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Remembering late cook, special recipe

By SCOTT SEITZ • Jul 21, 2016 at 4:00 PM

When I started as a reporter at the Reflector in 2000, Scott Woolsey was my first-ever cook of the week.

I remember sitting around the table at my brother’s old apartment on Whittlesey Avenue as Woolsey put the finishing touches on the featured dish, beef stroganoff. 

Back in those days, we had a stretch of cooks of the week at that Whittlesey Avenue house and as I recall, each one of them were pictured standing in the same spot in the kitchen and wearing the same apron and oven mitts.

Fast-forward 10 years and Woolsey was back for a special 10th anniversary cook edition.

Again, Woolsey prepared a special dish, this time at my brother’s place on Willard Avenue.

It was November 2010 and that’s the recipe I want to share again today.

The recipe was tuna noodle casserole and as I remember, just like the beef stroganoff, it was very good.

You see, today is my final cook of the week for the newspaper. My last day at the Reflector is Friday after 16 years.

Woolsey was my first cook in 2000 and I thought it only right he would be my last cook in 2016.

But, this story is about more than just recipes.

In 2011, at just 29 years old, the world lost Scott Woolsey.

I want everyone to know who is reading this I thought about writing this story for the past two months. I was not sure it was the right thing to do. I know it can stir up many emotions.

But, in the end, I decided to share this recipe one more time. It’s a way of saying Scott Woolsey still is remembered by everyone. He will not be forgotten. Everyone misses him.

Woolsey was a basketball and tennis star at Norwalk High School, graduating in 2000.

He was a very close friend to my brother, my cousin and my nephew. 

Yes, Woolsey had his ups and downs in life, but everyone who knew him liked him.

People are important. People of the past, present and future. Everyone has an effect on so many lives.

I’ve done a lot of cooks of the week in 16 years, but my two interviews with Woolsey were by far the most memorable.

Who can ever forget when he talked about his “cooking confidence being shattered” so many years ago. That comment still makes me smile to this day. Then, he rebounded 10 years later to create the tuna noodle casserole dish being shared here again.

Woolsey loved sports. He loved cooking, disc-golf, the outdoors, and the Grateful Dead.

Again, as I close my Reflector career this week, I thought it only would be right to go back to the beginning and pay a small tribute to the person and the interview that started it all nearly 16 years ago.

* * *

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Ingredients:

8 ounces noodles

2 cans tuna, drained

1 cup Miracle Whip

1 cup milk

2 cans (4 ounces) mushrooms, drained

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 cup dried bread crumbs

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

4 tsp. melted margarine

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Boil noodles in 3 quarts of water for eight to 10 minutes.

Drain noodles and return to pan. Stir in tuna, Miracle Whip, milk, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Pour into an ungreased 2-quart casserole dish. 

Mix bread crumbs and cheese. Melt margarine and mix with bread crumbs. 

Sprinkle over casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly.

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