Tag Archives: soup

Wrung Out

“When it’s too hard to look behind at the past
and it’s too difficult to look forward to the future
look to the side and you will see a friend.”
Judith Baxter, blogger and friend 1938 –

It is the end of a long, hard day here and wrung out describes exactly how I feel.

I have a couple of friends with major problems in their lives at present and usually I feel honoured that they can confide in me, knowing that even if I can’t help I will listen.

Well today started off well – a lazy Sunday morning, a cup of tea in bed, conversation and breakfast with a friend and then a telephone call that set the pace and the terms for the rest of the day.

My friend is hurt and angry at the way her children are behaving and unfortunately, there is nothing I can do or say to help her.  I just have to be there for her.

So having arrived home I am going to curl up with a good book and after reading  Jackie Cangro’s  Friday Five Post in which she told us

This is my all-time favorite comfort meal: grilled cheese and tomato soup. It’s quick and easy to make and tastes oh-so-good. And I always feel happy when I eat it. Sometimes I doctor the soup and add herbs or veggies, as I did here, but I also love plain Jane tomato soup. Some purists insist on only cheddar cheese in the sandwich, but I like to get fancy. Fontina, gouda, mozzarella? Bring it on.  soup and a cheese sandwich for dinner and tomorrow my world will be back on an even keel again.”

I am going to open a can of chicken soup (sorry Jackie no tomato soup on hand and too bushed to get in the car and drive to the supermarket).   With the soup I shall have a toasted cheese sandwich.  Maybe not what the nutritionists would approve but for this ‘wrung out’ elderly lady it is exactly what is needed.  So thank you Jackie.

And tomorrow as Jackie says, my world too will be back on an even keel and I shall be ready to lend a helping/listening ear to my very good friend.

2 old ladies

Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love.
Lao Tzu

Today I Made Soup

 “Beautiful soup! Who cares for fish, game or any other dish? Who would not give all else for two pennyworth of beautiful soup?”
   Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Those of you who know me or have read some of my earlier blogs will not be surprised by the heading of this one.  But today as I made soup it took me on another trip down memory lane.

Minestrone Soup

Picture from Two Peas & Their Pod

I got the recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod.  And once I have tried it I shall report on whether it tastes as good as it smells.  It certainly looks like the minestrone soup of my memory.

It was 1956 and I had recently left school to work in the American Express Company’s Freight Department as a secretary.  It was only some 11 years after the end of the Second World War and rationing had dragged on for many of those years.  As part of our salary (which we called wages in those far-off days), we were given Luncheon Vouchers.

Luncheon Vouchers sign

Image displayed in cafes and restaurants

Luncheon Vouchers were introduced in 1954 and were used to ensure that workers got a good meal in the middle of the day without companies having to provide their own canteens.  They were readily accepted in cafes and food bars, coffee shops and sandwich bars.  The image above was displayed so that you could easily identify where to use these vouchers.

It later transpired that LVs were being used for many other things.  The famous case of Cynthia Payne who was charged with keeping a brothel brought this to light.  “Payne first came to national attention in 1978 when police raided her home and found a sex party was in progress. Elderly men paid in Luncheon Vouchers to dress up in lingerie and be spanked by young women.”

There were many shops and establishments that didn’t sell food displaying the voucher sign.

Wardour Street, Soho

Image via WikiTravel

Well back to my memories.  The Haymarket is a short stroll to Soho.  At the time there was a number of small Italian cafes in the area and this is where we used our Luncheon Vouchers for lunch several times a week.  We were introduced to different soups including Minestrone with Parmesan cheese on top and pasta in its different forms.  All of these were very strange to our London tastes at the time.

So most days saw us having cappuccino coffee – a true luxury as coffee had been rationed during the war years – after our soup.  My parents weren’t particularly happy about my going to Soho with its reputation for prostitutes on every corner and of course, the Windmill Theatre, most (in)famous for its nude tableaux.  Very daring for the time. Did you see Dame Judi Dench in the movie “Mrs Henderson Presents” that was made about the Windmill?

