Monday, October 25, 2010

Hot Cocoa & Tuna Sandwiches

Yesterday we came out of church to find a dreary, wet day with gusty winds and gray skies. In my family, that's the perfect time to make hot cocoa and tuna salad sandwiches.

You may think this sounds like an unlikely combination, but think again. I believe even my last hold-out SIL has finally been converted. Make the tuna salad kind of like potato salad with finely diced onions and celery and mayo, mustard, and a bit of pickle relish. Make the cocoa in a big pot on the stove, with 1 tablespoon of cocoa and 1 tablespoon of sugar for each cup of milk. Mmmm. Dip the crusty corner of your sandwich into the cocoa*. For us, this is the ultimate comfort food.

Happily, the perfect person was here to enjoy our Sunday lunch with us: My dad. Turns out tuna and cocoa is a three-generation Ashurst tradition. Dad remembers his mother making it almost every Sunday for dinner. Dad showed us some pictures of his childhood in Fillmore, Utah, where he grew up surrounded by four brothers and three sisters.

Earl and Jim with bows they got for Christmas; baby Barb in front. In the Ashurst family, it's all about the weapons.

The pictures show groups of adorable, fat-cheeked kids and a mother who looks like she's enjoying the show. In one, my Dad is a baby sitting on his mother's lap, with a brother in jeans but no shirt sitting on either side. In another, little Dad stands beaming next to his baby sister's crib.
Dad on lap, with John on left, Jim on right.
I'm grateful that Mark and I, and our parents, all come from (literally) big, happy families. Each family has had its own brand of challenges and set-backs. But I believe each generation has felt that their large family was a joy, a blessing, and a strength. Mark and I are so happy to be plowing our way down the same row.
Playing in lake mud on vacation.
*Just realized I typed this entire thing with coca instead of cocoa. Which is an entirely different family tradition.


  1. It's true. I have been converted. It only took 6 years! But I won't drink the chocolate after it has been ducked in.

  2. [Chandler voice]

    Could you LOOK any more like grandma?!?!

    [/Chandler voice]

  3. First of all, EWWWW to the cocoa and tuna. Mostly just the tuna really. But it's a lovely tradition. And it does sound cozy even though I wouldnt eat the tuna.

    Great pics of Dad.

  4. Did you also inherit from the Benac side a compulsion to have applesauce with your grilled cheese sandwhiches?

  5. I'm a dunker and my mother fed me tuna fish sandwiches and hot coco every time I came in from playing in the snow. Naturally, I put them together. I have been dunking my tuna fish into my hot coco for as long as I can remember and can attest that it is delicious!