I’m not sure “a comeback” is quite accurate. That’s what social media claims is happening with the Classic Tuna Melt. I say that because I’m not sure its popularity ever went away. But perhaps it’s getting more attention these days because a lot more people are consuming canned tuna. Reddit, the aggregate of social media news, claims that references to canned tuna are up more than 60% among its nearly 19 million member food community. I’m sure it all started when the pandemic hit. We were all a bit panicked and started filling our pantries with canned foods, and tuna was flying off the shelf. Well, what better way to use up some of those cans than by making the sandwich that’s been a favorite for decades? Where its popularity all started is a bit unclear. Some references claim that The Tuna Melt was invented at the Woolworth’s lunch counter on King Street in Charleston, South Carolina. Other articles say that the popularity of the Tuna Melt was the work of Kraft Foods which wanted to prove the versatility of their Velveeta cheese. One way or the other, this ironic sandwich caught a wave of popularity and never let up. This particular recipe is for the Ultimate Tuna Melt, and trust me, it’s fully loaded. The Tuna mixture is a combination of creamy dressing, crunchy veggies and relish for sweetness. Then, two cheeses get added to mix; a slice of your favorite cheese and a shredded mozzarella. The bread? Entirely your call, but in order to make it Ultimate, you’ve got to spread mayonnaise on both sides of the bread, which adds a rich flavor and a beautiful deep golden brown crust. This month is National Sandwich Month! This one’s in the can!
fresh garlic, minced
I rarely throw out old cookbooks. On the contrary, the older and more well-worn they are, the better. But recently, I had to toss out a cookbook that I found at a garage sale only because it had completely fallen apart at the seams. It was from 1964 and simply called “Delicious Asian Recipes.” This tattered little book served its purpose though. Out of it came two of my favorite dressings. Both go splendidly with a refreshing and healthful chicken salad that’s perfect for spring and summer!
Collecting old recipes has connected me to hundreds of towns, churches, schools and civic organizations that have created cookbooks as a favorite method of fund-raising.They are bound and forgotten recipes often tossed in a box and sold for a dime at yard sales. That’s where I rescued the Willowbrook’s Favorite Recipes Cookbook. The book had been compiled by the Cookbook Committee for Willowbrook Estates, a retirement community in Garden City, Idaho. Inside was a tasty recipe for Homemade Baked Beans that couldn’t be more perfect for football watching, tailgating and backyard grilling. It was in the same section as Golumki Casserole which I was tempted to make just because the name made me giggle, but opted for the baked beans recipe because of one particular ingredient—a cup of strong brewed coffee. The rest of the ingredients are fairly common to homemade baked beans; molasses, bbq sauce, mustard and brown sugar. But I was curious to know what the strong brewed coffee brought to the flavor profile. It was delicious! I also used hickory smoked thick style bacon, Dijon mustard and for the hot sauce I opted for a teaspoon of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. This recipe makes up a nice sized batch so it’s perfect for a party, and a fantastic accompaniment to a hotdog, hamburger or grilled steak. I’m no bean counter, but my ten cent investment in the Willowbrook cookbook has paid big dividends just with this recipe alone for Homemade Baked Beans.