Mother didn’t make it like this
We had a simple dinner one night last week. Soup and sandwiches.
The sandwiches came from the grocery store deli. Too much meat, too much mayo, we each at only half and had the rest for lunch.
But what causes me to write about this pedestrian meal was the soup. We had the king of all soups, the greatest store-bought soup, the utterly iconic Campbell’s Tomato Soup. I think you can tell the difference between a grocery store and a specialty food store by this simple test: if they don’t have Campbell’s Tomato soup they’re a specialty store. You can’t call yourself a grocery if you don’t stock the most basic of all pantry needs.
I grew up on the stuff, as did we all. Cooking this dinner, I got to thinking about how things have changed.
The price is up, of course. I remember getting two cans for a quarter–now it’s $1.25 a can. The label is the same–I just looked it up and the original colors in 1897 were orange and white, but one of the founders went to a Cornell football game and was so impressed by the team colors they have been red and white ever since. Micky will like that. I think the can used to be 12 oz, now it’s 10.75 oz. Wish I could confirm that.
The big change I noticed is this: mother used whole milk, added a big chunk of butter and a bit of sugar. I use 1% milk, no butter and no sugar. I guess I understand the sugar–mom had two small boys to feed. The whole milk and extra butter were just to insure that I’d be heavy for the rest of my natural life. It may not have been healthy, but it sure tasted good.
The pleasures of life keep getting diminished. We have to wear seat belts. Kids need helmets on bikes. No sugar or butter in my tomato soup. Life is hardly worth living anymore.