Ben’s third Food for Plastic Challenge asks us to cook a dish that either we loved as a kid, or something that our kids love – considering we’re childless, it was time to put our thinking caps on for a trip down memory lane. My husband, moreso than me, has very distinct childhood food memories. Here’s just one of them, in his own words…
Food… it evokes memories. Memories of a more innocent time. Memories of childhood. And what food, you may ask, evokes my childhood best?
Creamed tuna on toast.
Yes, THAT humble dish.
My parents were not wealthy; in fact, I’d dare say they were members of the working poor. Dad was an optician until his retirement at age 62. Mom was a seamstress, or “garment worker” as her union (ILGWU) referred to people in her trade.
Since we weren’t well-off, we tended to make a lot of simple, inexpensive comfort foods. Spaghetti was a regular on our menu, as was meatloaf, and chicken a la king. But the dish I remember best was my father’s Creamed Tuna. His creamed tuna was GREAT. Why was it great, you may ask? I’ll let you in on a secret –
Add drained salad olives with pimentoes to the creamed tuna.
Adding olives gives the tuna a much-needed salty/sour kick that’s otherwise missing from the dish. It also adds texture. And most kids *will* love it. If they hate olives, just don’t tell them they’re in it — or alternately, mince the olives so finely that they’ll never guess they’re in there.
Don’t think that olives in creamed tuna are good? B doesn’t like olives, but she agreed that the creamed tuna *with olives* was great.
6-1/2 ounce can tuna fish (drained)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup green salad olives with pimentoes (drained)
To make white sauce, melt butter, blend in flour, salt and pepper. Mix until smooth. Gradualy stir in milk and heat while stirring constantly. (I use a whisk.) Heat until mixture boils and thickens.
To thickened sauce add drained tuna fish and olives. You may increase or decrease quantity of olives to taste. Stir until well mixed and thoroughly heated. Serve creamed tuna over mashed potatoes, rice, toast, etc., with vegetables if desired.
Makes approximately 2-1/2 cups.