Growing up, my mother, who was a nurse, worked a lot of the holidays. When it came to Christmas Eve, because of schedules, it became a tradition to have a variety of German meats for sandwiches, and a variety of salads. I loved this tradition because I am a true sandwich fanatic. Almost anything can be made into a sandwich. Not only that, but you can use a variety of breads. With countless ways to make this simple and yet delightful mini meal, it makes a perfect late night supper.
Christmas Eve was also my mother’s favorite time of the year. This is when we celebrated Christmas. I still think she was very upset with me when she had to “miss” her favorite holiday because I dared to be born on December 24th. Only kidding, but I’m sure she did try to talk the nurses into letting her out of the hospital.
I can still see the white tablecloth with plates of cheeses, cold cuts, and breads. The relish plate filled with different olives, pickles, and peppers. It was a fun time in our family as we picked our way through the variety of food.
Not everyone is a sandwich and salad person as my sisters can attest to (as their spouses are not sandwich consumers). Now grown, my siblings, who live quite a distance away, and with families of their own, still get together on Christmas Eve but they have a full sit down dinner. Not me! The tradition in our family continues. Plus, who wants to spend all their time in the kitchen on their birthday, even if that’s their passion?!
This year, the tradition continued and we had a great time together. Michael was home from college and Jack got off of work at a reasonable time. Unfortunately, their girlfriends were unable to make it to our home as they had their own family obligations, and they were missed. But, it was a nice and relaxing time as we ate and got caught up with each other’s lives.
One of the salads I made was a Tuna and Shell Salad. Nothing extravagant, but it is a great salad that is versatile. The reason why I’m sharing this recipe is not only is it tasty, but I think everyone could use a good buffet salad. This also can be great for just a light supper or to bring on a picnic.
So, I give you my Tuna and Shell Salad. Enjoy!
Tuna and Shell Salad
Yield: Serves 8-10
19 ounces white tuna in water, drained
12 ounces shell macaroni, cooked and drained
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
½ teaspoon paprika
1 celery, diced
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
4-5 green onions, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Combine the tuna and shells, making sure there are no tuna clumps. In a separate bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, garlic powder, mustard, and paprika. Add to the shells and combine. Stir in celery, green and red bell pepper, and onions. If too dry for your liking, stir in more mayonnaise. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.