Tuna Sandwiches

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You'll find this recipe in:
Peanuts Lunch Bag Cookbook
Cartoons by Charles M. Schulz
Recipes by June Dutton
New York, 1974

The original recipe:

1 can white meat tuna, flaked
½ to ¾ cup crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup chopped canned water chestnuts
Mayonnaise to moisten
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix and spread on buttered white or wheat bread.

My Experience:

This Tuna Sandwich recipe comes from the chapter entitled "A School of Tuna Sandwiches" (very punny) and when I selected this recipe, my hunch was that it would either be delicious or disgusting and I had no idea which way it would go! I'm happy to report that it was delicious. I made them to take to a potluck at a staff meeting and one of my coworkers gave them the review of being "delightful". I ended up coming home with only one little sandwich in my container.

Since I was suspicious of how the sandwiches would turn out, I only added ½ cup of the crushed pineapple. I also made sure that I had some really good bread by taking an early morning scroll to the bakery down the street to pick up a fresh loaf. The taste of the pineapple is very subtle. You can taste something a little bit sweet in there, but you aren't quite sure what that is, and the chopped water chestnuts add a nice crunch to the sandwich filling. The pineapple and water chestnuts cut the fishiness of the tuna, so you end up with a low-key tuna flavour (and smell), so this recipe would make tunafish sandwiches more palatable for someone who isn't a fan.

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Last March, right about the time that I was working on getting this blog up and running, Steve and I went on a daytrip to Waterford, Ontario where we checked out the Waterford Antiques Market and Steve discovered his favourite vintage musical instrument store, Fishin' Musician in the same building. There's also a lot of great hiking trails in the area – we'll probably be back in the winter to do some cross country skiing there.

Of course in all the booths filled with antiques, I went straight to the books to search for old cookbooks or interesting history books. Nothing really stuck out to me until I spotted a thin faded book spine that said Peanuts Lunch Bag Cookbook. When I pulled it out and saw the book cover, I was greeted by an old friend who I honestly had forgotten about over the years...but all the memories flooded back.

We had a copy of Peanuts Lunch Bag Cookbook in our house when I was growing up. I don't remember anyone ever making a recipe from this cookbook when I was a kid, but I do remember spending time slowly flipping through the pages to read the Peanuts comics that are nestled amongst the recipes.

The chapters are organized by main ingredient and the titles are quite cute: Lucy's Crabby Sandwiches, Full of Baloney Sandwiches and Linus Loves Liverwurst Sandwiches. I love that this is a recipe book geared towards children to teach them how to make their own lunches. The first page starts off with the title 'READ THESE TIPS!', and is followed by a list of handy tips such as to wash your hands, read the recipe before beginning and to ask permission before using a sharp knife.

I have always been surprised by how many children have never prepared food or have never used a sharp knife in their lives when doing museum cooking programs with schoolchildren, so I appreciate the respectful tone of the book. Peanuts Lunch Bag Cookbook is funny, but the recipes aren't dumbed down for the children, and it's assumed that a child is capable of using a sharp knife & can figure out a recipe with a bit of adult help.

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