Saturday, February 23, 2013

Recipe Originality Is Hard

I made this about a month ago.

It's whole grain rotini mixed with Italian dressing, Parmesan, canned tuna, garlic powder and Old Bay. I was so proud after making it, and I still am. Mainly because I don't get to cook much, so I'm more like 'Yay I did stuff and it came out edible!' I thought I had came up with a new recipe when I first made it though. I called Poor People Seafood Pasta Salad.

I mean, to me it's new. I came up with it spur of the moment because we had tuna, but no bread and rotini, but no sauce; so I thought, fuck it, something should work. And it did. Seriously, that shit is yummy. For some reason I thought I had come up with this completely new thing.

I took a picture of it and was about to show it off to Facebook. 'Yes', I chuckled looking at the picture, 'I'm so clever. Surely my completely original recipe will revolutionize how tuna is eaten. Bow before my greatness.'

Fortunately, I stopped myself before my internal bragging got the best of me and decided to do a google search. Apparently this has been around for a long time. There are tons of recipes out there for Tuna Pasta Salad, it's not even a new or weird thing. It was at that point I felt a little sad and a lot dumb. This is exactly like if I killed a pig and cured the meat and said, 'Hey guys! I created cured pig meat! I'm calling it Haahm.' Then everyone was like, 'No, you didn't. It's been around forever and it's pronounced ham with a short 'a' sound. How did you not know this?'

Whatever...I didn't google anything until after I made it so it somewhat counts.

Funnily enough my friend Jess Jess did almost the exact same thing as well a couple of days after. We took our scouts camping and promised them they didn't have to work on badges and could do whatever they wanted. Well, within reason of course. One of the things they wanted to do was make their own jelly and jam. We were teaching them the difference between the two (mainly that jelly is made out of the juice and jam is made out of the actual fruit.) and to demonstrate that you can use any juice for jelly, Jess Jess decided a fun thing to do would be to make Hawaiian Punch Jelly.

Here's both on a piece of very photogenic bread that my scouts also made themselves. The Hawaiian Jelly is the smear on the right.

3 c. Hawaiian Punch 
5 1/4 c. sugar 
1 box Sure Jell pectin 
1/2 tsp. butter 

 Mix juice, Sure Jell and butter in a large saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Quickly add sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam. Fill hot sterilized jars to 1/8" from top, wipe rims and threads. Cover quickly with hot boiled lids. Screw on bands tightly. Invert jars for 5 minutes. Turn upright. Check seals in 1 hour. (Actual directions taken from

There's not a lot of recipes online for it, but it's still totally a thing. An oddly delicious thing at that. Despite all the extra sugar, it doesn't taste overly sweet.


  1. I think my old Jewish uncle, Moshe Haahm, and I made a drink involving vodka, Kool Aid, and some other stuff I can't remember. We called it "The Red Menace" at least I think so, I was only 13 at the time.
    It is hard to be a food pioneer. But just think, a lot of people who were food pioneers, also unwittingly ate poisonous mushrooms.

    1. This is true.

      I would also willingly eat or drink anything made or named after your uncle.

  2. Made it to canned tuna and I'll pass. Can't stand the taste of tuna :< Just remember next time, make up a fancy-sounding name and added your "very secret ingredient" that makes it unique and you're gold.

    Wouldn't mind trying the Hawaiian Punch jelly at least once, though. Did your scouts like it at least?

    1. whaaat? Tuna is amazing!

      And holy crap they loved it. They all made enough to take some home.


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