Ah yes. Tuna casserole: It is, truly, the golden ticket down the immutable wormhole of growing up Catholic in the late 50s and 1960s. It was the inimitable Friday night special, served up at regular intervals along with French toast, fish sticks, tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, scrambled eggs and pear-and-cottage-cheese salads.
Not all simultaneously, of course. That would be kind of gross.
Oh the humanity! (At least they all started with "C" just like "Catholic." Isn't that worth some sort of indulgence?)
I'm pretty sure that's when the Good Sisters at St. Rita's decided my chances for salvation -- at least the Catholic version -- were slim to none. A pimped-up tuna casserole does have that effect.
|Here it is. Better Homes and Garden New Cookbook.|
Copyright 43 BC.
You know you love it.
It was fine when she threw in a box of frozen corn, but in my narrow world of cooked vegetables, gastronomical lines were drawn in the sand if canned sweet peas were used.
They are ALL very nice people. . . aside from the eating sweet
With the WPS in school, we counted pennies. We lived on my $3,000-a-year salary as a hospital admitting clerk while paying $6,000 in out-of-state-tuition at the University of Colorado. We could not afford cashews, crunchy chow mein noodles, cream of mushroom soup -- or Ritz crackers, for that matter.
We COULD, however, afford a box of Kraft mac n' cheese, an onion, can of tuna and 1/4 cup of milk. Oh, and 4 tablespoons of margarine. We could afford that, too.
(However, it STILL takes me HOURS to pick out the canned sweet peas in my servings' worth of this family specialty. Oh, the things we do for family.)
And so THAT brings us to Monday, March 19.
The WPS' birthday dinner. He specifically requested the Poor Man's Tuna Casserole. Funny thing was that, days before, I had ALREADY decided, as a surprise, to fix this favorite tuna casserole for his natal day dinner. Well, with a few small modifications.
The modifications? you ask. How can you can possibly MESS with so-called tuna casserole perfection?
(2) add a daring dash (or two or three) of garlic salt and fresh ground pepper; and
(3) discreetly set aside a serving of PMTC sans canned sweet peas for me, myself and I.
It was actually quite enjoyable.
Do try Chopstick Tuna when you're feeling bold and unfettered by the culinary constraints of your mom/dad/tribe's traditional tuna casserole.
It's a valve-slammer. (And PMTC isn't?)
But, channelling my best Paula Deen voice, that's what makes it guuddddddddd, honey.
|DO. NOT. MOVE. ANOTHER. INCH., CANNED SWEET PEAS.|
Or someone will get hurt.