DINNER: Monday, January 13, 2003

What a meal.

A last-minute concoction of TUNA HELPER (the Au Gratin variety) and cold milk in front of the television to watch FEAR FACTOR and JOE MILLIONAIRE.

TUNA HELPER is a Betty Crocker product that was introduced in 1972, two years after the successful launch of HAMBURGER HELPER.

Each of the HELPER products is a meal-in-a-box. Simply add the required meat, either tuna or hamburger, to the mix, cook it up, and you've got a one-pan, delicious, hot meal. We were a bit pressed for time because Wendy was running late owing to a persistent computer problem at her hospital.

Any time we make TUNA HELPER is cause for feline celebration because of two simple words on the TUNA HELPER BOX. Those words are "DRAIN TUNA". And of course, being the loving pet owners that we are, we drain the "tuna water" evenly between four saucers, one for each kitty. The dogs wait, impatiently, outside. For a few blissful moments, feline peace rules the home as four eager tongues lap at the tuna water.

TUNA HELPER was chosen for tonight's meal because it is simple, reasonably tasty, quick, cheap, and can be made while I keep one eye on the television. I tend to ignore the directive to COVER the TUNA HELPER, preferring instead to leave it open and cooking at a slightly more vigorous clip than instructed by the box. This method makes the HELPER more substantial and the sauce is less loose.

Our attention was diverted tonight because of two shows that occupy our Monday nights. FEAR FACTOR (which, for some unexplained reason, is called FEAR FACTORY around my house) and then JOE MILLIONAIRE.

We cooked, we ate, we cleaned, we vegged out in front of the television.

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