When I was a Junior in High School, my mother had been losing a lot of weight and had become very weak. Her doctor had her put into the hospital so that they could run some tests. It was then just my Dad and I at home. I was responsible for making dinner at night and being a student and having homework besides, I relied on casseroles.
In Home Ec, we had learned to make macaroni and cheese as well as Tuna Casserole. Basically, Tuna Casserole was the cooked macaroni, a tin of cream soup with half a tin of milk(either mushroom or celery soup), peas, and a tin of tuna. Since I didn’t have too large a collection of foods I could make and ready made foods weren’t really that plentiful in the 60s(I remember tinned soups, beans and small frozen meat pies but not much else used in our house) I opted for Tuna Casserole.
My father was one who appreciated when someone did something for him and the first night of tuna casserole, he forced it down(did I mention that somehow the macaroni wasen’t cooked enough?). The second night of tuna casserole, he forced it down. The third night before I started to cook, he asked what was for dinner. When I replied, “Tuna Casserole”, he looked so pained and replied, “you know, I appreciate your cooking dinner but to tell the truth, I’m kind of hungry for going to the diner tonight. Would that be ok with you?”
That night we went to Garfield Diner and had their famous meatloaf. My mother came home the day after that and it was found out she had an overactive thyroid, not the heart problems they originally thought she had.
My father also told me the truth that he wasen’t overly fond of tuna casserole…and years later I was making dinner and making a glorified tuna casserole(I made everything in it from scratch), I hear him say, “please tell me that’s not a tuna casserole!”
He was the best Dad ever and a day doesn’t pass that I don’t miss him(and Mom too). Happy Father’s Day!