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Morgan’s Recipe Series: Tasty tuna salad PLUS: Bonfire Banana Boats

MADAWASKA, Maine — Any chance you are spending your Fourth of July weekend at the lake with a grill, or maybe in your own backyard with a bonfire? Wherever you are this Independence Day weekend, surround yourself with people you love and some good food, and you’ll be sure to have a good time. 

As far as good food goes, nothing is better around a lake or bonfire than some tasty tuna salad, and for dessert, bonfire banana boats. 

Tuna salad has always been a staple in my life whether on long roadtrips, at the beach in Galveston or Birch Point, or at the pool in my old neighborhood. When I was homesick in college, I used to go to the dining hall’s salad bar and collect all the ingredients and make my tuna salad right there on my tray. It is that easy. 


— 2 cans tuna (one with water one with oil)
— 1 cup olive oil mayonnaise or Miracle Whip (cook’s choice)
— 1/3  cup of dill relish
— 4 boiled eggs
— 1 medium apple (I use red delicious)
— Squirt of lemon juice
— Salt and pepper to taste 

After you pick through the tuna for bones and scales, you just combine all ingredients into a dish and stir it up. For texture, when you spread the tuna on the bread, also load it with potato chips and squish it down for that added crunch. 

While S’mores are usually the go-to for bonfire desserts, there is a slightly healthier option (slightly being the optimal word). Enter Banana Boats. 

I first learned about banana boats during a church retreat camping trip when I was in fourth grade. My father went with us as a chaperone for the camping excursion and the leader brought bananas, aluminum foil and fillers. We took the banana and ripped one peel down, but left the rest. We then stuffed the inside of the banana with nuts, chocolate chips, peanut butter, and marshmallows before wrapping it up in foil and throwing it into the base of the fire. This recipe can also easily be done on the grill if you don’t have tongs long enough to grab the boats out of the fire. 

Once they are pulled out, the chocolate and marshmallows will be all melted for a sweet chocolaty fruity treat. There is almost no way to mess this one up either. 


— Bananas

You can use a variety of fillers such as:

— Fruit preserves
— Spreads like peanut butter or Nutella
— All sorts of nuts
— Any flavor chip (milk, dark or white chocolate, butterscotch, caramel, peanut butter or cinnamon)
— Marshmallows

You will need aluminum foil and something to retrieve the treats from the fire. 

There you have it. The perfect pairing for your watery or fiery (or both) Fourth of July! 

Morgan’s Recipe Series is an occasional column to bring recipes from all over the United States to the Valley for all sorts of holidays and family functions. 

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