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Memorial Day, minus the grill

I'm as patriotic as the next person, and I love the taste of food cooked on a grill, but when it comes to hanging around the back yard swatting flies away from the coleslaw, I'd rather be having a root canal.

One of my favorite characters of fiction, little Calvin of Calvin & Hobbes, had the right idea. Once, when Hobbes suggested that Calvin's mother wanted him to read more for his own entertainment, surly little Calvin replied, "Everyone knows it isn't entertainment if you can't sit in the dark and eat."

Sit in the dark and eat, usually in front of the TV -- ahh!

So this coming holiday weekend, though I may visit family in the Bay, I will be doing a lot of sitting in the dark and -- yes, probably -- eating.

What will I eat? Something that cooks itself, which means taking a page from little sister Sara's book and dumping something into the slow cooker. I've become a huge fan of Joe Simmer's SLOW Cookin' cookbooks, paperbacks by a couple of guys from New Orleans who've taken the trouble to adapt some familiar, this-neck-of-the-woods recipes for our favorite convenience appliance. These guys even do redfish courtbouillon and shrimp Creole in "the pot."

Chances are good, if I do go to the Bay, I'll pick up a Swamp Burger or a second-generation Dan B's roast beef po-boy -- get one at Daniel's South Beach on Seminary Drive -- before I head home.

And I won't be forgetting why we have a holiday in the first place.

I'll leave you with a perfect eating-in-the-dark recipe courtesy of a good friend, Doris, who reminds me of the Energizer bunny. I've given this one before in the print version of the Sun Herald; it is so very easy you can make it during a commercial break.

Remember our soldiers and enjoy your three-day weekend.


1 pouch or can (about 6-1/2 ounces) smoked tuna*

1 envelope of Good Seasons Italian salad dressing mix

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, slightly softened

Put everything in a food processor and whir until smooth.

*If you can't find smoked tuna, use regular, packed in water, and add a few drops of liquid smoke.

Eat with chips, Melba toast, little crackers, your fingers. Who cares, if you're in the dark?