From a traditional standpoint, tuna salad is made up of four essential components:
- Canned tuna
- Hard boiled eggs
The number of times that Mom or Dad made tuna salad in my formative years is countless. I can remember having that stuff smeared on a couple of pieces of Wonder bread (white, of course) and accompanied by a good handful of Ruffles.
There was that one time when the family all packed up and went out to Alcova Lake for a day of fishing. We had packed all of the necessities for such a day trip, and managed to top our supplies list off with a bag of Cheetos and a six pack of Shasta purchased at a gas station just a matter of miles from the lake. Among the supplies which got packed was a green Tupperware bowl full of tuna salad.
Naturally the memory of a day trip to the lake armed with fishing gear and the makings for a tuna salad sandwich serve as an amalgam of childhood events which all seem to run together. Whether we picked up Cheetos and Shasta that day or not is immaterial, but I can assure you we picked them up for one of those trips at one point or another.
The interesting thing I remember about that day was that I had caught the biggest fish and that things were particularly muddy. Things were so muddy , in fact, that the sedan we were riding in got stuck.
It seems like it took Dad forever to get us out of that mess. Mom, my brother and I stayed in the car while Dad worked outside at the rear of the car trying to rock it out of the muddy mess. At one point, he used a bumper jack to lift the rear of the car in hopes of liberating the car.
Big picture, it probably didn’t take forever. In the mind of a 7 or 8 year old kid, forever gets measured in 20 minute increments.
During that time while we waited in the car and Dad explored various forms of mechanical engineering to negotiate a mid-70’s sedan out of a nasty Wyoming mud hole, we dined on tuna salad sandwiches, Ruffles potato chips, and Shasta crème soda.
Obviously we got out. I wouldn’t be here talking about it right now otherwise.
I would have to say, the last time I had one of those tuna salad sandwiches was sometime in my teenaged years when I still lived at home.
You see in all of those years since I left home, I’ve never made myself a batch of tuna salad, smeared it on Wonder bread, and chased it with Ruffles and Shasta.
You see, I don’t like tuna. I never have.
I don’t like mayonnaise. I never have.
I don’t like pickles. I never have.
I don’t like hard boiled eggs. I never have.
For whatever reason, I could eat the tuna salad and like it.
I would imagine the operative word there is ‘could’.
Welcome to one of my many mental hang-ups.