Holiday ramblings part one – Food!


With no specific topic to talk about today, I thought I’d do some holiday ramblings. As I see it, this will take two posts, so I’ll kick off today’s ramblings by talking about food!

Now, not everything I’ll be rambling about will be holiday food, but that’s why I call ’em “Ramblings”!

Tracks of my tears

I really enjoy tuna fish. I think, if I was motivated enough, I might eat tuna fish all week. Not all the time, mind you, but frequently.

Part of this is my long and fun history with tuna fish. During the many, many fishing trips Dad took me on, the go-to meal lunch on the water was usually a thick and dripping tuna fish sandwich. On rye. With extra onion.

Whether that was odd or symmetry to have a fish sandwich while fishing, they were awesome! Hmm? Why were they “dripping”? That’s from the lemon juice, which, by midday, had nicely soaked through the whole sandwich (and sometimes the rye bread).

Many times, I take the shortcut. Open a tin and dump it on a plate, slice up some onion and plop down some mayo. Scoop up the tuna and mayo (Helmann’s only) and slap some onion in the mouth and just enjoy.

Occasionally, though, I get the hankering. Then I grab some celery at the store and do the chopping. Since I got my food processor, I’ve made more tuna salad than before (it’s easy!). But, it’s not quite seemed the same.

The problem seems to be the food processor is too darn efficient, chopping the onion and celery too fine. Today, before vacuuming and dusting, I decided to go “old school” and hand chop a tuna salad.

And then I was reminded of a special gift long-forgotten with the advent of the food processor – them onions sure make you cry…especially when they’re fresh.

But, boy, is this a great tuna salad!

Relishing the task

Speaking of tuna salad, Dad’s secret ingredient in the sandwich was to mix in some pickle relish. That combination of super sweet, against the onions and lemon juice, was an awesome effect.

I don’t always have relish in the house. It’s not something I naturally include in my food shopping. Outside of when I pick up a pack of hot dogs, about the only time I have relish is when it’s left over from one of my twice a year barbecues.

Pretty convenient, then, that I just happen to be in the “leftover zone” from Halloween. Relish added to today’s tuna salad. And, what do you know, is that a few remaining slices of rye I see in the fridge?

By the way, the relish is also a terrific addition to an egg salad, but don’t get me started on that favorite of mine…we’d never get through today’s ramblings!

Say cheese!

Holiday photos notwithstanding, I am commended on my fabulous macaroni and cheese. Because of that, I am often commanded to bring the same to any (dinner) party I get invited to.

When the party includes my nieces, I don’t even wait for the request. It’s a given. First, one of them is a vegetarian, so staring a holiday table (or BBQ) full of meats doesn’t make her joyful. Scarfing my 7-cheese, crispy baked mac & cheese puts her into a holiday mood no matter the time of year!

The mass of cheese makes me have to split up a 16 ounce box of elbows into two pans. This year, I’ll bring both to the Thanksgiving dinner. That will serve two purposes: ensure everyone gets enough and remove that cholesterol death temptation from my home.

That’s so cheesy

Another cheese-based confection I’ve been holiday famous for is the noodle kugel. Some people will call it a noodle pudding. Others simply don’t care and just want it. Especially during the holidays.

Based on an old yellowed recipe from Dad, I have adapted it over the years to fit my devious tastes. To wit, I double the amount of cream cheese that goes into the kugel. When I’m done with it, it’s basically a cheese cake with noodles. Awesome!

As with my tuna salad, I am brand specific on certain aspects of the dish. The cream cheese must be Philadelphia brand and the sour cream must be Breakstone’s. And I like Land O’ Lakes for my butter sticks.

Generally, when I shuffle between holiday homes (tomorrow’s post), my family gets the mac & cheese and my friends get the kugel. And I get “forced” to eat Thanksgiving dinner twice.

When it comes to food, I could ramble on interminably, but I’ll call it here. Tomorrow will be Holiday Ramblings part two – peeps (and not the marshmallow ones).

2 Responses to “Holiday ramblings part one – Food!”

  1. Steve Lewis

    Tracey likes mixing pickle relish into chicken salad as well.

    Noodle kugel sounds yummy!

    • JMD

      There’s likely few “deli” salads that don’t benefit from a little relish mixed in.

      The noodle kugel is indeed. Email me if you want the recipe.


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