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“Latins are tenderly enthusiastic. In Brazil, they throw flowers at you. In Argentina, they throw themselves." -- Marlene Dietrich

Tuna: Help Me, Helper!

I’m not much of a chef. But because I love The Princess, I try to cook us dinner every Wednesday night to give her a break at least one night a week from having to decide what we’ll eat.

Last night, for instance, I made Tuna Helper for the first time in my life. Creamy Roasted Garlic Tuna Helper, to be exact. I know, I know, it’s quite a feat and I’m probably spoiling my girlfriend, but I really like to show my culinary range in the kitchen. I truly take pride in being able to follow three-step Betty Crocker recipes.

But Tuna Helper proved a bit trickier than I expected.

I started strong by picking out a 10-inch skillet purely by sight. The recipe called for 2 ½ cups of water, so I took out the 1-cup measuring thing and measured out the first two cups. Then I turned to The Princess and said, “How do I get a half a cup? This says 1 cup.”

“Well, you could get the half-cup one.”

“I don’t want to. It’s just another thing to wash.”


“So what should I do?”

“How about, fill it up halfway?”


Next, I stirred in all the ingredients and brought them to a boil.

“This is so easy!” I bragged, “Even a retarded kid could do this!”

“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch,” The Princess said. I think she was talking about growing up on a Missouri farm, but who knows with those Midwesterners?

But just five seconds after my premature bravado, I started to pour out the Helper topping until The Princess stopped me. If I had read the monosyllabic instructions, I would have seen the topping did not go into the mixture until step 3.

Focusing back on “dinner,” I finished step 1 (boil) and moved on to step 2.

“All it says is to reduce heat and simmer for 13 minutes,” I said. “But it doesn’t say how much.”

“Simmer means low heat,” she replied.


“You didn’t know that?”


After completing step 3 (“Oh, NOW I sprinkle the topping!”), we settled down for our banquet with a couple of beers and watched Peep Show. “This is really good!” I told The Princess, proud of the cuisine I had just finished preparing.

So thanks Tuna “helper,” you and your four-fingered hand mascot. Stupid anthropomorphic animated glove.
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