And for me, Minestrone soup always takes me back to a little cafe in Wardour Street where young women used to meet and think we were so sophisticated.  Remember 18 year-olds at that time were very innocent.  Not nearly as worldly-wise as those of today.  With my sisters, I lived at home and we were quite tightly controlled by our parents as far as what was acceptable and what was not.  And what we were allowed to do.  How different it is today.

I understand that many companies still use Luncheon Vouchers for their staff.  Here in New Zealand if this were the case the company would have to pay Fringe Benefit Tax and that of course, is another story.

“Do you have a kinder, more adaptable friend in the food world than soup? Who soothes you when you are ill? Who refuses to leave you when you are impoverished and stretches its resources to give a hearty sustenance and cheer? Who warms you in the winter and cools you in the summer? Yet who also is capable of doing honor to your richest table and impressing your most demanding guests? Soup does its loyal best, no matter what undignified conditions are imposed upon it. You don’t catch steak hanging around when you’re poor and sick, do you?”
Judith Martin (Miss Manners)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes –
1. WordPress was playing up today.  I wrote this blog and then it disappeared into the ether never to be seen again.  So this is the second attempt. and
2.  I have tried the soup and it is delicious.  More memories to follow.

 

 

Unaccustomed as I am and thanks anyway

Versatile blogger

Thanks to Susan at Coming East I received my second Versatile Blogger Award.  What do they say?  You can fool all the people some of the time….

Seriously though, I would like to thank Susan and those other bloggers who follow my ramblings each day.  You are the reason I keep to this self-imposed discipline.  Yesterday I eventually posted at 11.45 pm – had to get it in before midnight.  That was quite a feat having been to the movies and the dinner, before coming back here for coffee.

Thanks

I have posted seven things about me in my thank you blog on April 30 – see here – so I won’t bore you with those things again.

But I need to nominate 15 more bloggers – see the earlier post for the original 15.  So in no particular order:

  1. L’Idiot Speaketh – http://redriverpak.wordpress.com – He doesn’t need my vote because he has had over 1million hits but I do so enjoy the humor.
  2. Sunshineinlondon – She keeps us amused about daily life in my home town
  3. bluebeachsong – Martie writes beautiful music and her haunting voice can be heard on her blog.
  4. Monicastangledweb – this is another of our very clever bloggers.  Thanks for the daily posts.
  5. Herdingcatsinhammondriver – though much younger than me, Wendy keeps me entertained with her wit
  6. Fribnitsworld – I really enjoy this guy and hope you will too
  7. Linda Atkins at http://rickandlindafamily.wordpress.com.  Always an upbeat post that I really enjoy reading
  8. Paul on the Goodgreatsby – This one makes me think
  9. the Docent Dog at http://pointcabrillolightstation.wordpress.com.  A clever blog using the dog as the spokesperson
  10. Duke at http://1959duke.wordpress.com.  Another clever blogger who also makes me think about all manner of things
  11. Life in the bogs – Robin writes and posts her photographs that fill me with joy and a little envy.  I wish I was a photographer and/or could write as well as she does
  12. Linda  at http://lindacassidylewis.com/ writes about writing.
  13. Debbie at http://dbdazedomain.wordpress.com/ has kept us amused with tales of downsizing and moving.  Enjoy Costa Rica Debbie.
  14. and 15 are all those whom I have yet to discover but already know that I will love.

So if I have left you out please accept my apologies.

Have to go and make soup for the family now –

Bowl of soup

Mulligatawny Soup – via Wikipedia

As I have said before, according to my son his “Mummy’s” soup is the best (that is according to him).

“There is nothing like soup. It is by nature eccentric: no two are ever alike, unless of course you get your soup in a can.”
Laurie Colwin, ‘Home Cooking’ (1988)


Rainy days, gardening, cooking and other foolish things

Leaves wet with rain

“I’m old fashioned, I love the moonlight
I love the old fashioned things
The sound of rain upon a window pane
The starry song that April sings
This years fancies are passing fancies
But sighing sighs, holding hands
These my heart understands”  Lyrics by Johnny Mercer, 1909 – 1976, American lyricist, songwriter and singer.

