Sunday, April 10, 2011
Snippet from Ordinary Life
Now to soup. It requires an explanation.
When I went away to University my mother gave me a saucepan and a small frying pan. Tools she thought I couldn’t go wrong with. She gave me the love and hopes of generations of my family who had never even imagined going to University as well of course but that is another story.
The shop nearest to my hall of residence was open for a couple of hours a day and was upstairs in the student union building.
It was supplier of pot noodle, things you could toast, coffee, milk, sugar, tea, paper and pen. In short the usual student essentials.
They also had a fine range of Heinz soups the most exotic of which, and bear in mind the days of ‘Organic Carrot and Coriander’ were still distant, this was the latter half of the seventies, (are your still following the twists in this sentence…good good),was Mulligatawny. The name seemed like a beast from Lewis Carrol’s Jaberwock stable. Exotic and extreme.
When on inspection it turned out to have curry overtones you couldn’t stop me buying a tin.
And so lunchtime toast and Mulligatawny soup became a staple of my early terms abroad. While I don’t remember this specifically I am sure that I must have thought it an affectation that would attract discerning members of the opposite sex. A man of such culinary sophistication was bound to hold hidden shallows at least.
Simmered, and often eaten, in my mothers saucepan it was the taste of days gone by.
How then could I resist the delight once more proffered adjacent to Aisle 13 in my favourite supermarket.
Of course it wasn’t quite the same. Thirty five years have changed the recipe a little, toned it down a bit I think, but nevertheless it was good.
I sat mug in hand at the end of the afternoon sun on a rock in my field and drifted back.
Martha and the Muffins screaming out …’Echo beach far away in time…’