Friday, November 21, 2008

Tuna Casserole Recipe

While having lunch with Kathy the other day, she told me about her childhood cookbook she actually used to cook with and described the illustrations of the eggs diving into the bowls and I was so inspired by these images, I couldn't get it out of my mind.

When we returned back to the studio, she pulled it out from the shelf and showed it to me. It was everything I imagined it to be. Adorable illustrations with truly simple instructions.

When I was a kid, I always loved eating tuna casserole for dinner. Even now, as an adult, I will occasionally pack a Stouffers tuna casserole entree to take for my lunch at work. So you can imagine my excitement when I came across a Tuna Casserole recipe I could easily make for myself.

Ok. So I admit it.

I'm obviously not the greatest cook. Nor am I the most intuitive cook. I have no clue what ingredients taste good with what.

I photocopied these two pages and I headed off to the grocery store to pick up a few items.

Ingredients: Tuna Fish, Condensed Mushroom Soup, Piminto, Small bag of chips and an onion.

I skipped the pimento because I figured they were those green olives with the red circles inside, and I didn't see any reason to include them.

I did buy the small bag of potato chips and the cream of mushroom soup. I already had a can of tuna and an onion.

Returned home to my newly updated kitchen, turned on music ... and I went to work.

As I was stirring the tuna fish and the cream of mushroom soup together, I started to vaguely think this might be a bad idea. Having already scrapped the idea of adding the pimento olives, I simply stirred in the small chopped onions and crumpled a small bag of potato chips on top as the recipe explained and then placed it in the oven.

It didn't look right.

It didn't feel right.

Short of a gray mushy matter, it looked like something I should be pouring down the garbage disposal instead of into my pyrex dish for my dinner.

But I placed it in the oven anyway and cooked it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

When the buzzer sounded, I scooped up that lovely gray matter onto a plate and I ate my dinner.

Maybe it's just my own personal observation, but I found it rather bland and boring.

If I were writing the recipe, I would have added extra ingredients such as celery and peas and noodles! NO0O0DLES for heaven's sake. Is that so wrong?

No, of course not. And why didn't I add those things myself? Because I didn't believe in my own cooking talent skills.

Hey, you know what? I learned something about myself tonight. I carry around the same beliefs about my house-keeping skills and keeping house plants alive.

Tonight I'm believing in second thoughts . . .

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A day in my life

I love this time of year. It is so beautiful and breath-taking.

This is how I spent my weekend. The Autumn in all it's wonder and splender gets me feeling so rejuvinated. I feel its hug.

Autumn reminds me of putting on my running shoes to go for a run, or saying yes to the hair designer who wants to cut my hair in layers... or biting into an after dinner mint and tasting the white gooey center.

In those moments I am so happy with delight I can't remember what follows....

And then it hits me.....

I realize that I don't like running. I forget that as soon as I say yes to layers, I can not wait for them to grow out. And the dinner mint. Oh! The dinner mint! It looks so dark and delicious but as soon as I bite into that soft, seemingly melted mint... my tongue pushes it forward and I need to dispose of it instantly into my napkin.

Autumn is just like that to me.

As soon as the scissors start to clip. Or I start to run. Or I bite into that gooey center... i remember what follows and my joy is over with.

It is called Winter.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A bird brain isn't what we think it is

I heard on the news the other day that a bird. Yes, a bird. Saved a child's life. You can read about it here.

A one-year-old Quaker parrot saved a two-year-old's life by shouting "Mama baby! Mama baby!" when that sweet little bird noticed the little girl was choking. The babysitter came out of the bathroom and noticed the little girl was blue in the face and she performed the Heimlich maneuver which stopped her choking.

I instantly thought of Alex the bird.

Have you heard of him? He was an African Grey parrot who passed away last year.

I once saw him on an evening news show and he was talking to his trainer and it appeared evident to me that he wasn't simply mimicking words.

In the report, he asked for a nut and the trainer said she would give him a nut afterwards. Alex then said, "I wanna go back." (to his cage). She wanted him to perform in front of the camera and the bird wasn't in the mood. The trainer said to Alex, "C'mon!" but Alex just wasn't in the mood to perform and he said, "I'm sorry."

His last words to his trainer as she put in his cage on the last night of his life, Alex looked up at her and said, "You be good, see you tomorrow. I love you."

He died of natural causes. He was much too young. He was just 31.

Experts say he had the brain of a 5-year-old and the emotions of a 2-year-old.

You can view a video of him here. I hope you do. It will make your heart swell.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

If you were my friend then

I'd let you ride my sting-ray bike with the steering wheel while I rode your boring bike with the flower basket in front. You could color with all the new crayons that aren't flat or broken and I would give you the last red otter pop in the box. We would build a fort together and I would let you be president while I was vice-president. When playing monopoly, you can use the car to be your piece while I pick something like the dog or shoe or thimble.

If you were my friend then, we would count to three before hanging up the phone. But I would stay on the line until I heard you actually hang up.



Are you still there?
Let's hang up on the count of three.


One... Two... Three.



Hey! You were supposed to hang up!
I was waiting for YOU to hang up.
I was waiting FOR YOU to hang up.

Let's do it again.

One. Two. Two and a half. Three.


If you were my friend then, I would watch Star Trek with you even though I liked Lost in Space better. When we pretend to be The Monkees, I would play the part of Micky or Michael or Peter because you would want to be Davy Jones. In the movie theater, you'd get the seat closest to the center. We would speak in a fake language whenever we were in front of strangers. We would tell ghost stories shining the flash light under our chins and then fall asleep in our flannel sleeping bags with our transistor radios playing under our pillows.

If you were my friend then, we'd sware we would always be friends. And we would be. We would prick our fingers with a thumb tack and then rub our blood together donning us Blood Sisters.

And we were.

And we are.