Tag Archives: Lipton

Cuppa, cuppa burning love

Long, long ago, when I was young and Mr Nixon was president,

RMNI started reading books.

Actually I started reading books – and newspapers and magazines and Sear and Roebucks catalogs and the backs of cereal boxes, much, much earlier, but I started reading books set in England and by English authors during the Nixon administration. For reasons I do not remember, I chose to narrow my reading to England for a year. Winnie-the-Pooh? Been there, read, that.

William Shakespeare? Working my way through.

Wm Shakes chandosWatching movie versions to help sort it all out.

I remember.

It was all about Shakespeare. Writing these words – the collected works of William Shakespeare, I remember.

But not just any ole Shakespeare….

Romeo and Juliet.

The Movie.This Movie.

Romeo and Juleit Zeffer

THIS is why I wanted to read ALL of Shakespeare. Sexy. sexy Shakespeare.

Which led to a major Agatha Christie Read-a-thon. Not the non-sequester this seems.The Library had scads of them. It put me in England.  I tried to read them in the order in which they were written – or just the way they were on the shelves.

Dame Agatha Christie

Dame Agatha Christie

All the detectives…..I would eventually re-read many of them by character series.

Hercule PoirotTommy and TuppenceHarley Quinn

Miss Marpleand so on and so forth…..

and then there was Thomas Hardy



Far from the Maddening Crowd – the 1968 movie

The movie gave me a visual….each time I read Hardy I still make new discoveries. I loved the flow of the words, the poetry  – there’s no way I understood HALF of what he was writing about when I first read him.

Jane Austen….

Jane Austin

Jane Austen

I started with Emma.

3panel book reviewMy Great Aunt Eileen had given me three volumes of Jane Austen when I was nine – before cookbooks, she gave me Austen so  the books would be waiting for me to be ready for them. I had forgotten them.

They had become part of the backdrop, three red covered hardbound volumes. Until  my then brand new best friend came into school with a paperback book:

Emma Jane Austen.

Emma Jane Austen? Who’s that? I asked.

Oh – Emma by Jane Austen.

Well, yeah, I’ve heard of Jane Austen (quick brain scan, can’t remember a thing – wait!  She’s English. Fits in with my read only English authors plan for the year. Where exactly did I leave that book?)

And while I read, I drank tea.

Tea made the books more English.

Tea made me more English.

Proper tea is made in a teapot, so I wanted a tea pot.

I got one at a yard sale and it was a beauty.

I'm a little teapot...

I’m a little teapot…

Little, orange, luster-ware. It was like a little bit of sunshine on the morning table.

Considering that much of the coffee I was drinking at this period was Freeze-dried…..hey, it was the ’70’s!

sanka 1970's

He played a doctor on TV, and he sold coffee, too. Robert Young.

Back to  tea. Pots and pots of tea. Hot tea, never iced or sweet. Pots and pots of hot tea poured into cup after cup.

That’s Salada Tea

Salada_PackShot691-164639and also Red Rose and Lipton.


Lots and lots of Constant Comment. Perhaps the signature tea. Thank you, Judith!

Earl Grey. English Breakfast. All day long.

Drank tea while I read. And I read every day.

Sharing pots of tea as part of the conversations of the books, the characters, the plots, the places, the movies.

Often in a China cup, also purchased at yard sales and received and given as gifts, often given as gifts between those of us reading the books and discussing them. A proper cuppa. Book love = Tea love. tea cup lady carlyleThe kettle was always on. The pot was always warmed.The good China was out, singular and mismatched as it was.

Tea was served. Sometimes with milk, sometimes with lemon, sometimes with something a little sweet, sometimes with friends, sometimes with family.

The Rule of Three was established in the ancestral home – you always put the kettle on with enough for yourself and two others, even if you were alone. Someone could come in! Be prepared!

It’s June. Strawberry season. Time to read Emma again.

But first, put on the kettle.



