or the tale of tomato soup
Why tomato soup? Actually, lets go back a step, it is a specific brand of tomato soup where the variety has 56 other siblings. Somethings it does not matter what brand it is, others it does, there is only one type of tinned tomato soup.
Anyway, back to the point. I associate Christmas Eve with tomato soup. I am not sure what year it was, I know I was fairly young and probably not yet in my teens, but I cannot be sure of actual details. It was a Christmas Eve and I could not get to sleep. I was far too excited and try as I might I could not make sleep happen. I was desperate to go to sleep, I knew there was no chance of Santa arriving whilst I was awake and I wanted my presents! In our house at Christmas Santa always left our presents mainly in pillow cases at the end of our beds. I still remember the excitement of waking up, moving my feet and feeling the weight of presents and hearing the rustle of the wrapping. I had to sleep as if I did not do then morning would never arrive.
I still could not sleep, my parents kept checking to see if I was asleep yet, but I could not even pretend that I was. At some unearthly time, about 11.45 ish, I gave up and went downstairs half expecting to be shouted at and told to go back to bed. My mother had gone to bed by this point but my father was still watching tv. One of my brothers also appeared, but I am actually not sure which one (that makes it sound like I have many, it is one of three, I vaguely think it was the eldest but I am happy to stand corrected). I think my vagueness probably means I was not really fully awake at the time.
I have no idea how it happened, but we ended up all eating tomato soup watching Midnight Mass. This is the only time in my life I have ever seen any sort of midnight mass I think it fair to say that religion was not big in my upbringing.
Yet the memory of the soup stays with me. It is a good memory, as warm and heartening as the soup itself.
Even as I started to write this and I began to think about tomato soup, I also thought about the first time that I made home-made tomato soup from tomatoes that I had grown myself. I rarely grow tomatoes as to be honest I do not like raw food so never eat salad. Sometimes I do grow tomatoes but they are only for cooking with and my success with them is patchy at best. It was quite a revelation though the first time I had soup made from my own tomatoes. The taste is quite different to the tinned sort. I like both equally but for different reasons, it is not that the tinned sort is not made with tomatoes, but there is a clear taste difference. I have decided I shall grow tomatoes this year again, I shall spend Boxing Day as is my tradition, working on my seed list.
So endeth my praise of soup.
Can I also add, I also associate Christmas Eve with rain, with wet grey days rushing into town to buy last minute presents. Ah, internet shopping is such a better idea.
Festive wishes to you all.