have the makings in the pantry. :)

    1. We lived in Nebraska for 3 years. I loved it. We lived in the Hastings area, in 3 different locations.

  2. I love tuna noodle casserole, what we call it. I add lots of sliced celery and chopped onion cooked in butter, then add the flour to make a roux, then the milk for white sauce. If I have mushrooms I will add those. I did find at a store I don't normally visit cans of mushrooms that were not products of China. They had two brands, one brand from Holland and the other brand from the US. So I bought 15 cans and it has been nice to have mushrooms to use again for pizza, spaghetti sauce etc.

    When the children were younger and we'd camp, one of our meals was cheesey tuna noodle casserole and we'd use the boxes of macaroni and cheese, canned tuna and cream of celery or mushroom soup. It was one of our easy camping meals. Have you seen the price of boxed macaroni and cheese nowadays? It used to be .25 cents a box!! Of course canned soup was about the price also.

    1. I haven't checked the mac&cheese for a long time. I know it used to be cheap. For some reason, I never did use that, really. Before going to more from-scratch cooking, I used to cook macaroni, add butter, a little milk and chunks of Velveeta.

  3. Velveeta is kind of scary :( We've always been scratch cookers, but we don't have an RV. We camp with on old VW bus and a Coleman cook stove and a cooler. Plus fit in 5 children and their stuff. So we'd always pack some cupboard stable meals like the mac tuna combo, pasta and jarred sauce, canned chicken. Even mixes for muffins and cakes as we could cook them in our large kettle. We'd supplement all the fresh and extras on the route.

    1. Yes. I don't buy Velveeta anymore. Now I use real cheese on the odd occasion when I have to have mac and cheese. ;)


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