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John Thorne

Lunch?

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You write about every other meal but rarely if ever about lunch. Do you skip it? Is that the secret to your slim figure? :laugh:

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You jest. At least you've given my bathroom scale a good laugh -- I can hear it chortling from here. I eat the same lunch pretty much every day. I don't write about it because it's pretty boring, but since you ask: it's a slightly doctored can of Progresso Chickarina soup.

First of all, I eat lunch at my desk while I'm writing so it has to be something easy to eat. I tested many canned soups to find one that met my requirements, the first of which is that I like it -- not easy with canned soups -- and second of all that can eat it without recourse to a spoon, which is distracting and, often, messy. Progresso Chickarina won because it has the perfect pasta for drinking (little round globs) and I'm a nut for those little beef/textured-soy product meatballs.

Here's how I make it. Open the can and dump the contents into a small pot. Add about a half cup of milk to the can and swirl free the little pasta lumps that always remain stuck in the grooves in the bottom of the can. Add this to the pot. Then: 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes; 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (from a jar, preferably the brand make in Portugal), a jolly dash of hot sauce, lots of black pepper, and, last but most important, a tablespoon of Erewhon brown rice cream, stirred in very carefully. This thickens the soup just enough to make it entirely drinkable (are thereabouts) and tastes good, too. Bring up to a simmer, partially cover, turn heat down to low, and set timer for fifteen minutes. Pour into a huge mug (at least 20 ounce size) and enjoy, slowly.

Now you know everything about me.

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Amazing. I had to do a Google search to be certain you weren't offering us a huge helping of Pulled Leg. Whatever turns you on. :blink:

Edit: I typed were instead of weren't.


Edited by John Whiting (log)

John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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John, would I kid a kidder? I wouldn't say this turns me on, but I certainly am very fond of it. Have you no sneaking liking for Campbell's bacon and bean soup or such? Living in England, as you do, you have such an opportunity to roll in the gutter of canned food; I can't believe you never do. Not even hedgehog-flavored potato chips? My sister brought me back a bag of those on her last visit.

You can edit a post you've already put up?! I could put the accent on the right e in entrée?! I can't even get the html to work for stuff like italics. I really am out of my element. You people amaze me.

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To be absolutely honest -- and I kid you not! -- I virtually never touch a can (tin) of anything except tomatoes, for a sauce. It's not because I have an exquisite palate -- if you could see what I pile, shake and dribble onto the lettuce for my usual lunchtime salad, you would cross yourself and reach for your crucifix. No, it's just that cans don't do it for me.

But don't let me put you off your feed. You could slather raw oysters with chocolate sauce and, so long as you chose to describe it in your incomparable manner, I would lap up every word, if not the dish itself.

As to moving an accent, let those who are the true masters of the virtual tell you how to edit; i.e. alter the past. (Now there's a subject for a Marcel Aymé short story!)


John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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John (either of you, but particularly the original questioner), have you read The Importance of Lunch by John Allemang? It's a delightful collection of mildly cantankerous food essays by a great Canadian food writer, and therefore unknown in the US. John W., does anyone know John A. in England? John T., ever read him? He's clearly influenced by you, but I can't remember whether you're mentioned in the book.

Anyway, the title essay is about how he recoiled at horror when someone said to him, "I don't eat lunch."


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Draw a complete blank here. I'll look out for him. Not a library in Western Massachusetts has a copy, but that's no surprise.

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John Allemang is a regular columnist for the Toronto Globe & Mail. He's the sort of Canadian (I don't know if he's a native) who led the South Park team to produce their Christmas feature film in which the devil is really a pair of obscene Canadian homosexual stand-up comics. Not that he's any of those things, but he's the sort of irreverent journalist who makes patriotic God-fearing Americans see red.


John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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