I think I was in 3rd grade when I was told I was going on a field trip to Betty’s Kitchen. I was so exciting about visiting a TV set! I thought I wonder who the host is going to be what type of hair will she have… In my mind I envisioned a show like the movie Gremlins 2 where a lady who’s name is Marge creates a Tuna Casserole. She is filming a cooking show in a kitchen. Our bus pulled up to the camping spot and I thought when are we going to the TV station? As I asked someone they responded with “This is it. This is Betty’s Kitchen I remember being so disappointed. How in the world were we by this wilderness area and no kitchen? I had my little heart set on the TV show. Needless to say I didn’t get to watch someone like Microwave with Marge create a Tuna Casserole. I was later told that the area was named after a place that was a combination cafe and bar was established during the 1930s or 1940s known as “Betty’s Kitchen” for Mrs. Betty Davidson who worked at the cafe. Betty’s Kitchen was a small, close-knit community in the 1940s and in 1961 residential leases were prepared for all the residents. All leases were terminated somewhere in 1983 because of a flood that caused a lot of damage to the areas. The area now has picnic areas as well as RVs dry camping. It is more of a fishing location now than a local hotspot. Most of the people who are there are older Yuma Residents or Snow birds. Still a wonderful place to see and explore. As for my trip as a child to Betty’s Kitchen, I ended up having an awesome time, it was a memory I will not forget.
I am posting my version of Betty’s Kitchen Tuna Casserole, it is a Dutch oven recipe.
Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole
2 5 oz. cans tuna, drained
8 oz. egg noodles
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup milk
1 10.75 oz. can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup crushed Ritz type crackers,
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp thyme (optional)
Dash of Pepper
Lightly oil or spray a 10 or 12 inch dutch oven.
Cook noodles according to package directions; drain in colander.
In separate bowl, mix together soup, milk, sour cream and garlic powder. Stir in noodles, peas, pepper, tuna and thyme.
Transfer to prepared dutch oven. Top with cracker crumbs . Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until topping is brown and casserole is bubbling. Serves 4.