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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Charlie the Jewish Tuna

Tonight I made tuna salad. This would be the first time in perhaps 5 years that I've done such a thing. I suppose I like tuna salad. I rarely eat it, though. I was reflecting on why, and I believe I know the answer.

When I was a young boy I had a friend named Dan who lived down the street. We were really good friends for a long time. Anyway, I'm Jewish, or was raised that way, or Jewish blood courses through my veins. Anyway, my family ate tuna. We often went to lunches at our synagogue, and they served tuna salad. I am proud to say I've always disliked white fish and lox and all that stuff. But I wasn't above tuna.

Anyway, my friend Dan had two sisters, and his family was originally from Kansas, I believe. They were Protestants, with perhaps a slight born-again streak. I guess tuna and especially tuna salad is foreign to people in the Midwest of such proclivities. Even in Pittsburgh, for as long as I remember, there was only one bagel place that was fairly close. And then Bruegger's opened, a bagel chain, and it was like the milkshake had just been invented - people were amazed by these things, these bagels. But I was quite familiar with them, having been Jewish and everything. My family wasn't so Jewish, but my grandma had been raised by Russian-immigrant parents, and so she retained a good bit of Jewish tradition. And certainly my grandma knew about bagels and would make treks to the bagel place (the one before Bruegger's).

So, I remember once Bruegger's opened, I went there with my friend and his sisters and perhaps it was their mom who drove, I don't remember. They got these strange new things, these bagels, and had them with ham and cheese or whatever. I got one with tuna. And I remember them looking at me like what the heck is that? They thought it was gross. I don't remember them making any association about eating bagels with tuna as being a Jewish thing, but I remember, for whatever reason, thinking it was a sign of my Jewishness, and it made me feel different.

I remember another time they told me I smelled like tuna, and again I felt Jewish. Sort of like a Jew has a big nose and is cheap - now a Jew is someone who smells like tuna. I think I may have actually stopped eating tuna for a while.

Buy my tuna (because I'm Jewish and want your money!)

So anyway, in the years since I have rarely eaten tuna, although I do remember in high school I became obsessed with Tabasco sauce and I would put it on tuna.

Recently I have found it necessary to cut costs, so I am eating at home more, and I have to figure out things to make. So I guess I just decided I would make tuna. I used very little mayo, because I really don't like it. Instead, I used a whole grain mustard, perhaps 3 parts mustard to 1 part mayo. I also put in black pepper and a little cayenne. If I had paprika I might have used that.

Here's a picture of my dinner....

Beware: if you eat this you will become a Jew