Tuna Fish Casserole

From The Greenbrier P.E.O. Cookbook.

You’d be forgiven for assuming that cookbook originated with The Greenbrier, the resort outside White Sulfur Springs in West Virginia that’s been around in some form since 1858. (I’m sure we’ll talk about it at some point–it’s hosted presidents and war criminals, at various times, and had a bunker built under it for Congress to survive a nuclear war–why that’s a priority, I can’t imagine.) But actually, the referenced cookbook was merely from the resort’s neighbors.

The Greenbrier P.E.O. Cookbook was released in 1978 by the P.E.O. Sisterhood chapter located in Greenbrier County, Chapter F. The Sisterhood started as a “secret society” founded by seven students at Iowa Wesleyan College in 1869 and grew to about a quarter of a million members before telling anyone what P.E.O. stands for. (Their website currently explains that it’s Philanthropic Educational Organization.)

Here’s a version from actress Judith Evelyn, born Evelyn Morris in South Dakota and probably most familiar to us from her role in Rear Window, which she shared in the April 6, 1947 edition of the San Antonio Light:

Here’s how to make this tuna fish casserole; open a tin of tuna fish, rinse off the surplus oil, and flake. Open a tin of condensed mushroom soup and dilute it with milk until it is about twice the consistency of the usual soup, and as smooth. Crush the contents of one large package of potato chips until fine. Then, starting with a layer of the potato chips in the bottom of the buttered casserole,a dd a layer of the tuna fish, then a layer of the thick mushroom soup mixture, and so on, until all the ingredients are used. Sprinkle crushed potato chips over the top, dust with paprika, and put into a hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until brown on top and hot.

From the box of L.R. from Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Tunafish Casserole (Very good)

1 (7 oz.) can of tuna
4 slices of cubed bread
1 can of celery soup
1-1/2 cups of grated cheddar
1 cup of milk (or white dry wine)
3 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper

chopped pepper and pimento (or 1/2 cup of sliced green olives) (stuffed kind)
Suggest a little onion

Combine and butter flat baking dish. Bake 30-45 minutes, low.

Taken from Greenbrier P.E.O. Cookbook p. 100.

My version of recipe in Greenbrier Cookbook.

Believe I could substitute 2 cups of macaroni in lieu of bread crumbs.

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