Jan 23, 2012

oh this thing... oh called soup

I have been sick with the flu for the past 4-5 days. It was the flu and now I think it is gone to my stomach. I am fine as long as I dont eat. Anyway, today I walked into my office to be greeted by 26 voice messages after being off sick for two days. I had the chills and the fever and my stomach was feeling funny. So my supervisor came to the rescue and kindly gave me a Tylenol. Well, I had to eat something before I could take the Tylenol and just like most days I had left my lunch bag on the kitchen floor in the crazy morning rush. I cant usually eat out even on a good day let alone a stomach bug-ish day so I walked to the big grocery store right by the agency to by myself a soup. I was calculating in my very tired head. I gave myself 20 minutes to buy it, prepare it and eat it. That's it. I couldn't afford to give it more time.

At the grocery store, I ask one of staff where the soups are. She shows me the aisle. I hesitate to ask her my next question but I do. Which one can I make fast at work? She looks at me as if I have just landed from Mars. well, I landed from Mars 10 years ago. I explain: I have never tried any of these before. How on earth did that happen? she asks in a surprised tone. "Yes, heehee, well I try to  to make soups at home" I say rather embarrassed. She says wow this is awesome and reassures me that I will like the taste of instant chicken noodle soup.
5 minutes later my chicken noodle soup is in the microwave. I read the instruction carefully: a cup of warm water, 1-2 minutes in the microwave and voila! your soup is ready! no chopping, grating, stirring, having to let it simmer for half hour, no over night soaking the beans in warm water so they cook easily the following day.
It is yellow with some green things floating in it, some noodles and tons of sodium. And here comes the confession: I was excited to try a ready made soup for the first time! So I am eating the yellow thing AKA chicken noodle soup feeling both excited for finally breaking this mental barrier against pre made soups and at the same time a little grossed out thinking about what I am sending down to my already weak stomach.
I tell my friend who is sitting across from me at the kitchen table about my first encounter with canned soup.
we had newly arrived in Canada and were exploring the grocery store. As I was walking the aisles, I saw tens and tens of colourful cans. I looked at them curiously to find out they were soups. At first I thought one buys them, adds things to them and makes one's own soup, thinking of them of the base for the soup but when I read the labels they clearly said pour the whole thing in a bowl, warm it up and eat it. I was horrified. I called my mom to share this bizarre North American phenomenon called canned soup with her. Hey mom they have canned soup here. yeah, its all cooked and ready you just need to warm it up. Of course my mom screamed on the phone (as I expected) DO NOT DARE EVER buy any of this garbage and she went on and on about how they are filled with additive and preservative and the thing they use to attach the lid to the can is cancerous and can cause this and that and that I will die a painful death at a young age if I give in to this lazy North American life style and do I want her to make me some soup and freeze it and have N who is flying back to Canada in a week bring the containers for me because home made frozen is at least better than canned. I had to reassure her for half hour on the phone that I was NOT going to buy those shameful soups and that I was not going to give in to North American life style and that I would continue to make home made soups all from scratch.
Ten years later I was eating/drinking the salty yellow watery thing so I can have my flu tablet and I was thinking with all that is going on in my birth country my mom probably couldnt care less if I told her hey mom I had a canned soup today! or maybe not? Moms are not predictable.

I came home and googled canned soup to find this. I should call my mom tomorrow! but I am not going to tell her that I have 3 more in my drawer: A spicy chicken soup, tomato soup and another chicken noodle!