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Meat loaf musings

Our staff had meat loaf for lunch today.  One of our parishioners (God bless her!) brings us lunch every Tuesday, and it's always a home-cooked, down-home meal.  Nothing fancy, just a simple meal.  Today was meat loaf.

We talked about how hard it was to make a decent meat loaf, even though it seems deceptively easy.  One of our priests mentioned that it seemed to be one of those foods that you always associate with your mother and her cooking:  "It's good, but it's not as good as Mom's" sort of thing.  The meal was topped off with a homemade, from scratch, butter cream cake.  Made with real butter.  It was amazing....but I digress.

While we were reminiscing about our fave meals from our childhood, I mentioned the most hated dish my mother made:  creamed tuna on toast.  This is now a meal of legendary proportions in our family and elsewhere.

I'm not sure the origin of the meal:  if it was a recipe or something Mom "whipped up".  (I should add here that my mom is an otherwise fabulous cook.  Really.)  It may be something from Mom's Depression childhood.  I do know we got it a lot during Lent.  My dad never complained about it, but then he never complained about anything.  I know I ate it, so at some point I must have thought it edible....

The basic recipe is this:  you take a can of tuna and cook it in a can of cream of mushroom soup - sort of a gravy, if you will.  You can add various veggies;  Mom liked lima beans.  She also sliced up a couple of hard boiled eggs and put those in.  Then, you pour this whole "mix" over several pieces of sliced, plain toast.  Creamed tuna on toast.  (You may have known a chipped beef variation, known as "SOS" to soldiers: 
"S#&^ on a Shingle.")

No one - ever, anywhere, NO ONE - has ever heard me describe this and said,  "That sounds okay."  No, it is always met with a look of horror.  Disgust.  Outright disbelief.  As it should have been.  My children are pretty sure it was a meal used only for torture purposes.  My mom claims it was never that bad (and isn't that how we want our food:  "It's not that bad....."?).  If nothing else, it has given us a meal that is now the benchmark of nastiness for me and my siblings. 

Got any meal memories from Mom you want to share?


  1. Mom used to make the same thing for us. We called Tuna ala Guck. They served it once in college and called it Tuna Creole. Chris and I both ate dry toast that night. After we told everyone our name for it, it was never served again. Just Nasty!!!


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