February sucks. There...I said it.
As far back as I can remember I've never liked the month of February. I find it to be the "hump day" of the calendar year. It's the bridge between the excitement of the New Year that January brings and the hope and promise of March. March shouts that Spring is right around the corner and soon enough the Winter will be a distant memory.
Yeah, yeah, yeah...there's Valentines Day, but if you were traumatized like I was at an early age, (no valentines in my shoebox) than you've always held a certain disdain for a holiday that tells you to buy chocolate, jewelery or the traditional Hallmark card to proclaim your love and devotion.
So there's no Valentines Day celebrated in this house. I subscribe to the Eight Days a Week philosophy of love. A work in progress so to speak. "I'll TRY to remember John!" LOL...Just like a marriage. Some days in perfect harmony, others...not so much. (I love how PURE their voices are!)
So why is February like tuna noodle casserole? (I'm sure you all clicked on this post just because of the title alone!)
Well, last weekend found me with no inspiration in the food department. What to make for the upcoming work week? (I try to cook for SM on the weekends and let him do the leftover thing during the week. I'm too tired once I get home to cook anything so SM is on his own during the week.)
I had ZERO ideas so I asked SM if he had any cravings.
"Nope. None. That's what's weird..." SM says "I'm not hungry for ANYTHING."
"It's the winter blahs. It's got me too." I observe. "Well, try and think of something for me to cook or you'll be eating sandwiches and soup all week."
A few minutes later SM proclaims "I know. How about tuna noodle casserole?"
"Sure. I'm pretty sure I've got everything we need. I can fry up those mushrooms you bought the other day and toss them in too." I offer.
So away into the kitchen I go. I toss some egg noodles in the water, pull down a can of cream of mushroom soup, a couple of cans of tuna and fry up the mushrooms. As I'm standing there stirring the shrooms, I'm thinking "This dish has nothing in it that I like."
I don't do gluten. Shrooms are right up there on my "nasty" list. YUCK. Even the color once it's all put together, it's a kind of beige, quivering mass, is unappetizing. I wonder how to dress it up before I toss it into the oven to bake. Oyster crackers! More beige!!!
I crunch some of them up on top to jazz it up and into the oven it goes.
While it's baking, I reflect on how tuna noodle was a staple on our family's menu growing up. When you had 6 mouths to feed, variations of pasta or rice dishes were a constant every week. Meat was ground beef so I suppose tuna was a kind of luxury. Spanish rice, macaroni and cheese with hot dogs sliced on top, spaghetti...we ate those things all the time when I was growing up.
So to me, tuna noodle casserole is like the month of February. It's beige, it's always there. It's something to just get through. There is something better on the other side.
Later that evening, after SM has eaten the days offering, I ask him how it was.
"You know, that was the best tuna noodle I ever had." SM says.
Just goes to show you that tuna noodle, like the month of February, has some redeeming qualities after all.