Tone’s surprise

Most types of homemade sandwiches are pretty simple. When making a sandwich at home, there aren’t many things you can do with, say, the humble ham sandwich. There is the ham of course. The star of the show. Then the bread, mayonnaise and maybe cheese and thrown on a lettuce leaf. Lettuce is usually only added if you want to open that food processor drawer, and in my house anyway, you run the risk of walking out with spongy stuff that should have been used days ago. Yes, the ham sandwich is mostly ham and bread. But! Yes, a “but.” Oh, the tuna sandwich. Now with tone, the sky can be the limit.

I like going to a sandwich shop. All additives are lined in stainless steel containers. Ready to pile on roast beef topped with choice white bread, usually a number 12, with loads of goodies. I’ve never ordered tuna from a sandwich shop. I admit I’m in a roast beef rut because I don’t go very often and I like what I like. Tuna is something I make at home. Oh yes tuna. I’m a tuna sandwich maker. Why? Well, here is my fish story.

Over the years, not too many people in my circle don’t really love the tone. Some because of the smell, some because of the taste, and some because of the memories of a hundred or more surprise tuna casseroles. I’m the one in the crowd who likes tuna casserole. It might just be the crispy cornflake topping that I liked the most. Okay, sometimes it was shredded potato chips. Ah, the memories right?

The tuna sandwich has so many options available. First is to choose from the variety of tones. I’m not sure if this is correct as I’m really just going from memory, but the tuna was only offered dipped in oil when it was first canned. As the world began to move towards a healthier diet, water replaced oil to moisten canned tuna. I have to admit that the water lets the tuna flavor shine a little more than the slippery oil bath.

Oh, but then the canned goodness got even more la-de-dah. Tuna has moved on to the time when albacore was noted as the head of the tuna household. So let’s start from there to make the best tuna sandwich. Albacore in the water. Still in the box of course. The top would be from a meat top and involve some sort of sushi tuna. I haven’t been there yet. I’m still a canned tuna.

With the tuna in a bowl, the real decisions are yet to come. Just imagine all the stuff in the fridge that was used to make a tuna lunch. There are two ends of the tone spectrum. The purist who will eat plain tuna on crackers to the tuna gobblers who can’t get enough tuna. Toppings start with mayonnaise or any variety of regular, low-fat or fat-free mayonnaise, added olive oil, or an herb or spiced or sweetened/sour version. Then the pickle debate. Sweet or dill, enjoyed or just chopped or sliced. Onion, yes or no. And if so, green, yellow, white, or for God’s sake, purple. I’m not even going to get into the bread options for the humble tuna sandwich.

I just read where “Dirt,” the longtime beloved cat who lived for over 15 years as the mascot for the Nevada Northern Railroad Museum in Ely, Nevada, died. I mention this because as a kitten Dirt was fed tuna straight from the can by the railroad crew. No fuss. No music. No bells or train whistles set to Dirt’s tune. We can learn a lot from this. We don’t try to be more than we are. We are all flesh and blood and spirit. This is what I see when I look at life. I love life like Trina, always wanted to. I like to think Dirt taught that to a lot of people in his life. To be who we are and the tuna sandwiches of life will always be exactly what we want them to be. Hey! It worked for Dirt.

To read about Dirt, please visit the museum’s Facebook page,

Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Her funny books are available wherever you buy books or email her at [email protected] to purchase signed copies.

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