Back of the Can Cuisine in Cooking Posted February 1, 2011 To My Most Gracious Princess Dejah, whose adventures on Mars thrilled my young heart way back when ,You asked for ideas. I think a writer observed that the essence of these "back of the can" dishes was their liberating effect on the mother. While she might still be chained to the home, her obligatory chains to the stove were unloosed, and she now had some time to call her own. Coming from India, I can deeply appreciate the lessening of physical labor on women, and offering them more control over their own lives. Also, the lowering of the FEAR factor: can I put something delicious on the table? FEAR is & was a MOST potent & DEADLY element ruling the lives of women & children in the generations past & they still do in other places, and I am a witness. We forget the power of these things when poke our gentle fun at Campbell Soup.Between 1950 & 1953 Dr. Lawrence Blood, working at Utah State College, now Utah State University, with Dr. Orson Cannon, were searching for a solution to a dread fungus disease affecting tomato fields, especially processing& soup tomatoes. They would plant more than 25K plants each season in the disease nursery, and watch carefully. Finally, Dr.Cannon found, after Dr.Blood's death, ONE plant surviving the fungus. That provided the first resistance genes for Verticillium Wilt Disease. He named the variety LAWRENCE BLOOD. It became part of the parental lines of every modern tomato that you or I today consume. That includes every soup tomato Campbell's processes. We cannot conceive today how astonishingly difficult it was to successfully crops at large enough scales to make food costs low; the prevalence of disease, physiological & genetic factors like skin that cracked as the tomato expanded, burst as it ripened, or rotted inthe rain. We take for granted today a commercial tomato & other vegetable crop, but the battles were so very hard won. Dr.Cannon later became the chief of the Campbell tomato breeding program. The TOMATO SOUP led the way for Campbell's conquest of the American kitchen!The red & white can is borrowed from Cornell's colors, with Cornell then & now being a center of tomato research.We sometimes forget the extraordinary history of the USA, which is why I tend to digress to reconnect us with our heritage. No nation or society in history ever has contributed so much wealth or human welfare to humanity as THIS COUNTRY has in ONE SINGLE CENTURY, 1900-2000. We cannot ever forget this, and advances in FOOD TECHNOLOGY like canned soup had something to do with how rapidly the USA developed. People will tease me, and I shall happily accept.So, My Gracious Princess, would you not agree with the thesis that the utility of the Canned Soup Cuisine lies precisely in using what is at hand, and what is frugal, without having to worry about buying any special ingredients. The CANNED SOUP, like the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, is the Spirit of a New Nation. With a patient sigh, it fulfills all the lacunae in our pitiful endeavors. It is spicing, sauce, salt, umami, refrigeration, pest-proof storage and convenience.This is not food for the wealthy or for the fussy, but for those who are deeply grateful for life and the blessings each day brings with it. This is for families who know that food is what you set on the table and there shall be nothing but clean plates and happy faces, basking in the safety of a family and a country.If we have some frozen pollock or any fish, perhaps some flour, even Wondra, and maybe a tiny bit of wine or spirits to neutralize any odor, the fish can be rubbed with a little alcohol, seasoned with (very little) salt,pepper, Wondra, set on bakeware, and covered with a can of Shrimp Bisque. Bake or carefully microwave. Garnish with parsley or herbs. Bake potatoes at the same time or cook rice or egg noodles. Serve with your choice of vegetables. This is bland food. You may add some lemon, Tabasco, whatever you fancy. If you get 1 can of bisque on sale for $1, buy several, & you can zap 2lbs of fish with 1 can. Fish is expensive $ 2.39/lb at Easter sales for pollock in 10lb bags to $4-5/lb for tilapia. I got 4 oz. IQF mahi-mahi at $4/lb, 20 pieces/box. Chicken breast is $1.49/lb per 40lb. box, $1.79/25lb, salad shrimp $88/25lb.White mushroom is $2.66/lb and can be used with the bisque + shirataki noodles, as above as a good diet-friendly dish, along with a separate quick choisum saute, salad, black chickpea salad/casserole or red lentil w/lemon soup. Whole lentils are even better.