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Life ... It's Why We Cook.

Tuna and a Tiger 
Aug. 11, 2011 10:04 am 
Updated: Aug. 16, 2011 10:11 am
In a recent post, BAGRUBA wrote of her husband’s dislike of tuna. When I began commenting on her post, I realized I was writing something of too much length to be just a comment. So, here is a post that follows up her post, Retro Trickery , which includes a recipe for Tuna Cakes.
During our early marriage, my wife was so determined to make me like tuna that she actually made me dislike it even more. After several years, she gave up. Many years later, I took over nearly all of the meal preparations which got me to thinking back on my childhood and the food I ate then. I surprised myself when I remembered that tuna was a large part of our menus.  My mother made it as casserole, patties and salads and I always ate it with gusto.
Why had I developed such dislike? The only thing between my mother serving tuna and my wife serving tuna was the four years that I was in the Air Force. So, what had the Air Force done to cause me this dislike? I couldn’t think of anything. In fact, I could not remember having tuna during my tour.
As much as I hate admitting I was being ridiculous, I have to say I was being ridiculous. There is no other explanation. So, while my wife was at work, I would (sneaky like) experiment with tuna for my lunch.
I remember my first experiment. I bought ½ pound of macaroni salad at the deli and a 5 ounce can of tuna. I just mixed them together and ate. I liked it! At another time, I tried a tuna, mayo, and onion sandwich. I liked that, too! Yet another time I made a garden salad that I added some tuna to. (I used a honey/ mustard dressing.) Again, I liked it. (If I had any leftover tuna, I would give it to the neighbor’s cat which learned long ago to hang out at our door.)
This change brought on a new problem that I needed to resolve. How can I serve my wife a meal of tuna after I had refused it whenever she prepared it? If I served tuna for a meal, I was very aware that there would be repercussions. For example: “How come you won’t eat tuna when I fix it? Isn’t my food good enough for you?” Or- even worse- the silent pouty treatment for which I would have to ask a thousand questions about what’s wrong only to be met with more pouty silence. Communication breakdown? Nope! Total blackout. 
After a few weeks trying to determine if serving tuna would be starting WW III, I made macaroni salad with tuna and served it to my wife. (It felt like offering a meatball to a wild tiger. The tiger would certainly eat it, but would include my entire upper body as the route to the meatball.)After taking a taste, she asked, “This is tuna! What made you fix this?”
(Crud! Here it comes! Quick! There must be a lifesaving lie someplace!)
“This is really good!”
“Thank you.”
“You must have made this just for me because you don’t like tuna. You’re so nice!”
(What’s happening? Must be the tiger likes butter and sugar on torsos?)
She continued eating without further comment and then took a second helping. After eating, she said she would like to have the leftovers for her lunch!
Was I actually in the clear? Time will tell. Sometimes the goddess of war takes a while to create the perfect strategy for retaliatory strikes.
Aug. 11, 2011 10:17 am
ROFLOL, Mike you sly fox, you got away with it this time. We, the estrogen filled people, will eventually catch on. If you were mine, I would make you a tuna cake or something like that to let you know that I knew. Very long story, but RNGrampa played me in a similar fashion and now I am the only one who cuts the grass around here. We laugh about it all these years later, but he got away with a tiger moment too. Thanks for sharing the chuckles.
Aug. 11, 2011 10:50 am
Very funny Mike. You know, you are a nice guy - play that to the max. Isn't it funny how we re-discover certain foods? I am sure your wife is thrilled. How do you feel about liver and onions or Spam?
Aug. 11, 2011 12:00 pm
Nice one Mike! I failed at my tiger moment when I innocently tried to sneak in cottage cheese in place of ricotta in my lasagna. Hubby took one bite and instantly knew. I've behaved since then.
Aug. 11, 2011 12:01 pm
My congrats to RNGranpaw for getting away with it! Congrats, also, for getting an in house lawn keeper! He's gotta be real smart!
