I grew up the only kid in a house with adults with radically different tastes from mine. Technically, three of them were my teenaged big brothers, but I was seriously outnumbered. My parents had virtually no tolerance for picky eaters. I know my mom shook things up more than this, but it seemed like we were always eating really spicy chili. I’d eat my weight in green veggies, but I couldn’t deal with spicy foods.
But then there were the nights, often Fridays in Lent, when mom made tuna pasta salad. Pasta (my favorite is rotini, but she also made it with shells or elbows), tuna, celery, onions, and whatever other fresh veggies she had on hand (often broccoli, or tomatoes or bell pepper) in a tangy Miracle Whip-based dressing. She’d make a version with big shells and frozen peas that she called “green pearl salad,” that had a particular my-mom charm to it. It’s not fancy, but my mom would make pounds and pounds of it, and she was amazed to watch her preschooler eat bowls and bowls of it, outeating her 6-foot teenaged sons. And I’d eat it for any meal over which she gave me a choice every day until it was gone.
It’s one of my favorite foods even to this day. These days, I have to watch my carbs, so I don’t tempt myself with it often, but it’s nice to have a go-to meal.