Our family room now houses a temporary eating area because we are in the process of getting our kitchen remodeled. Squished in by our fireplace is our refrigerator and kitchen table. The microwave and toaster are taking up space at the table with a lot of other things that used to have a special spot to stay, but now have nowhere to go. Things like scissors and vitamins and such. My husband bought a two-burner cooktop, but he ended up taking it back to the store because we never took it out of the box. It seemed like too much work to use, since we have no running water on our main floor. Thankfully, the weather has been nice because a lot of grilling has been going on. The microwave and grill have been meeting all our cooking needs, so far.
Not having a functioning kitchen has caused me to seriously miss cooking and baking. I haven’t made my favorite recipe of banana bread for years, but suddenly I have a craving for it that will not go away. Another thing I miss is the usual spaghetti meal we have on our table about once a week. Luckily we got to have that when we babysat. I’ve never been so thrilled to boil water as I was last weekend when we used our daughter and son-in-law’s kitchen. I made that simple spaghetti meal, served with fun garlic bread, and a tossed salad. Now thoughts are coming to me about how much I miss the taste of my mom’s tuna pasta salad.
My mom made tuna pasta salad for us for as long as I can remember. When our kids came along, I made the salad every Sunday, after we got home from church. It’s one of those family recipes that is not written down anywhere (until now). Somehow it morphed into my brain from watching my mom make it so many times. Adjustments needed to be made for some of my kids, who don’t like peas, which, ironically, I think is the best part! I like it when the peas hide inside the shell-shaped noodles. When they fall into place that way, it looks like they were made for each other. 🙂
Here’s how I make it: I boil two to three cups of the small shell-shaped pasta in water, depending on how many hungry people there are to feed. While that’s cooking, I drain one small can of albacore white tuna and combine it with two or three stalks of chopped celery, a couple of slices of chopped onions, Miracle Whip (with olive oil), a 16-oz. can of drained peas, and a splash of lemon juice. Sometimes I add a little salt and pepper; other times, I leave it for others to add their own seasonings. Mom didn’t use the “splash of lemon,” but I think it adds a little flavor. I can’t tell you how much Miracle Whip I put in. A person has to “eye ball it” until it gets to a certain consistency of deliciousness.
Until the kitchen is back where it belongs, I will keep my chin up and continue to create a list of things to make. Seems like the list is going to be kind of long because long-lost cravings keep popping up and the tile for the floor is on “back order.” 😦
Do you have a recipe that you had when you were a child that you still enjoy today?