Aug. 11, 2011 12:07 pm
Hi, B'Nana! Liver and onions? Right at the top of my "Yuck List". As for Spam, I used to take it with me on bicycle trips or hiking trips and eat it straight from the can. Now, I have been ordered off of it and all canned or processed meats (like bacon, ham and sausage)because of the high sodiums, phosphates and fats. I haven't sneaked any Spam yet. As for the bacon and hams...?
Aug. 11, 2011 12:16 pm
Innocently tried to sneak??? It does sound quite wifey!
Aug. 11, 2011 1:32 pm
Mike, loved this! Reminds me of many a yr ago... "I won't eat tuna casserole, EVER!" "Fine," I replied... I'll make it just for ME! It took a few yrs, but finally it came out... "that smells great, can I try some?" End of that civil war... within reason of course! Once in a while is good...
Aug. 11, 2011 2:47 pm
LOLOLOLOLOL! LOVED the blog! If you ever do make it to a roundup will your dear sweet lady be able to come too? Or will you leave her at home so she can't tell on you!? AHHhhhh, I'm still laughing!!!
Aug. 11, 2011 2:48 pm
Oh and BTW, if mine doesn't SEE it going in his food he is perfectly fine with eating it :)(:
Aug. 11, 2011 2:59 pm
LOLOLOL! I, too, am guilty of "sneaking" things into recipes. Most recently it's been zucchini. DH has always refused to eat it in any form, until now. I made relish this summer and innocently forgot to mention it was zucchini instead of cucumber---DH loves it! I just canned some more today. Welcome to the club, Mike!
Aug. 11, 2011 3:14 pm
I can attest to Mangel's flair with food cause my kid was looking for something she had made that didn't stay. LOLOL!
Aug. 11, 2011 3:22 pm
Mike - I am finally making BAWN tonight. I promised I would! It smells delicious. :)
Aug. 11, 2011 3:25 pm
Hope about this for trickery - Many many years ago No Baking Papa went to start the lawn mower - he pulled so hard it jumped in the air and landed on his foot, cutting his tennis shoe in half. We were afraid to take off the shoe until we were certain there was no blood involved. Nope it cut his shoe and sock cleanly in half and left his foot in tack. He has never started another lawn mower to this day! Pretty slick, I'd say!
Aug. 11, 2011 3:26 pm
Mangel - Zucchini Relish? Recipe please! or do a blog! :)
Aug. 11, 2011 4:03 pm
Sounds like a perfect opportunity to mention how your radiation treatments altered your tastes! There are a few great recipes on here for curried tuna that brought me back to eating it after a very lengthy hiatus.
Aug. 11, 2011 4:04 pm
Hi, Stevie! It's nice to know we have shared similar experiences. Glad you're out and about!
Aug. 11, 2011 4:11 pm
Good evening, Cat! I do expect to be able to travel soon. I'm trying real hard for it and the doctors are very pleased with my progress- regardless of my last labs. I have two very critical appointments coming up in the next six months and if I have improved satisfactorily, I'll be released from cautious restrictions. Then, it's just a question of saving some mad money for the trips.
Aug. 11, 2011 4:19 pm
It was Zucchini Relish that got me to eat Zucchini, too, Mangel. In time it led to me trying other summer squash to now when I actually enjoy it. I have two recipes for Zucchini Relish. One from a long gone friend and a similar one from this site. Both very good but the one from my friend is more special.
Aug. 11, 2011 4:26 pm
B'Nana, enjoy the BAWN! My granddaughters are coming again next week and ordered it when they left a couple of weeks ago. They know it as Beef with Noodles, though. ... That sure was a close call your husband had. I guess it's a close shave would be more accurate. ;)
Aug. 11, 2011 4:28 pm
Good evening, BigShotsMom! Curried, eh? I'll have to make a search for those recipes. Curry is a spice that is supposed to help me. Thanks!
Aug. 11, 2011 4:33 pm
I'm trying to avoid mentioning the radiation, BigShotsMom. I don't want to be a stuck record but you are right. This is one instance where my taste improved.
