Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Breast by Any Other Name

All I said was... maybe we could have BLT's tonight. A sandwich, for dinner; unusual for us, but Old Mother Hubbard's pantry was a little bare. Suddenly her eyes got wide and she started talking in that pleady baby talk thing she does.

"And soup! Oh please, can we have soup too? Remember? Like we did on that first camping trip? You remember? Soup and sandwiches! Yes yes, please, just like we did then!"
Sure, I remembered that day. We were housed in separate tents, both with our own gear. Her's was a giant tent, a living room really, with a giant air mattress and a real pillow. Mine was a tiny tent, a cocoon really, with a "camp rest" and a sleeping bag and a nylon bag full of dirty clothes for a pillow. She had a giant cooler, a "case of beer" cooler really, full of prepared foods and drinks and silverware and napkins and plastic plates and bowls and cups sitting on a few bags of store bought ice. Mine was a little cooler, a hat box with a handle really, full of staples, with a couple of small ice packs. She had a cardboard box filled with cooking gear; a stove, pots and pans, a griddle, paper towels, a scrubber and dishcloth and a tea pot. I had a small container of waterproof matches, a 12 inch by 6 inch collapsible grill, a coffee cup and a Swiss Army knife.

It was the second day, and my turn to cook. She seems to remember, and brings it up often, that I was in short jean shorts and a skin tight long underwear shirt with the sleeves pulled up to my biceps. (This was back when I was relatively thin. Think... the dark ages) I'd made a fire, then pulled out a flat of embers, and set my baby grill over them. I toasted four pieces of bread over the fire, slathered them with butter, then pulled a turkey breast from my cooler, along with a can of soup. Once I'd opened the can I just squished it down into the fire, then whacked off a few hunks of turkey with my 18 inch bowie knife and set them on the grill to warm. I stirred the soup a few times as I flipped the meat, then used a channel lock pliers to pull the can from the fire, dipping one tool tip into the soup so as to add a nice metallic flavor to the sugary brand name processed hungry man stew-like material. Using my heavy duty fire tending gloves, I picked up the can, poured us some soup, slipped a little salad dressing on the toast and popped the turkey on top. That was pretty much it. No Bearnaise sauce, no mashed potatoes squeezed from a pastry bag with a flower tip, no wine steward, no first course of gazpacho. I did whip a paper towel over my right arm and serve from behind her, on the left side of course, but beyond that, it was just a sammich and soup for heaven's sake.

And yet now, some 20 and change years later, she not only remembers it, but the thought of it makes her eyes watery, and she makes a hummy noise, like she's been eating chocolate, and her fingers start to clench... in, and out, and in, and out, like she's doing some weird aerobic exercise.

Yes, I made soup. And BLTs. No I didn't wear a skin tight long undie shirt with the sleeves pulled up to my biceps. A man can only go so far. Romance is a little different for men and women. I don't think I can remember one meal we ever had. Using food anyway.

1 comment:

  1. What a delightful memory. My grandson's hands used to do that when he was excited.