Cream of Tomato Soup – Writing 101, Day Ten

Published June 16, 2014 by Liz Ault

Writing 101, Day Ten: Happy (Insert special occasion here)! Today, be inspired by a favorite childhood meal. For the twist, focus on infusing the post with your unique voice — even if that makes you a little nervous.

When birthday’s come around in my family, it’s your birthday you chose the food. Most of my son’s life, he requested beef stroganoff. I realized that it was because it was my birthday food of choice, he was following in his mom’s footsteps. My daughter always mixed it up.

Thinking about why my choice was stroganoff took me down a path I hadn’t traveled in some time. I was out of high school before I was given the opportunity to pick my dinner. And that dinner was always beef stroganoff, it was truly a favorite of mine.

Then I thought about food and special occasions and how they might be intertwined. Food often is associated with comfort for so many of us. My mind went down a path of food and comfort and stopped immediately on cream of tomato soup. It had to be Campbell’s condensed. It had to be made with milk – never water (water could not make cream).

Comfort went hand in hand with affection and was seldom something I received, with one exception – illness. When I look back at my little girl self, there is so much sadness and seclusion. So why would feeling my worst physically make me almost smile? There was the soft touch of my mother’s hand checking my cheeks and forehead for fever and the warm canned soup.

Guess that’s why it was the “go-to” food when my kids were sick.

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