Are you a WASP? Let’s find out.

Not-Such-a-Secret Ingredient Tuna Salad

While I love a good tuna sandwich or casserole, there is something unsettling about canned fish. Tinned tuna is one of those products that we’ve all agreed to pretend is perfectly normal, yet many of us draw the line at kippered herring and sardines. Even more confounding is that tuna’s most common medium wound up being the salad. Fish salad. I don’t mean to imply that I’m not on board with the racket; I perfected my own recipe years ago and consider it so unmatchable that I never set myself up for disappointment by ordering tunafish at a restaurant.

2 5-oz cans solid white tuna in water
2 tbsp Hellman’s mayo, heaping if you like a moister salad
1 stalk celery, washed and finely chopped
1/2 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp cloves

Drain the cans well and empty them into a medium mixing bowl. Use a fork to flake the tuna, then add the mayo and combine. Stir in the celery, parsley, pepper, celery salt and cloves, cover the bowl, and stick it in the fridge for at least an hour. Take it out half an hour before you make sandwiches or plate it to get rid of the chill.

A small sandwich on toasted Pepperidge Farm Very Thin white bread with one slice of Land o’ Lakes white American cheese served with sweet gerkins and pickled watermelon rind makes a lovely lunch, as long as you haven’t been working very hard and have some WASP in you. To clarify, it’s not about color and religion, it’s about attitude. If you have any appreciation whatsoever for pewter or handbell ensembles, welcome to the club.

I don’t like to brag, but I should be canonized for my chicken salad.

We-don’t-talk-about-that-at-the-table Chicken Salad

As Aunt Eunice used to say, no one likes a martyr (but God). Serves 4 for lunch.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, washed and dried
2 cantaloupes, cut in halves, seeds removed, salted and drained
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tbsp dried cilantro
2 tsp paprika
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/3 to 1/2 C Hellman’s mayo

Set the oven to 350. Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle spices evenly over tops. Rub the spices into cover the tops of the breasts. Put the chicken onto a wire rack over a baking pan, and bake until completely cooked but still juicy, about half an hour. Cover and let cool for 15 minutes.

Chop the chicken roughly into chunks, discarding seams of fat and skin. Put the chunked chicken and celery into a large bowl, and stir in the mayo. Sprinkle in salt and pepper if needed, and chill until completely cool.

Spoon the salad into the cantaloupe halves loosely, and serve with water crackers, grapes, and spoons for cutting the melon.

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