Open Letters Love Amy

Because the Internet is easier than buying stamps and I will just lose your zip code anyway.

Tag: family

An Open Letter To Tuna Noodle Casserole

Dear Tuna Noodle Casserole,

“Desperation, laziness, overwhelming craving: I say these are three conditions that drive a person to make a tuna noodle casserole.”
– Melissa Gray, The Salt

I beg to differ. Overwhelming craving is the only condition. As you know, if you’ve read the rest of these letters, I live in Los Angeles very near my uncle, Jerry, but very far from my grandmothers. It takes two hands to count the number of times Jerry and I have gotten together to make you, for the sole reason that we missed the rest of the family.

Clockwise from upper left: turkey butt stuffing, sweet potatoes, stuffing from the box, green bean casserole. All my grandmother’s classic recipes, good friends of tuna noodle. Insider tip: the butt stuffing is the best.

Both of my grandmothers are fantastic cooks. My dad’s mom has always been more, let’s say, adventurous. A lot of things involving eggplant and liver. I also have a number of recipes she cut out of the newspaper and later marked “Good.” But it’s my maternal grandmother who makes you, tuna noodle. She makes you like nobody’s business. The classic way. No double digit ingredient list, no mushrooms with names she wouldn’t pronounce correctly anyway. Just you.

I’m sure the updated recipe from the article above is delicious. I love all the ingredients (minus peas, which should NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER BE MIXED INTO ANY CASSEROLE, YUCK YUCK YUCK), but I don’t eat you because I want a delicious, gourmet meal. I eat you because I want to pretend like I am seated at my grandma’s kitchen table in Tillamook, Oregon, while the fireplace is making that creepy noise because of the wind and my grandma is doing dishes, talking about “those sluts” in the latest issue of People magazine. You are not in need of an update, as the article’s title suggests. You are perfect just as you are.

Before I let you go, I’d like to ask your opinion of something and, with any luck, finally settle a decades-old family debate. One of our most heated debates (yes, more heated than “Is it ‘padlock’ or ‘paddle-lock?’” Do you prefer to be eaten with or without ketchup on top of you? What’s that? No ketchup is allowed? Exactly what I thought. Thanks for settling things.

Never change.

Love, Amy


An Open Letter To My Grandma

Dear Grandma,

Happy birthday to the best lady. Miss and love you.

Love, Amy

An Open Letter To Oregon

Dear Oregon,

Later today Dusty, Jerry, and I are putting all the dogs and ourselves in the Audi and driving up to see you. Specifically the Tillamook parts of you. Get ready.

I hope you still look like this.

Love, Amy

P.S. Please don’t be as hot as it is here, but don’t rain either. Thanks.

An Open Letter To Emily

Dear Emily,

Happy birthday, kid sister. When you were born, I was playing with Michelle and Ryan on their giant Rainbow Playground at the Carlton house. Then we drove to the hospital and I met you. You had a lot of hair. After a while, you grew up a little and got super adorable:

Being the baby, you got everything I ever wanted. The playhouse in the backyard, the play kitchen in your room. A loft bed. One of those rugs that doubled as a town for Hot Wheels to drive on.

Now you are super old and almost a real person. You still have lots of hair though, and since I know what present Mom got you, you can rest assured you are still getting everything I’ve ever wanted. I hope Samson is nice to you today and that Grammy made you all kinds of delicious treats. Wish I was there.

Love, Amy

An Open Letter To Uncle Jerry

Dear Jerry,

Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. I hope that while you are reading this you are enjoying a delicious meal up in Berkeley. My stomach wants to be there with you.

Things down here have been going just fine. Dusty has been slogging through the terrible customer service that surrounds hooking up a washer and dryer, I have been watching A LOT of Dexter. To the point that when I got out of the car at our local Taco Bell, I actually paused for a second thinking that the red flecks in the stone wall around the dumpster were blood and I someone should call Miami Metro ASAP. Curious misses you like crazy and spends her days and nights wandering from one end of the house to the other whining nonstop. Her itching is cured, but was apparently passed on to me thanks to the numerous bug bites all over my legs.

Still no job but I do have two freelance writing projects and am going to do those two days a week in Joanna’s casting office, starting tomorrow. So that’s something.

I saw Horrible Bosses with that boy (you know the one) and did the research you requested. We’ll discuss when you’re back.

It has also been very hot. I long for the days when Blackburn Station was freezing.

Love, Amy

P.S. Tell Meme I miss her and it doesn’t feel like home without her tapping all up and down the hallway.