Tuna fish to me always meant a small round can of flaked, beige fish meat packed in oil or water that strongly resembles cat food. You used a can opener to go around the top edge and after the top clicked loose, you left it on the can so you have someplace to place your fingers and squeeze when you carry the can over to the sink and tilt it to drain off the liquid.

My mother made tuna by adding Kraft Mayonnaise, chopped white onion, chopped celery and bottled sweet pickle relish. Heap it on fresh white Wonder Bread and put a few leaf pieces from a head of iceburg lettuce. Serve with potato chips.

My stepmother had her own idea of tuna. She used Hellmans mayonnaise, if she used mayo at all. She preferred the sweet-sour taste of Miracle Whip. She chopped up one or two hard boiled eggs to add to the tuna, along with some chopped onion. I don’t recall any pickle relish or celery, but to be honest, I hated that tuna recipe and would do almost anything to avoid having to eat it, from I’m not hungry right now to I don’t want to spoil my supper when I get home (to my real mom after the Sunday child custody visitation was over).

Now I celebrate the diversity of tuna and enjoy it with a variety of add-ins, including sweet pickle salad cubes or chopped “bread and butter” pickles, a slice of American cheese of top or shredded any mix of cheeses stirred right into the tuna. Onions in or out. Add anything crunchy that you like. Put it on any kind of bread or roll you want, and put any kind of lettuce – or not – on it.

The only place I draw the line is that IF you include mayo, it MUST be Kraft real mayonnaise. Any other brand of mayo or “salad dressing” ruins it for me.