Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sometimes when I write the letter C it looks like the letter L.

In December I covered the Cairo International Film Festival for Screen International. The artistic director, a funny little man called Youssef Cherif Rizkallah, arranged my accreditation. I knew he was a funny man after they printed up my accreditation card and misspelled my name as “Slott MacMillan.”

He said, “At least it doesn’t have a U.”


Some time ago this blog caused a minor stir by wondering aloud how much tunafish is too much tunafish to eat at one time.

In Bulgaria they sell tunafish with slices of garlic inside the can. I have never seen that before. Of course I usually buy the tunafish packed in water, not oil. This one had oil, because it was the only can I could find with a flip-top lid.

(Some people might wonder why I keep writing “tunafish” instead of simply calling the fish by its proper name, “tuna.” Tuna, you see, is the name of the fish itself, or the name of the slab of meat when it’s sitting on a plate, or when it’s wrapped in rice and seaweed. Tunafish is what it’s called when it comes from a can.)

A tunafish sandwich is one of the few decent meals that can be prepared in a hotel room, provided you either a) find a can with a flip-top lid, or b) carry a Swiss army knife with a can opener.

I do not carry a Swiss army knife with a can opener, but if you find this blog entertaining or useful and would like to become a benefactor, please send a Swiss army knife with a can opener to my address in Cairo.

Here’s how you do it. Here’s how you make a tunafish sandwich in your hotel room.

First, buy tunafish and a jar of mayonnaise (mayonnaise in a plastic squeeze container will also do). Also buy whatever greens you like in your sandwich; I was lucky enough to find a plastic box of pre-shredded carrots, cabbage and sprouts (not very green, but it provided the necessary roughage.) And a loaf of pre-sliced sandwich bread.

Now, above the minibar you will find a napkin, a spoon for the coffee, and a small preparation area. Spread the napkin out over the preparation area to avoid making too much of a mess. Using the coffee spoon, empty half the can of tuna into one of the cups from the bathroom. Mix with desired amount of mayonnaise. You can either add the roughage to the mixture at this point, or lay it out on one of the sides of bread. Stir tunafish mixture thoroughly and spread on bread. Since you won’t have a plate handy, it’s best to enjoy the sandwich above the napkin, right at the mini-bar, to avoid making more of a mess than in necessary.

When finished, you may find you are still hungry, and with a half an opened can of tunafish remaining. Since there will be room for stirring, you may now add the mayonnaise directly to the can. Apparently it is OK to finish the can.

Be sure to tip the maid generously.


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