Sunday, March 16, 2008

FUN MONDAY - Tuna Surprise


Nikki has set us this task for St Patrick's Day! She would like to know What created words does your family use?! Please share the story behind the word if you remember. If you don't have a made up word then tell us about the unspoken way you communicate with someone. Do you and your significant other have a look that means "This party is boring, lets split" or do you have a look that your kids know means their butt is in serious trouble? Please share!! And a picture of the look would be very entertaining! OR/AND In honor of St. Paddy's Day, please share your worst green beer story!'


It isn’t so much what is we say but the meaning behind it. Fist you will need a little background, the family is large and spread over more than two decades. Large is relative, my Mother was one of twelve and she had a couple of brothers that had twelve kids each, so our family wouldn’t be considered large. But in a neighborhood of only children or families with just two kids, our tribe seem massive, loud, and always in motion. Add to it that there was usually a cousin or three added to the mix and a friend for each of us (often one of them onlys). There was almost always a gang at our house, yes we were the house with all the kids around . My Farther made an ok income, and My Mother worked up until John, the third of us bunch of hooligans was born. This was back in the early forties when married woman didn’t work, but Mother did as she please and was emancipated long before woman’s liberation ever came along. Sorry I digressed. But Daddy-boy make an ok income, and it would have been plenty for a house hold of one or even two children but for are large brood and our penchant to collect sheepskins, the family budget was tight. Mother was frugal and nothing was thrown away that could have any possible real use. No, we did not collect little pieces of string and the like, but those little pieces of soap where put in a large jug under the station tubs and she melted then down to form new bars or concocted into soft soap. We by no means ever went hungry, or didn’t have some thing we needed. However clothing were hand me downs, and food was NEVER thrown away. Cooking is where my Mother genius shown throw, no she was not what one would say was a good cook but she was creative. Leftover hamburgers were turn into meat sauce that was later turned into chili, and that was a tame progression. One day she started out making icing for a cake and we ended up with two cakes. I was in school before I realized that not everyone used old cereal in their cookies and that recipes were more than suggestions. We learned two very important thing with my Mother’s cooking one just because it looked like pumpkin pie did mean it was, this was, this was true for just about anything (lesson only take a small portion on the fist passing until your sure you like it) Food was not wasted if you took it you ate it. Second don’t complain. If some reason you choked out “Oh my God this taste like burnt cat S#!&” My Mother did not hear this what she heard was “Oh Mother dear , I would just love to clear the table and do the dishes.” and would sweetly remind you that the floor could use mopping as well, when you done with the dishes. (lesson Don't complain thing could be worse). Most of the time the meals were pretty editable. Every Thursday we would have Tuna Surprise. It was pretty much a family tradition and I am sure if the Queen herself was coming over to dinner, we would still have Tuna Surprise. The game became to get someone new over for dinner on Thursday Night, for Tuna Surprise. You see some time during the meal they would ask why we called it tuna surprise. As if in one voice we would all say , “Surprise No Tuna” . Thursday was the day my Mother clean out the refrigerator, and anything left over was fair game to go into a concoction of her making. It could take many forms, casserole, pot pies, turn overs, pinwheels, sherpard pie, pancakes, pop up and most of the time pretty tasty. When I lived in New Mexico, I continue the same tradition and it wasn’t long before my roommates would invite guesses over. Then the next thing you know the neighbors were bring their leftover on Wednesday so they could come to dinner Thursday and see what they would become.
Our Family still use Tuna Surprise an a term for a dish made from.

16 comments:

Mariposa said...

So that if I pay you a visit you will give me that Tuna Surprise? Nice story...have a nice week!

SwampAngel65 said...

That's a great story! I may have to steal your Tuna Surprise. We always have an odd mixture of left-overs, so it would be veeeery interesting. My sister has a varient of that, except her's is called "Ready, Set, COOK!"

So, no green beer, huh?

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!

Pamela said...

Our mothers were sisters.

ChrisB said...

I love your 'Tuna Surprise' idea and such a great story.

-Ann said...

Fantastic story - I love it.

Lil Mouse said...

i read this short story once about a guy who was embarrassed that his family had a big meaty stew with leftovers all thrown in all the time when a friend was over, and liked being as his friends house who had things like pizza and etc. and the friend was so happy to get his mom's soup that he asked to come back again and again as his family didnt make things homemade. its quite an interesting thing to see what you can make out of what you have!

My Husband Calls Me Weird said...

What an awesome story! Thanks for sharing.

My Husband Calls me Weird

Karmyn R said...

That is a great story. I think that many mothers during that time period were about as resourceful. We have really gotten away from saving, haven't we. If more people followed your mom's way of life - we'd probably have less garbage.

Dreaming What Ifs...

Sayre said...

Hahaha... I am from a large family too (6 kids) and my mom was a...creative cook too. I can relate all too well to your story!!!

Heather said...

Your mom sounds awesome!

janet said...

a wonderful story ... thank you for sharing it.

Tiggerlane said...

I can only imagine how cool it would have been to grow up in your family - SO much different than my existence as an only child! Can't wait to try my own "tuna surprise!"

Faye said...

This is a great story. i babysat for a very large family in high school--we had a picnic table in the kitchen to hold everyone and the transformations for ground beef were endless. And, nobody complained!

Pam said...

thanks for the warm wishes on my daughter's birthday!

Melanie said...

Ha! Cute story!!

jennifer said...

Very cool idea. My kids would turn up their little noses at an actual tuna meal but I wonder what they would think about this?

Jennifer