A Bunny Tale

Oh dear, someone has eaten my chocolate bunny’s ears…IMG_2674

She didn’t even make it to Easter. Who would commit such a dastardly deed?



Was it the laughing wolf?   He looks bad. Wipe that smile off your face, you heartless cad!

“Not me, you fool.  I’m Mister Cool.”



Then perhaps it was Pretty Kitty, hiding on the deck.prettykitty

“Look at me.  Can’t you see.  I just need a warm place to be.”

“Don’t look at me!”  Says the chickadee. “Every year it’s the same old thing!  You can’t be a good girl and wait for Easter to eat your bunny.  Oh no, not you!” Spring2012_040

Yikes, I’ve been busted yet again.  Happy Easter everyone!

My Life in Tuna Noodle Casserole

Yesterday I made a 21st Century Tuna Noodle Casserole  (Cooks Illustrated’s Pasta Revolution) for no other reason than I felt like doing something besides write.  I also fertilized the camellias, went to a neighborhood open house, and watched a dumb movie on TV.  Exciting life, hey?


Growing up, dinner had to be fast, simple, and cheap.  My mother’s tuna noodle casserole had only five ingredients and thus was a stable in our house.

Tuna Noodle Casserole circa 1960

1. Two cans of tuna packed in oil
2. Two cans of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup
3. One package of Lipton’s onion soup
4. One package egg noodles, usually cooked to mush
5. Canned fried onions over the top

As you can see – no fresh ingredients.  In fact, the only ingredients not out of a can were the egg noodles which unfortunately had to be boiled.  I’m sure if cooked egg noodles came in a can, she would have used them as well.  To jazz this casserole up for a potluck, she’d crinkle stale Lay’s potato chips over the top.  Yum.

When I moved out, I vowed tuna noodle casserole would never dull my taste buds again.  Nor would canned Spaghetti Os, frozen chicken pot pies, pot roast filled with grizzle and, liver smothered with onions.  All the stables of my childhood. Thus, it took the hubby a long, long time to convince me to try what was one of his favorite dishes.

 Tuna Noodle Casserole circa 1990

  1. 12 ounces egg noodles
  2. 2 cans Albacore Tuna packed in water
  3. 1 pound mushrooms
  4. 7 ounce bottle Spanish Olives with Pimentos
  5. 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  6. 1 tsp dill weed
  7. 1 pint sour cream
  8. 2 cans Campbell’s mushroom soup
  9. 2 cups milk
  10. 2 bundles green onions chopped fine.

As you can see, there are twice the number of ingredients in his recipe.  It also costs three times Mother’s and takes three times longer to prepare. Should you care to add extra calories, top with garlic, butter breadcrumbs.  The result is tasty, albeit a bit salty (especially when he goes overboard with the parmesan cheese).

Recently he came across this recipe.  It incorporates cherry tomatoes, garlic, feta cheese and kalamata olives in the mix – genuinely healthy foods and not just artery cloggers.

21st Century Tuna Noodle Casserole


Fifteen ingredients!!  And the cost has now skyrocketed which makes me wonder, in another ten years will tuna noodle casserole be considered haute cuisine?

I guess as our lives get more complicated, so do the recipes.

Seriously, blog? It’s spring


In the spring I confess,
I don’t want to write,
or blog,
or tweet
or even pin.
I want to create a little village in the garden, carving out roads, driveways, homesteads.  A happy place where no one gets sick, no one’s heart is ever broken, and no one has to wonder where the next meal or smile will come from.

Oh, I did get one thing done whilst in Lotusland: http://pinterest.com/jttwissel/inspirations/

The Body Snatchers of Berkeley Hills

Today I’m reposting a reader favorite from my early days of blogging.  Here’s to you Miss J – thanks for your loyalty and support !

This repost is applicable because I’m about to take another long plane flight.  Hopefully I will not return to the Body Snatchers of Berkeley Hills….(ominous music)

Body Snatchers

“Do you believe that her body looked like her?”

March 2013: I just got back from Hawaii.  Well, actually I got back a few days ago, but my head’s been stuck in a fishbowl ever since.  You see, my ears never landed.  That’s what happens when you fly with a bad head cold and your plane is forced to climb higher and higher to get over turbulence and then dive down to sea level.  Pop go the ear drums!

The effect is heightened by a night ride home on BART (the train that snakes through the city and under the San Francisco bay), arriving in your small town to discover no signs of life.  No signs of life, at 10 PM.  The streets deserted, the shops closed, dim lights dotting the black hills.  At home you switch on your TV and what’s playing? Invasion of the Body Snatchers, circa 1978.

Donald Sutherlan

A wise voice whispers: Whatever you do, don’t watch the TV!  

But it’s Donald Sutherland!  Certainly he’ll save the day!

Ok, my memory’s not as good as it used to be. The ending, if you’re feeling brave enough: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEStsLJZhzo

Part of my problem with long flights is, I’ve never gotten over the belief that I could fly.  That I could spread my arms and soar through the clouds, if my mind could just gain control over this lump of flesh holding it to earth.  Oddly this belief has always made me hate being suspended 37,000 feet above the surface of the earth in a large metal cocoon propelled by tons of burning fuel.  I’m never certain if, after a long flight, the same Jan emerges as went in.

I'm back!

“I want everyone to see that I’m back to myself again.”  Right!!!