Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why a packet of soup reminds me of my cousin

New diet regime in mind I bought a selection of Batchelor's Slim-a-cup-a-soup and the first one I tried was the broccoli and cauli variety, and, do you know, it's actually quite pleasant. And if you eat it with a teaspoon you can convince yourself there's a lot of it.

But it reminded me of the time my cousin, Sue, our friend, Lorna, and I went out for lunch.

We'd met at Sue's house and we were standing outside trying to decide where to go when one of Sue's neighbours passed. 'Can you recommend anywhere for lunch, Tony?' Sue asked.
'Oh, yes,' he replied enthusiastically. 'The Artful Dodger does a three course lunch for £5 a head.'

The three courses for £5 should have been a warning (even though this was a few years ago) but the restaurant was only down the hill so seemed ideal.

We were the only customers apart from an elderly couple out for their weekly treat and there was a hush about the place so intimidating that we talked in whispers. As soon as we'd sat down I think we knew we'd made a mistake but we didn't like to get up and walk out, especially as they didn't have many customers. So we quietly giggled and ordered the set menu.

The starter was soup, which I swear had been made from the leftover vegetables from the previous night. Probably scraped from plates straight into the pan. In spite of that, it wasn't totally unpleasant and they offered us bread rolls to go with it.

Main course I don't recall but for dessert we had tinned fruit salad complete with glacé cherry.

Somehow we managed to eat our meals, ask for the bill, discover the bread rolls were extra, and get outside before we exploded laughing.

We decided we needed a treat after that so walked further along the sea front to Verdi's for ice cream, and by the time we'd finished the rain had started.

By the time we'd walked back up the hill to Sue's house, we were wet through to our knickers and could tip water out of our shoes. Anyone seeing the three of us, dripping wet and laughing hysterically, must have thought we'd escaped from the asylum.

It was a dreadful meal but we had the sort of time from which great memories are made.

A few months later Sue died from the cancer that had eaten into her.


5 comments:

Gledwood said...

Talking of packet soup: asparagus flavour is particularly good, the one with croutons...

Also there's a Thai lemongrass chicken one that's good enough to pass for takeaway leftovers (can't remember who these are buy, is it Batchelors Cup-A-Soup or summut?)

These would be far too professional for that restaurant you went to. Perhaps they should have changed their name to school dinners and done a roaring trade ...

a. said...

My friend did Weight watchers and did really well - she made a buternut squash soup (really lovley) which was 0 points (they have a point system not calories).

a. said...

And the last bit of that post made me a bit teary.

Gledwood said...

Did Sue know she was ill then?
I think a lot ot times it is probably best not to know.
Well whether she knew or not at least you have good memories to cherish...
... as they say, nobody ever looks back and says "I wish I'd put in a few more hours at the office"...

Trubes said...

A lovely story Liz, I was laughing along with you and your friends...
Sorry about the loss of your friend though!

Di.xx