Tuna melt

24 Apr

tuna melt

Whenever I eat a tuna melt it takes me back to my childhood in northern BC.

One of my first friends had parents who belonged to the Royal Order of Elks. My parents weren’t remotely interested in joining clubs, but it looked pretty good to my young eyes.

Her parents got to march in the parade in bright purple jackets. And there were social events, like the summer barbeque or children’s Christmas party that I’d attend as her guest.

But what I liked best about the Elks was going to the lodge.

My friend ate there pretty regularly while her parents attended meetings or socialised. It felt very grown-up to walk down there on our own, sign in, and choose a table in the restaurant. We’d order Cokes with a cherry, tuna melts, and chips with gravy and put it on her dad’s tab.

I used to think how lucky she was, but I see it differently now.

Her parents were fun loving and generous. They often had people round, drinking rye, smoking cigarettes and playing cards at the kitchen table late into the night. No one fussed about what we ate or watched on TV, where we slept – or made us go to bed at all. My parents were pretty laid back, but there was a structure to our lives that was missing in the house across the street.

My friend was clingy – lonely I now realise. In time the ice cream breakfasts, late-night horror movies – even the tuna melts at the lodge – lost their allure. After I skipped a grade at school, we were in different classes and the friendship dwindled.

When they moved away a couple of years later, we lost touch. (Though I heard somehow that she ended up happily married to a long-haul trucker and living in Texas.)

Here’s to her, and thanks for all the tuna melts…

Tuna melt
(serves 1)

  • 1 tin tuna, drained
  • 1 Tb mayonnaise
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 1 Tb celery, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 English muffin, sliced
  • butter
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
  1. First, make the tuna salad by combining the tuna, mayonnaise, minced onion and celery. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat the broiler.
  3. Toast the muffin halves and butter lightly.
  4. Divide the tuna salad between the two muffin halves and top with grated cheddar cheese.
  5. Broil for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

3 Responses to “Tuna melt”

  1. Adam Garfunkel April 24, 2018 at 7:54 am #

    Charming story!

  2. Yana April 24, 2018 at 12:59 pm #

    I enjoy your storytelling, Andrea 🙂

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