Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Story Of John's Sunday Tuna Lunch

(Norman Rockwell's Famous Thanksgiving Illustration)

When I was growing up, Sunday lunch was always a roast of  some
kind, served in the dining room on a white linen covered table, with
our best dishes.  There were candles, fresh flowers, and soft music.

 Sunday lunch always followed church.  Then after lunch, we would all hop
 in the car and daddy would drive around and we would look at houses and
sometimes stop for ice cream too.

My husband David grew up with a different tradition for Sunday lunch ...

David's mom had the day off from cooking and his dad took over.
His weekly Sunday lunch was almost always Tuna and Pasta Salad.
He would tweak it on occasion, but the basic recipe consisted of ...

Canned, drained Tuna
Elbow Macaroni
Chopped Scallions
Chopped Celery
Grated Carrots
Chopped Apples

Sometimes he would add some grated cheese, usually cheddar.

This was served on luncheon plates with a splash of John's Secret Dressing.
David told me that this is proprietary and I am not allowed to share it.
I will tell you that John told me that he copied the recipe off of an
Wesson Oil bottle.  It is a basic oil and vinegar dressing with some
dry mustard and some cayenne to give it a bit of heat.

Today we had John's Tuna Salad for Sunday lunch.  
It's one of the things I do to please David, and it brings 
back lots of happy memories for us both.  John only lived for
six weeks after David and I were married.  The cancer that had
been in remission returned.  He died one day before David's 
birthday 23 years ago, and was buried on my birthday.  We miss him.
John ~ this post is for you!

Although this is a Sunday recipe, I am sharing it with Yvonne for ~

and Kathleen for ~
and Sally for ~

Bentley ~ let those squirrels eat their squash in peace.  They have to
fatten up for the winter!

Susan and Bentley


  1. There are certain dishes that my mom made that always brings back great memories. It's so nice to pass these recipes on in the family. Nice tribute to your father-in-law. Hugs, Deb

  2. Susan,what a lovely tribute to John. He is such a smart handsome man in the photo.
    It sounds like you both had a lovely charmed childhood home.xx

  3. Beautiful post, Susan. We had similar traditions, Sunday was church, dinner (Mom always cooked) and then a ride, often to look at houses and always a stop for ice cream (Dairy Queen). I love a good tuna mac salad. I will try this recipe. xo

  4. Have never had tuna salad with apples before - interesting!!
    Always good for the soul to have childhood recipes!

  5. Sweet post, Susan. I'll have to try John's recipe. I used to make various tuna and pasta dishes when we first married and were on a limited budget. LOL

  6. Being of British decent our Sunday roasts are at super time . Saturdays we would have brunch of eggs , bacon or sausage, toast, tea , coffee and orange juice . The tuna pasta salad looks good ! I will have to try it . Thanks for sharing . Have a good day !

  7. So many memories are tied up in food and the traditions around family meals. We always had a roast chicken on Sunday. Any other sort of roast meant that there was company!

  8. I too grew up with the big Sunday dinner. When we were first married I thought one HAD to do that - - - and so, I nearly drove myself NUTS trying to get dinner and children ready and out the door to get to church on time.

    One day hubby said, "Why do you do that? We'd be happy with a tuna sandwich or a bowl of soup."

    YOU WOULD?!?

    That was pretty much the LAST time I cooked a big Sunday dinner.

    But I do also like John's tuna salad tradition. I'm a big fan of GOOD tuna casserole, tuna pasta salad and even a good old fashioned tuna sandwich.

  9. After all the turkey this recipe sounds delicious. My grandma used to make something similar. Thanks for the recipe. Mimi

  10. Lovely post, Susan. I love tuna and this sounds a lot like a tuna salad I remember that my Granny made. Sweet memories!!! Hugs to you and Bentley.

  11. Not only is this a great recipe, but what a lovely tribute to your father-in-law! It's so nice that you still respect your husband's family tradition!!! Thank you for sharing at ON THE MENU MONDAY!

  12. Hi Susan,
    What a beautiful and moving post with a great recipe. I just love the Rockwell Thanksgiving print, it is a favorite of mine. Hope you had a great thanksgiving and thank you so much for stopping by to have tea with me. Looking forward to seeing you more often.
    Miz Helen
    A New Follower

  13. This looks delicious and blue-tiful! Thanks for sharing.

    I'll fix your link as soon as I leave this comment.

    Happy Blue Monday, Susan.

  14. What a beautiful post. The salad made me hungry.

    I played too. Mine are here and here.

  15. Love family traditions and the memories they make. Love this post. (())

  16. Very sweet post. Thanks for sharing your memories. And what a sweet tribute to your father in law.
    Have a great week,

  17. What a great story! I'm glad you shared it with us.

  18. Good post, Susan. We grow up thinking every family is just like our family. Then, we marry and learn that there were entirely different traditions in our husband's family. So sad that your father in law died shortly after your wedding and so close to both of your birthdays. This was such a nice tribute to him. His tuna sald looks good. I might try adding a little cayene to my next tuna salad. I bet my husband would like that. Does Bentley get a bite of tuna salad? laurie

  19. I really enjoy making something that has such nice memories attached. I love making my Moms meatloaf. I adore Norman Rockwell paintings this one especially. Happy Blue Monday.

  20. A lovey way to spend time with family and have a wonderful meal. We had family meals, but nothing this nice.

  21. Oh, my gosh...even though I cannot imagine for the life of me EVER allowing my husband in the kitchen to do anything but boil water (and even that would have to be very closely supervised!), this is just about the sweetest thing I have ever read!!! I can just see the Dad in there toiling over his special creation and then grinning from ear to ear when everyone gave their stamp of approval. Something so simple turned into something extraordinarily special and endearing. I love it!!!

  22. I always like macaroni salad prepared like this one but tuna sounds delicious!

    My BLUE
    As always, your comment makes me giddy!


Oliver and I LOVE and read every comment.


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