August 27, 2004
English cooking and food are a joke the world over. It is no longer as bad as it was, indeed London is now regarded as one of the finest places in the world to dine out. Then we see this in the Torygraph:
An Elgarian sadness descends upon the nation at the news that Heinz tomato soup is changing its recipe to include more tomatoes. Many of us have a sentimental relationship with this toothsome orange gunk. My grandmother was a terrible cook, whose signature dish was "a bit of a slooge-up".
This involved taking two unrelated Marks & Spencer ready meals at random, combining them in a single pan, and adding béchamel sauce, Vimto, mayonnaise, or whatever else came to hand. I don't know what she cooked before she learnt to cook this.
But history tells us that my grandfather's birthday treat, each year, was to be brought for his lunch a tin of Heinz tomato soup and a spoon. The soup had to be warmed and served in the unopened tin, to satisfy him that she had not improved it in any way.
This, he would eat with tears of happiness. It was his favourite food and, I fancy, the key to marital contentment.
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