09 February 2013

Just more than boiling water

 
The variations for tomato soups will differ as long as there are cooks who will take interest making this soup or there is always Campbell. Hot/Warm tomato soup is comforting in a cup to hold when you can feel the warmth on your fingers holding the cup.

    When you see the hot steaming soup in a bowl the feeling is more comforting because the open bowl welcomes you to warm and fuzzy feelings of your childhood days when you slowly slurped the hot soup with a spoon from the bowl sitting in front of a television. Any way the soup signals comfort to all who have grown up with it. Considering that tomatoes are plenty available in summer and easily available in a can in any corner shop, it is one of the easiest things to cook.

   And if you have a can of tomato paste, the easier it is.

 For the novice,tomato soup is Tomatoes, water and salt in a pan and turn on the stove. You can use the 'sting finger' test to find out if the soup is hot/boiling/warm. Dip your finger in the soup !If the finger stings,it is hot. if the finger burns,it is boiling. You  can continue to test with the “sting finger”  method till you are happy with the temperature of the soup. It will be called tomato soup by any definition. Easier than boiling water, if you do not know when the water is boiled.
   I did not grow up eating tomato soup because it was considered a fancy item and it was to be had in upscale restaurants in a pretty little white bowl which I didn't much like it then because It was simply hot.

   Who would want to drink hot soup when one is staying a tropical country with temperatures steaming over 40 degrees C every day and the added humidity. And people would drink soup only if one sat in the Air conditioned part of the restaurant, where the A/C machines were blasting and the place had pretty little recessed lights – tomato soup was also the most common appetizer and the fastest to arrive on the table before the dinner arrived.

   The first time I made tomato soup  was when I was in the US and had nothing to eat at home. The ingredients were bought at the only available drug  shop that stayed open late into the night.(Drug stores in the US like the CVS and Rite Aid sell more than prescription and on the counter medications) The extra ingredient to spruce up the tomato soup was a can of meat. spam - to be exact. Yes, you read that right.

   Adding water, tomato paste, salt, garlic,meat and pressure-cooked to seal in the flavors,the tomato soup was ready to be savored with toasted bread.

    Fast forward during the decade the tomato soup has taken on many dimensions,but I newly discovered that grated radish,and tomatoes from a can when browned in the pan quadruples the flavor along with grated garlic, ginger, green chilies,salt, water and pressure cooked. Slurp with a spoon,or Drink up – It soothes you in every way. I now know why it is comforting.



Note:Pressure-cooked soup seals the flavor in the cooker.It is as delicious as a day old soup. 

07 February 2013

Temperatures below zero. Yet feeleth warm.


The sauce : Tofu, Redtomatoes, Okra, Garlic, Rosemary, Thyme and Raddish , all pressure cooked. 
Fold in the cooked noodles. 
Serve Hot.
Taste: Delicious
Feel Grateful for a bowl that made me you feel warm and fuzy inside.

06 February 2013

Sorry, Has it lost its meaning ?

We are human beings and while doing so much good,we also hurt others. That's because our values and morals can be different. Really ? Forgive me for not buying such a cliche.

Chandelier lights, Champagne and Caviar colors it all.However,double standards on values and morals live abound and  are in plenty in our social groups,clubs and communities,irrespective of any part of  the world we are in - and the determinant factor in the 21st century begins with social class, color, race and gender.


It is acceptable for men to indulge in extra marital affair and be forgiven by their wives, but never easily the other way round.


White collar thieves ruthlessly steal, institutions and companies go belly up,but when a 10 year old steals bread from a street vendor he lands in juvenile courts, while the children of white collar criminals are schooled in it every day unconsciously. They are also termed role models.


Politicians dole out basic rights of housing, transportation on the eve of elections as if it is public charity. So do promotions and rewards in the company.The closer you are to the corner office,the larger the bonus hamper.


Physicians wiggle out of their responsibility to escape malpractise insurance.They want to be badly accepted at the country clubs and will gladly sacrifice a patient on the altar, than be ridiculed for thinking on the edge by the accepted socially hailed physician next door. 


The butcher gives the best cut of the meat to the domestic help who shops for the mayor in the city, because his business gets a boost.


These are just a few examples to highlight the everyday abominals, but we continue to drive through because we want to put food on the table. Discussing about it is taboo and is only permitted in hushed tones, and whispers. And if caught, that will be considered as social gossip, you  will be socially disbarred by the very community you live in or schooled in.

"Sorry" just lost its meaning.


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