|Grandma Dessie in her apron - which is pretty much |
how I remember her. I'm beginning to feel more
and more like this every day.
Mom does try to help, only she can no longer follow simple instructions. If I ask her to get drinks on the table, she may get as far as putting a glass for herself out on the counter and then just wander away. Even given detailed instructions, she simply looses track after the words “Mom, can you…..”, the rest is just gibberish. If I hand her potatoes, she will peel them, but it takes a good 20 minutes to do three of them. Ask her to get the milk out for me and she heads off to the freezer and stands there looking for a few minutes before I notice she’s not in the right place. While I’m cooking, she’s busy putting things on the table. Yesterday we had two containers of butter, dog food, cold soup still in the can, a bag of shredded cabbage in a bowl (no dressing), brownies and some cantaloupe that had been sitting out all day and was spoiled (ask me how I KNOW it was spoiled, yes I ate some).
|THIS is how I used to feel in the kitchen. This is me|
winning a chili cookoff back in 2001. Whee! Fun!
I’ve always been a fan of the Campbell’s tomato soup Mom served us at home and there is usually a can stashed in the pantry for times when I’m feeling especially nostalgic. For years I have been trying recipes that claimed to be “better than the can”, but frankly, I LIKE the can version. Very little can make it better, in my mind, except some more sweetness or a bit more depth in the tomato-ey goodness. This weekend I think I found that recipe.
1 cup (about 4 1/2 ounces) chopped onions (2 small-to-medium onions)
1 (one) 28-ounce can tomato purée or tomatoes in purée
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon basil
a couple of shakes of black pepper
3 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 can (a scant 2 cups, 14 to 15 ounces) chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 (one) 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a small bowl, combine the flour and broth, whisking till smooth, and add this mixture to the soup, stirring constantly. Cover and simmer slowly for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If you've used diced tomatoes, purée the soup in a blender or food processor, or use a hand blender. If you've used tomato purée, there's no need to blend; the onion bits will give the soup a bit of body. Return the soup to the stove, and set it on a burner over low-to-medium heat. Stir in the baking soda (the soup will foam up briefly; don't worry, but be sure it's in a big enough pot), the brown sugar, the milk and the salt. Heat, stirring, to a bare simmer. Serve hot.
Yield: about 8 cups, about 8 servings.
To get to the original posting on the KAF site, follow this link - it will have photos and step by step instructions should you need them: