Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Peter Pan and Tomato Soup (Part 2)

I forgot to mention the key to all ...

At the bottom of the old Peter Pan peanut butter can, the manufacturer affixed a little metal key.  (See image at right.)  Note the little slot in the key.  Peanut-butter crazies (like me) had to (carefully) break that key away from the bottom, turn the can right-side up, look for he little tab at the top rim, insert that little tab through the slot in the key--and start turning.  If all worked well--and it did not always do so--you would turn the key around the complete circumference of the can, throw away the key, lift the lid ... peanut butter!

During our days of penury (grad school years) my older brother gave us a little peanut-butter machine so we could make our own.  It worked fine (a Salton product--see image at left), and we used it for a while.  But it took some cleaning up (never my favorite part of food preparation), and the oil separated after a bit, floating on the top like, well, an oil-slick, requiring us to stir it back into the stiffened pb.

But the main reason we stopped doing it?  We preferred commercial pb--the kind with all the additives that the FDA monitors and warns us about, usually after we've been ingesting it for years.  We liked the taste, the texture, the ease of use ...

Which brings me to tomato soup.  Campbell's tomato soup.  A staple in my life since ... forever.  My mom made it (usually with milk); I make it now (always with water).  We used to have it with hot dogs (boiled) when I was a lad.  And our dog, Sooner, loved the "hot dog water" that my dad served him after the dogs (the food) were done.  Sometimes, Dad would not let it cool sufficiently, but that never dissuaded Sooner, who lapped the water greedily, yipping with each lap, his wordless but eloquent complaint about the temperature.

I don't look at the ingredients on the tomato soup can ... but I just photographed the label ...  Quite a bit of sodium--but no cholesterol, no fat.  All good, right?  Besides, if Andy Warhol painted it with such fidelity, it must be valuable: Collectors have paid millions for them.  (I have four cans on my shelf--think how much I'm worth now!)

Doesn't matter.  I can't live without it.  I must have on our shelves some cans of this--always.  I often eat it when Joyce is away for supper somewhere.  I'll make a grilled turkey sandwich, a mug of tomato soup.  Sit and watch, via DVR, The Daily Show or some such.  Eat the sandwich first.  Sip the soup to the dregs.  Remember eating that soup in Enid, Oklahoma; Amarillo, Texas; Hiram, Ohio; Twinsburg, Ohio; Kent, Ohio; Aurora, Ohio; Hudson, Ohio; Lake Forest, Illinois--all the places I (and we) have lived.

And I know this: If I keep eating that soup--that soup that tastes the same as it did in the 1940s when I first tasted it--then I will never grow old.  I will remain who I am, right now--and always: Peter Pan.

NOTE: You may notice that Dawn Reader's post appeared a little late in the day?  That's because Dawn Reader did not see Dawn today: He slept till 7:30.  Such sloth ... and rightfully one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

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