This morning I awoke to rain.  Not the sound of rain but that soft misty rain that absolutely soaks everything and stops you seeing even the houses on the other side of the street. But as I have said before, I am English and we are used to this type of rain.  It is in the air and all around us.

So what to do today.  I shall certainly take my small dog for a walk.  She doesn’t much like being wet but I love the feel of this soft, caressing rain on my skin. It reminds me of walking home from school in the rain.

Dandelion

 

I won’t be able to get into the garden to pull out the weeds that have invaded since last week.  How sad!  In case you don’t know weeding is not one of my favourite pastimes, although I have been known to lose myself in the task for several hours.  In fact last weekend I spent a couple of hours trying to decide which were flowers and which were flowers in the wrong place.  My spiritual gardening friends tell me that weeds are only flowers in the wrong place.

That old garden bench in need of painting won’t get done today. That was something I was looking forward to doing.  Oh well, leave it for another day.  It has been waiting to be painted for so long that a few more days, weeks or even months won’t really matter.  And I can still sit on it and read on good days.  And with a rug on it, Lotte (my Tibetan Spaniel) doesn’t care if it is painted or not.

So now I can think of what I can do today because of the rain.

Yesterday in a cafe with a friend – those of you who have read my earlier blogs know that I frequent cafes a lot – we had mulligatawny soup.

Bowl of soup

via Wikipedia

Love the name.  It rolls off the tongue so easily so I looked up its origins.  According to Wikipedia (my go to place for anything I need to know)

 

“Mulligatawny is a  curry-flavored soup of Anglo-Indian origin. Translated literally from Tamil, “Mulligatawny” means “pepper water”(“Millagu” means pepper and “Thanni” means water).  There are many variations on the recipe for mulligatawny.  In the West, the soup typically has a turmeric-like yellow colour and chicken meat, beef, or lamb meat. Often it is thickened with rice.”

The soup was so good that I thought I would make it sometime.  Looks like that sometime is today.   My son will be very pleased if I do make it.  He will get some and he tells everybody how good his Mother’s soup is.

More on soups another time.

So what else can I do?  I went to the library yesterday and have a number of books I could start.  What a choice.  Time was limited at the library as I found a car park good for only 30 minutes.  Not nearly long enough to browse through the library.  But beggars can’t be choosers.  So I went straight to  C and found Robert Crais’  “The First Rule” then onto D for Jeffery Deaver and chose “Speaking in Tongues”  and then James Paterson “Postcard Killers” all three novelists well-known to me.  Then I came across three unknowns (at least to me)

  • Alan Dunn, English teacher and novelist.  His book is “Ice Cold”.  I am looking forward to reading that.
  • Judith Kelman is ‘an award-winning master of psychological suspense”.  She lives in New York City. Her book is called “The First Stone”.So another new writer to read and
  • Domenica de Rosa’s ‘Summer School’.  A novel set in a 13th Century Italian Castle.  That will make good reading.

So as you can see I am spoiled for choice.

But first, a cup of tea Toast and marmaladewith toast and marmalade for breakfast while I decide the order in which I am going to do things.

Such weighty decisions can’t be hurried.

Then check larder and refrigerator for ingredients for the soup.  I may have to make a trip to the store for some things.  That’s OK it can be merged with the walk for Lotte.  That is if she ever gets out of her bed today.  As I said, she doesn’t like the rain or water of any kind.  She is not a true spaniel as spaniels are water dogs and love the sea.  She hates it and won’t go anywhere near it or a river.

Are you old enough to remember Johnny Ray singing “Just Walking in the Rain”? If so take a walk down memory lane here.  Even if you are not old enough you might still enjoy it.

Now a question for you.  What do you do on rainy days when you have to spend time indoors?  I would really like to hear from you.

And today’s quote is from Terri Guillemets (1973-)  U.S. quotation anthologist
creator of The Quote Garden

Weather is a great metaphor for life – sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, and there’s nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella”.

If you haven’t discovered Terri and the Quote Garden you won’t know of her ‘Daily Harvest”.  Here is todays:

Daily Harvest for 4/16/2011:
The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.  ~Elisabeth Foley
 smile