In the childhood memories of every good cook, there’s a large kitchen, a warm stove, a simmering pot, and a mom.
— Barbara Costikyan
When I came home from work today, the foyer of my building smelled like tuna casserole, which reminded me of a funny story.
When Nate and I were kids — probably 8 and 10 or so — we asked our parents if we could make dinner for them. They agreed, and we made them promise not to come in the kitchen while we cooked. We decided on tuna noodle casserole, which our mom had made us plenty of times before.
So we set about crafting our casserole: egg noodles, tuna (of course), peas (I think), something to make it creamy (cream of mushroom soup, maybe?), and — just for good measure — a dollop of peanut butter. I kid you not.
We put the whole concoction in the oven to bake and proudly served it up to our parents a little while later. They dug in, and all of a sudden: Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.
We didn’t know we were supposed to cook the noodles first.
To my parents’ credit, they both cleaned their plates, and we laugh about it to this day.