Winter Lunch

comments: 246


Thank you for all the "balancing" suggestions the other day. I can't tell you how fascinating that was to read — people are so different. Wow. I'm printing all of them out and clipping the ones that seem like they will work for me. I went and got some really pretty little notebooks, a cool to-do list, and a new address book yesterday. I can at least get organized on paper. I have never been a notebook-carrying type (I start out strong, then forget, then lose the notebook completely), but I knew someone who was, and she was very calm, so maybe. . . .

I've worked on the computer like crazy for the past couple of days. The cozy antidote to computering is Campbell's cream of tomato soup with noodles, one of the classics of my childhood. Also one of my very favorite lunches. Now they make tomato bisque, which has little pieces of tomato in it, and I like it better, but oh was it hard to switch (oh, and these noodles are supposed to be Creamettes, but they never carry those at my grocery stores, rats). You don't mess with the family classics! I don't know how this soup compares to "real" tomato soup — but for me that's hardly the point. Family-faves are successful in ways that are specific only to their creators. So much of the appeal of this soup is that it tastes exactly the same, every time, as it has for the thirty-five years I've been eating it for lunch.

Much of its appeal is also that it is just one of those quirky Ieronemo-family lunches (like envelopes of Lipton's chicken-noodle soup [with those little slabs of powdery boullion] to which we always added tiny bow-tie noodles and a pat of butter) that I make when I want to feel like everything's connected. I wonder if my sisters or my mom still make these. I was at my friend's house the other day and I mentioned these family-foods to her, and she immediately said, "Oh yeah, Triscuits with the thinnest layer of margarine and a little bit of garlic salt, toasted! My mom always made those and I loved them! I should make those!"

What are yours?


Chili Mac (spaghetti noodles with chili on top!) and homemade chicken noodle soup... both with buttered saltines. I make them when I'm homesick... works like a charm!

Cinnamon sugar on buttered bread in the toaster oven until it's crunchy on top...yummmmmm =)

My grandma made macaroni with tomato juice, and a dollop of milk. Macaroni and cheese from scratch has to come in a close second, but takes a little longer!

One of our simple comforts is ice-cream sandwiches piled high with cool-whip and topped with slivered almonds. Mmmm.

My mom used to make us malts for dessert every so often. With ice cream, chocolate syrup, milk, vanilla and real malt powder. I asked her once how much she put in of each ingredient and she just laughed. Even if she didn't follow a recipe it always tasted wonderfully the same every time.

Mum always made cinnamon & sugar baked crisps out of the leftover pie dough---oh yum!

Crystal M. says: January 11, 2008 at 08:29 AM

Lipton chicken noodle was a staple in our home too! A great treat was sliced bananas with a little butter and brown sugar nuked in the microwave... YUM!

My grandmother always put some dollops of strawberry jam in iced tea or lemonadeThe 2 quarts).

Hmmm, there are many but I think the one most reminiscent that I still make today is a toasted and buttered Thomas' english muffin (all the nooks and crannies, you know) with fresh avocado smashed on top with Lawry's seasoning salt sprinkled over it. Decadent and yummy.

I also make a mean clam dip that is three family generations old that is so delish that I am not even allowed into some of my friend's parties unless I bring it!

Ritz crackers topped with Laura Scudder's peanut butter (no other p.b. will do!) and a slice of sharp cheddar cheese.

Cheesetoast. Plain ole cheesetoast. It's like being home.

My dad wasn't a cook, but when he did make us dinner he would pull out two of his old Boy Scout favorites. Dennison chili over fritos and Dorito casserole. Can't you just see a bunch a pre-teen guys eating those around a campfire?

Both are so completely bad for you, but both are just soooo good!

Grilled Cheese. Now I think I'll have it for breakfast (with tomato)

Plain old Campbell's Tomato Soup (the condensed one) with really good sourdough bread (SanFrancisco). Aunt Mary's Chicken-n-Rice Casserole. Yummm. I'm needing lunch already.

coffeechris says: January 11, 2008 at 08:48 AM

I thought just our family did Campbell's tomato soup with Creamettes (soup was made with water and Creamettes were always over cooked). Yes, we had Lipton's Chicken Noodle package soup only when we were sick, had to put a lot of crushed saltines (more like soggy cracker soup we loved it) as were were used to the salty taste of Campbell's Chicken Noodle, which we got when we were not sick. Yes, and butter on graham crackers or saltines. When they came out with cinnamon graham we buttered those on the back mmmmmmm. One more morning favorite ...dark brown bread from can with cream cheese. Don't even know if you can still get that bread? Now, I am a T.J.'s Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper soup girl. I usually have whole wheat pasta al dente....and yet I still splurge and have Creamettes when I need the old fashion comfort. Thanks for bring me back.

Toasted tomato sandwiches with butter and salt. Homegrown tomatoes if possble.

Buttered grilled cheese cut into four triangles.

Campbell's chicken noodle with buttered saltines.

Toasted white bread with cinnamon and sugar.

Hmm I'm sensing a butter and salt theme here. As it is lunch time where I am, I'd better go find some.

Plain white rice with a fishcake on top and Heinz Tomato soup poured over it.

Crackers with cream cheese and smoked mussels, though now I usually get smoked salmon but it never fails to make me feel connected to my Mom!! It was our uber special holiday snack we'd always make...yummmmmmmm

Chunks of cheddar cheese, gerkin pickles, bread sticks with lots of chilled butter. Cup of hot tea. That's a perfect snacky lunch, especially if you are working online.

My mom would always put chive cream cheese on saltines and plop them in our bowls of tomato soup. So good!

Mom used to take the pillsbury biscuits from the cardboard tube and top them with some magical cinnamon-sugar-butter concoction which she had mixed and melted right in the pan. I think I loved them more because of the mystical way she would dip and swirl the biscuit dough just SO in order to use all the topping mixture. Mom's are good like that.

My mom always made sure I had a Thomas' English muffin with butter & melted colby cheese on top while I waited at the corner for the school bus. Oh and 7-layer cookies (aka the best cookies on the planet). Not at the same time of course.

For me it was always campbell's chicken noodle and grilled cheese and buttermilk mixed in cornbread. (its a souhtern thing).

Suga' Bread! Whenever we would have a leftover Italian bread loaf from the previous night, mom would wake up early the next morning and wake us up with the smell of butter and sugar toasting in the oven.

Naturally I do the same thing (though we rarely have Italian bread, and even rarer to have some leftover the next morning).

I will share with you my husband's comfort food that he likes for me to make for him... that reminds him of family, of growing up... cream chip beef on toast. I will make the creamiest of white sauce and then open a jar of chipped beef that I tear up and add to the cream sauce and then pour over toast. That's it! And he LOVES it! Go figure.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at