Wednesday, June 30, 2010

torrid food love affair gone wrong

It's the stuff of dream and nightmare alike. The food equivalent of one man's trash is another's treasure. Something you have consumed and loved, licking your fingers of every last bit of it, even while you're crouching hip-deep in the hall closet so no one can see exactly what that thing is on your plate.

You know you have at least one ill-advised food choice. Maybe several.

Here's mine. Imagine, if you will, the most fragrant white bread. Homemade with mom's steady strong hands. The crust a golden brown, the inside a most powder softish white. Cut a slice of it, thick. And toast it until the whole kitchen smells like a slice of heaven. Slather it with melty butter and sit it on a white dinner plate. And then this: the creamiest white sauce, made with whole milk and butter and a little bit of flour. Stirred and thickened in a saucepan. Generously peppered and salted. The mixture bubbling softly and slowly stirred in the pan. And add to that...

A can of tuna.

(Yes, keep going, you read that right.)

The tuna is mixed with the white sauce and warmed over with bubbling thickness until it is all combined together and then you pour this concoction over the toast. And eat it.

I'm not ashamed. Growing up we called it, very creatively, TUNAFISH GRAVY ON TOAST. It was delicious. Absolutely positively beyond-the-pale magnificent and I don't know if my favorite part was how my mom would sprinkle some more pepper on top of the whole concoction or how I could surp up extra bits of the tuna-yummy white sauce gravy stuff with a thick piece of toast. I would just spoon that stuff on, over the toast like a weird backwards world version of pancakes and syrup, and then cut it up in little squares with my knife. I'd eat all the edge pieces first, the thicker bits with the crust--- saving the last square from the center of the bread for last. The most tender and buttery piece almost melting into the tuna gravy. Oh damn. It was heaven.

I'll stop a minute so you can gag or laugh or just cry.

I know what you're thinking: TUNAFISH... GRAVY... ON TOAST? And now you're sort of dying, wondering if we can even be FRIENDS now, right? But I submit that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU has a shameful love affair with something similar. Something so repulsive, so weird, so beyond the accepted norm that you don't normally even think about what you're eating, let alone talk about it.

But today, my friends, we are SO going to talk about it. I want details. Whether you eat it weekly or only once-upon-a-time, I want to hear all about it.


Amanda said...

I can't think while I'm gagging. Ohmygoodness that's something.

I'm going to have to think hard. I am an insanely picky eater so anything that seems out there to me would be entirely normal to others.

Pickles and Dimes said...

When I was a kid, butter was a rarity (we used margarine, mostly). So when my parents would go for their nightly walk, I'd sometimes take a piece of Wonder Bread, tear off the crust, roll the bread into little dough balls and slather them in real, decadent, forbidden butter. And if we didn't have bread for some reason, I'd take a spoon and eat the butter plain.

Anonymous said...

Pork rinds. Mmm, I love pork rinds though I rarely eat them now.

My mom would love your tuna gravy concoction. She's a tuna noodle casserole fan but I've never understood it.

Rose said...

I usually eat some pretty interesting concoctions when I'm pregnant.

One that Jared raised an eyebrow at was what I've eaten for breakfast a few times.

A couple pieces of French toast, crisp bacon, fried eggs, and a banana...

Made into a sandwich!


Bethsix said...

I will have to come back to this later with my own confession, but I have to tell you that we ate this exact same thing when I was growing up, and called it "Shit on a Shingle." I think the name is after a similar beef dish served in the military.

Bird said...

Tuna Pie. The ingredients that I can remember (I'm sure there are some that I didn't know were in there) are as follows: Canned Tuna, Rice, Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup. What I'm guessing my mother did was boil this all together or bake it until it was slop consistency and then serve it hot. As a special treat sometimes, I was allowed to crumble Pringles over it as sort of a crumb topping. I LOVED this growing up but looking back I can't believe that (a) my health freak parents served this and (b) I, as a picky eater, ate this with gusto. But lo, it was the eighties. And Tuna Pie was awesome.

Midnight Rambler said...

In my stick-thin, I-can-eat-whatever-I-want-and-never-gain-a-pound teenage years (oh how I miss those years), my favorite snacks after school were either (1) a bag of doritos and a jar of cheez whiz (the glass jar that you could heat up in the microwave; not that squeeze stuff out of a can ... that was just gross ... I was obviously a connoisseur) or (2) sliced apples dipped in cheez whiz (this being the healthier option, of course). Now my guilty pleasure is a bag of doritos and a vat of ice cold sour cream. So yummy, but so very bad.

serenity now said...

We ate something like this when I was growing up, too, but over crackers. I liked it when I was younger, but sometime in my teen years, it became revolting. Still not my fav, though I've became way less picky about my food since becoming a parent.

As for my own weird food passion, I like peanut butter on French toast, waffles, and pancakes (not all at the same time). Applesauce is pretty tasty on any of the above, too, just not with the pb.

bzzzzgrrrl said...

I am sure I have a love affair with something equally disgusting, but I am currently distracted by the fact that I am not at all disgusted. That sounds delicious. I am in fact wondering if we can be best friends now.

Oh, I know. NOT a love affair, exactly, but what we used to do when I was a kid: Cut ripe avocado in half. Remove pit. Fill pit hole with ketchup. Eat.

Also this, which I DO have a love affair with: Fry bologna, conserving as much of the grease as possible. Lightly toast half a pita with some cheese in it. Add fried bologna, with as much of the grease as you can without it leaking out of the pita and burning you. Mmmmmmmmm.

Fiona Picklebottom said...

We had a very similar thing, but it was cream of mushroom soup and tuna spooned over toast... we called it shit on a shingle. Well, not when we were kids, we called it something else then, but I don't remember what.

Bethsix said...

I have love for some of these same kinds of items. Like Twinkies. Yummy, yummy Twinkies.

But as far as something my mom MADE that I loved, I will give you the recipe right now because it is just that easy, and you will surely want the recipe. Brown a pound of hamburger. Pour a bag of frozen tater tots on top. Cover with a can of cream of mushroom soup. Cover THAT with cheese. (It is possible my mom used Velveeta originally, but now it would be shredded cheddar.)


Bethsix said...

Oh, ALSO, this is so funny. A woman I work with brought up the Tunafish Gravy on Toast/Shit on a Shingle dish at lunch today. Completely unprompted. She was talking about what her husband cooks in her absence. She calls it Creamed Tuna.

The other woman at the table was disgusted.

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

Franko American Spaghetti--not Spaghetti-o's--that came later--, cooked on the stove until piping hot and then a piece of Velveta buried in the spaghetti until it was melted. The horror. i loved it.

wandering nana said...

I know I'm behind but as I read your discription I remembered "Oh I love that.... my mom use to make that but she also added peas.
Here's my tuna recipe (my children hate this now)
Cook mac'n'cheese, throw in tuna and a can of stewed tomatoes and heat together. I love this. What do you think?