Aug. 11, 2011 7:05 pm
LOLOL! Since I don't have a sense of smell, I've never appreciated how others when they have a cold lose their sense of taste. However, when you talked of your altered taste due to the radiation it did make me realize how important food tasting was to our general health. After all, if you don't eat if it doesn't taste good how are you going to get better. And you didn't answer my question about your wife. She does know what you are doing in your spare time(blogging) doesn't she? LOL My sister found my blog and was here at the roundup. Deep sigh, family will keep you honest won't they? :)
Aug. 11, 2011 7:23 pm
She knows about my blogging, Cat. She has little interest in it, for some reason. Might be the shy thing? She has read many of my posts and has free access to this web site. As for whether or not my wife would come to a roundup, I really can't say. She wants to have 50 years in where she works when she retires. That will happen in three more years. If she wants to use her vacation time to go with me then she will be there. If she wants to use her vacation other ways, then I'll be by myself.
Aug. 12, 2011 1:20 pm
Mike! This gave me a good chuckle!! My dislike was pineapple. When I was a kid a neighbor brought us over a pineapple-upside down cake as a goodbye gift as we were moving the next day. I ate a large portion of that cake myself and then was sick the entire drive to our new home, which was 7-1/2 hrs away in a new state. I didn't touch pineapple for about 25 years. Now I love it. At least I knew the reason why I hated it, but I was being ridiculous. So glad we got our internet troubles fixed up and I was able to get on to read this post! :-)
Aug. 13, 2011 9:45 am
LOL! Since she is your wife and girlfriend too I figured she knew:) Mine DH is the same way. Could care less but he is nice enough to put a mean BBQ spread out for my friends that come. I really think he has fun when they come too :)(:
Aug. 15, 2011 6:02 pm
@B'Nana & Mike, I've got a canning blog coming sometime this week. I've been taking pictures throughout the process. This summer is the first time I've actually canned vegetables, and I've had a lot of fun. Stay tuned for my "Can-can" blog:)
Aug. 15, 2011 6:16 pm
I'll see if B'nana, Cat and Redneck Gramma want to join me in harassing you.
Aug. 16, 2011 10:11 am
It's a date!
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Mike Harvey, daPITA

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Battle Creek, Michigan, USA

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About Me
At age 16, I began cooking when my mother was injured in an accident that kept her off her feet for five weeks. At first, my repertoire was fried hot dogs with pork and beans, boiled hot dogs with macaroni and cheese or pizza from a box. After a couple weeks of this, my younger brother was the first to protest and demand variety and my dad was quick to support him. That was my first cooking challenge, learning to plan a meal. About that time, mom returned from the hospital and from her bed, began teaching me things like roast beef, fried chicken, stews and all the sides and trimmings. In 1967, I married and my wife designated herself as the cook and this continued until 1999. It was then that I (voluntarily) began cooking again. At some point, I realized that I was having fun and began searching for recipes that were more challenging and interesting. I found AR and used it's recipes for a long time before registering and later becoming an active member.
My favorite things to cook
Soups. How can I go wrong? They are a great way to use up leftovers and those veggies that are approaching the end of their usefulness. They are always an original recipe. Roasts and steaks are favored, also. Getting the right "doneness" and choosing appropriate sides for a tastey and attractive meal is a continuing and always evolving menu.
My favorite family cooking traditions
If creating impulsive menus and recipes is a tradition then, (I guess) we have a tradition. A new tradition is developing. I have a fruitcake recipe that, I believe, is near perfection. I make it just before Thanksgiving so it is aged enough for the Christmas/ New Year holidays.
My cooking triumphs
Without a doubt, my own recipe for a Reuben Sandwich. It has been a demanded item for many years and I shared it in my AR blog. http://allrecipes.com/Cook/13101603/BlogEntry.aspx?postid=204609
My cooking tragedies
Too many. I have been able to throw them out and have something new before my wife gets home. Most of the time, anyway.
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