Southern Supper

I have a day job.  I do freelance work.  I get sucked in to every neighborhood, team, school and booster project.  At least one of the kids has some sort of practice each night of the week.

The hours from 5-7PM are balls-to-the-wall insane for us.

I grew up in a family that ate supper together each and every evening.  We set the table, turned the TV off and shared a meal together.  With vegetables.  As a family.

No matter how insane our life is, I strive to keep that tradition going with my own family and most nights we accomplish it.   The problem is that time is not a luxury I have (nor is take-out) so getting supper on the table quickly during the work week is something I struggle with.  Even more of an issue is that I’m a foodie and I can’t stand instant, processed, canned foods, though, occasionally, I have to use them to accomplish my bigger goal: eating a home cooked meal with my family each night.

Through a series of unrelated and bizarre (even for my brood) events, the supper plans I had one night this week were waylaid and I had to pull dinner out of my ear with scant resources.  Doing a quick inventory in my head, I decided I had what was needed to throw a tuna casserole together.

When I took it out of the oven, I had to smile to myself because – lowly creature that she is – she sho was purty.  I quickly grabbed my camera to snap a shot about the same time that Husband comes walking in and says the following:

Husband:  What the hell stinks?
MeShut your face you ungrateful bastard It’s a tuna casserole.
Husband:  Blech
Me:  You like tuna casserole.  Hush before the kids hear you and I have to throttle one of them for making that ‘blech’ sound at my food.
Husband:  I thought we were having spaghetti.  I want spaghetti.  Can’t you just grab a jar…
Me[holding a 6-foot long serrated knife like I’m giving a weather report and suddenly on the verge of tears]:  I’VE WORKED ALL DAY!  I fed the kids breakfast, I got them dressed, I took them each to a different school and somehow managed to get to work on time!  I picked them up from daycare, took them to practice, helped them through their homework and now I’m just trying to feed you people so I can then clean the kitchen and give them a bath!  And. Then. I. Get. To. Do. It. All. Again. Tomorrow.
Husband:  Um, why are you taking a picture of it?
Me:  I’m not now.
Jeff kissing tuna casserole - photo credit: Mandy RiversHusband:  Why are you holding the camera?
Me:  Forget it.
Husband:  Can I be in the picture?
Me:  Wha???

Tuna Casserole - credit: Mandy Rivers

Mandy Richburg Rivers

Mandy Richburg Rivers

Mandy lives in Lexington, South Carolina, is a contributing writer for the Food & Drink section and is currently working on her first cookbook. Mandy is an award winning recipe writer and judges regional cook-offs and other culinary contests.

“I'm just a gal that likes food. Of course I like to eat, but what I've discovered about myself over the years is that there are more ways for me to enjoy food than just eating it. I like to shop for it, read about it, cook it, entertain with it and write about it. And when it's really good, sometimes I'm tempted to throw it on the floor and roll in it."