Filed under Influencers, Perception ways, Summer, The 1970's

Chicken Soup with Rice

Chicken once
Chicken twice
Chicken noodle soup with rice
Said Maurice Sendak NEVER…

Maurice Sendack

Maurice Sendack

but that’s how one of my brothers recited it.
I’ve been sick, downright under the weather, stuffy head and nose and post nasal drip cough….with all this stuffiness, not too much smelling or tasting.
Now I understand why the soups of my childhood never tasted good in adulthood. I had never really tasted them. I only has them when my taste buds were otherwise occupied. Or coated with Robitussan. There was also something else, before there was Nyquill, which was just plain nasty tasting….little wonder we grew up sturdy and elixir-adverse.
The most common chicken soup of my childhood:

Campbell chicsoup
Chicken Noodle. Might be a great visual for Warhol, but those noodles were just plain slimy….never a fave. Tomato was much, much, better. Especially with a grilled cheese sangwich with pickles.
What was better soup?

progresso chickerina
The one with the little meatballs. The best. Now they call it Italian Wedding Soup, and there’s so much WRONG with that. Chickarina. That’s what it was called.
And the soup in the middle?

Almost instant, PDQ packet soup. It seemed instant, but technically it’s not. But done in 5 minutes before microwaves ruled the sense of time ….it was instant enough. Noodles – tiny, not slimy.
Is it soup yet? Soup de klaar! And although we’re Irish and Italian my entire family can start up a chorus of soup de klaar when just about food is ready – one starts and then we’re all singing it and it doesn’t even have to be soup. Or ready. Am I the only ne who remembers this? It WAS Lipton’s, wasn’t it?
I wanted to go to the store to pick up a soup bunch, but my head was so foggy I couldn’t quite figure out what I meant by that and I hadn’t checked my own freezer, which is usually stocked with soup bits. I also really didn’t want to drive ALL the way to the store, which usually isn’t onerous; in fact in certain carless situations I have walked it. As it turns out I didn’t have to go further than the convenience store up the street.
That’s when I saw the Lipton’s box.
Soup in a box. I realized that I couldn’t really taste much, and the saltiness of the crackers was what I wanted the soup for – to keep me from choking on the crackers, and to give me enough salt to be thirsty for all the herbal tea and warm water I was drinking. I bought it. For the first time EVAH I noticed that the little red Lipton sign was just like the one on the tea box….and yes, they ARE the tea people too.Lipton tea
The first packet was…blander then I remembered. Had they tried to make it healthier by leaving out the fat and the salt? It would certainly seem…..not that it’s low fat or low salt. I added more macaronis to the second packet the next day.
But when I’m sick of being sick….The soup that I make is
Pastini with cheese
Welcome to the miracle world of Italian Aqua Cotta – Cooked Water.
I’m pretty sure the original Stone Soup was somewhere in Italy. Or everywhere in Italy.
First you need water. And a little salt.
Then, maybe, if you have it, a stalk of celery chopped small. Or half of an onion minced fine. A carrot diced. Or not.
The maybe a couple of garlic cloves. Or a bouillon cube. Or some bones. Or a small piece of meat, not too much, just for flavor. Or not.
Boil. (Then take out the bones, but anything else can stay put)
Add little macaronis. Bitty macaronis. The –ini family of macaronis. (pronounced ‘eeny’)
Ditalini or acini de pepe or tubertini or stellini ,etc – multiples should fit on a spoon, so that they slip right down.
Cook until they’re soft – no al dente for this crew, they’ve got important healing work to do and you don’t want to tire the patient out with excess chewing.
It should be thick with pasta but still fluid enough to drink down. Like quicksand – looks like solid, goes down like liquid.
Put into a bowl or a cup. A mug is good. There will probably be some slurping.
If there’s a fever you might want to beat an egg in to cook in the heat of the broth. Maybe a little hot sauce to drain things….it should vary with the patient.
Add a little butter or olive oil to help it slip-slide right down.
Top with some grated cheese and some very finely minced parsley.
Repeat as needed.

I am embarrassed to tell you how old I was before I realized that to make chicken soup some people started not by pulling out a can opener, but by pulling out a CHICKEN and putting it into a pot. But that’s a story for another day.

How I feel at the end of the cup of soup.....

How I feel at the end of the cup of soup…..


Filed under Perception ways