Recipe: Cocktails, Tuna Melts, and Hoarding


My husband always tells me that just because I have an idea in MY head doesn’t mean that anyone else has that belief. Okay, fair enough. But when I recently asked my 4 year old granddaughter if she has a special place she puts all the letters and cards I send her she said, “No I have to throw them away because mommy told me that it would be hoarding if we kept them.”

After I wiped a tear or two I thought about what hubby told me and did a bit of self analysis. You see I save every card and letter I ever receive. They are special mementos that I cherish. The reason being that I have literally nothing from my childhood. I wish I had a card or letter from my grandparents. But we had a fire just after just moving to a new house in Costa Mesa (or how some people refer to it as Costa Misery) and it all went up in flames. Apparently someone threw a party in our garage with cocktails (aka  Molotov Cocktails) and the rest was history.

I’m not a collector of shoes, clothes, beanie babies or any number of items people (including those close to me) like to hoard. My hoards of choice are greeting cards and letters I receive from loved ones. Thankfully I just read a great article by a writer for the New York Times who encourages others to celebrate their clutter and things. She says it is what makes us unique! Just as my eyes are blue and my skin is pale, my keepsakes too make me who I am!

Because I don’t have the luxury of treasuring a trunk of letters passed down to me from my grandma I suppose I assumed my granddaughter would be saving all the letters and cards I send her. Which is actually quite a lot ! I’m old school that way as I send a postcard from everyplace I travel. As well because I live half a world away from my family I am grandparenting in the modern age. So in between our visits I keep in touch via Skype, FaceTime, email and massive amounts of letters, cards and packages of goodies.


What keeps me buoyed, however, is my belief that we can keep precious moments alive in our memory by recalling them from time to time. I happened to be blessed with a near photogenic memory. Then again, some people think it is a curse as they can’t get too much bull past me! So I hope that my granddaughter can savor the sentiment behind all my cards and letters even if she can’t keep the real McCoy. She will always know how much I love her, think of her and try to make her life a bit more magical with her “Amma” in it.

Getting back to my memory of that blazey day, well it is far from hazy. I can recall every horrific moment. But what stands out most for me is the taste of my first tuna melt sandwich. You see in the chaos of it all an elderly woman, who was a neighbor that I had never met before (as we had just moved in) took me to her home for lunch. I was transported into a cocoon of kindness as she served me this delicious food and kept me calm chatting away while the muffled sounds of the sirens blared outside.

It wasn’t long before the police were knocking outside her door. After the blaze was put out there was panic as to where I might be. And when the officers took me back home I never saw this woman again. But I haven’t forgotten her and each time I make my tuna melt, which is often, I think about my angel unaware.


1 can of “line caught” tuna fish

2 tbps mayonaisse

1 stalk of celery diced

1 carrot, peeled and grated

1 spring onion sliced

A handful of grated cheese of choice (Cheddar is most popular, but I use a hard Gouda goat cheese)

Sliced whole wheat bread

A bit of butter

Salt and pepper

Makes approx. 2 tuna melt sambos

  1. Mix together the tuna, mayo, celery, carrots and spring onion until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste
  2. Spread butter on the outsides of two slices of bread
  3. Place one slice of bread (butter side down) into a frying pan over medium heat. Add a scoop of tuna mix and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Place the other slice of bread on top,  with the butter side up.
  4. After a couple minutes when it starts to get golden brown, turn the sandwich using a spatula. Put a cover on top of the frying pan and cook another few minutes.
  5. Serve and savor some great memories from your past!

Keep the memories alive,


2 thoughts on “Recipe: Cocktails, Tuna Melts, and Hoarding

  1. Looking good. I am also sentimental and have cards that I saved. Funny the things we hold onto, I have a hard time with tossing cards and such. I am loving your blog, stories and recipes. I look forward to reading them and can relate to a lot if it as well. Very inspiring. ❤️?

  2. When I au-paired in Paris at 17 or 18, my Dad wrote to me every single day. My Mum wrote too but I was surprised & delighted with my Dad’s letters. I was very homesick.

    Years later I threw out those letters as I associated them with what was a horrible time for me.

    I so regret throwing them out. Especially now that my Dad has died.

    I think it’d be nice if people kept letters etc. for ever in a special place. But for different reasons this doesn’t happen.

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