Neuroses, chocolate bunnies and tuna casserole

I will never be able to eat everything I want to eat. I will never be able to eat enough to make me “happy” (read: numb). I will never be able to eat enough to make me feel loved, appreciated, beautiful, fill in the blank (and this I mean literally — the hollow that is within me is like that of a chocolate bunny).

OK, having realized that, can I now move on with my life? Please? Millions of privileged, normal-weight people do that daily, hourly even. Look at a cupcake, the rest of the tortilla chips, whatever, and hear an internal voice that says, simply, “No, I can’t.” And that’s the end of it. There’s no tussle back and forth between the lean conscience and the chubby devils on the shoulders. Just: I can’t.

No problem for me with alcohol, drugs and cigarettes. Just the peanuts in the pantry, the ice cream in the freezer.

Years ago as a struggling single mother of two, I remember rushing home from work to a beer or two while I fixed supper. Then the moment that I realized how much I was looking forward to that beer or two and that I couldn’t drink alone and lonely. That was the end of it. Now, I’d like my Easter miracle, please, to be that this is my end of over-eating to make myself “feel better.” I do believe in fairies, I do, I do, or anything else that will help me take this huge step.

Except that nothing can help me. Only I can take it. Again and again. And again. The bunny never feels full, only complete or devoured. I’m aiming at my version of complete, which is the best I can be. Happy Palm Sunday.

And in a lurching segue (oxymoron alert!), this is the best tuna casserole I’ve ever tasted. The recipe says it makes 4 servings, but they are huge. Can easily be 6 or 8 with a huge serving of spring greens beside. And a blood orange is the perfect capper to make you forget you might “need” a cookie or two.  Use reduced-fat sour cream, mayonnaise and milk, and it still has a decadent mouth feel.

Tuna noodle supreme from Ellen Proctor of Great Barrington, MA, on several years ago:

1-1/2 cups sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 cups cooked small pasta shells (I hate it when a recipe doesn’t give you the amount of UN-cooked pasta — I used 3 cups uncooked, and it made a little more than 4 cups of cooked small shells.)

2 cups broccoli florets

1 12-ounce can tuna, drained and flaked

1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper

1/2 cup sliced green onions

Heat oven to 350º. In large bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, milk, cheese, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in cooked pasta, broccoli, tuna, red pepper and onions. Transfer to oil-sprayed 2-quart baking dish. Cover and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like a little crunch around the edges of your pasta, finish with 5 minutes of uncovered baking time. Note: For either fresh or frozen broccoli florets, throw into pasta cooking water for last minute or two of pasta cooking time. Drain pasta and broccoli together and continue with recipe.



One response to “Neuroses, chocolate bunnies and tuna casserole”

  1. I feel your pain. You and I are both food addicts, just like someone addicted to alcohol. The difference is that we can totally eliminate drugs, alcohol and tobacco but we cannot eliminate our drug of choice. So just like Bill W, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, it’s part of our lives to live with this struggle every day for the rest of our lives. What really helps is to have support of those who understand and to celebrate our daily victories. To that end, your blog helps me hear the voices of kindred souls.


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