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Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Great Tuna Fish Debacle of the 1970s

My dad had a crazy Aunt Eleanor. Doesn't everyone have one of those? I don't know much about her except that I've been told she was looney. Apparently my mom sent her over the edge when she served tuna salad to her when she visited. My mom was busy, it was hot, and she was tired, so she made something simple. She made something that she thought was pretty good. It fit within their tight relatively newly married budget. Plates were cleaned and the guests seemed to enjoy themselves.

The next day the phone rang. "Tuna fish. tuNA FISH. TUna fish!! TUNA FISH!!! You fed us TUNA FISH." That was pretty much all that was said, in rising tones of hysteria, as Aunt Eleanor worked herself into a frenzy over canned fish.

It's funny now, but I'm sure at the time it was pretty upsetting to my poor mom. Every time I see a can, I think of Aunt Eleanor. I never knew her. I guess that is a good thing.

I don't eat tuna very often. I don't know why. I do like it. My Grandma makes the best tuna sandwiches known to man and I think that perhaps my attempts at recreating her brilliance might be a let down. Grandma doesn't cook with a recipe, but by feel and so I'm always thankful to her for teaching me how to cook this way. But, I can't duplicate a lot of her recipes. I know it's years and years of perfection that I will have to earn.

So, here's my attempt at Grandma's tuna salad. She always added chopped hard boiled eggs to her tuna salad. I didn't have any, nor did I have the WW Points for them!

I've called my Grandma Norman for years after Henry Fonda's character in On Golden Pond. She used to call me Ethel, after Katherine Hepburn's character in the same movie, but that dropped off years ago. She's still Norman to me. Love her to pieces!

Almost Norman's Tuna Salad

One really generous serving at 5.5 WW Points. Divide as you need for even less Points. I like to serve on a bed of lettuce with tomatoes. You could stuff tomatoes or serve on bread or crackers.

1 can water packed tuna
2 TB light mayonnaise
2 TB finely minced onion
2 stalks celery, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Now, if you really want to spice it up, add your favorite herbs. Norman wouldn't. She's strictly a salt and pepper kind of cook. No, I take that back, she puts paprika on her deviled eggs!

Mix all ingredients to combine and enjoy.
In the above picture I tossed in some cucumber to the salad. I figured if it wasn't going to taste quite as good as Norman's then I might as well put my own spin on it!

When you're done, yell TUNA FISH at the top of your lungs in honor of my crazy Great Aunt Eleanor.

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Taking a little time to play with words, to play with food, and just to play!