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For people who spend the day saying and writing things that others accept, while thinking things that are infinitely more interesting.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Sweet Sue

It would be so dramatic to say that I recall the first moment I saw the sky-blue can, tall and inviting, with its sunny-faced Sue smiling all my cares away. Dramatic indeed.

No can do. I bought my first two cans of Sweet Sue Chicken and Dumplings on a whim. I’d never had dumplings, or at least, I didn’t remember ever eating them. I knew what they were (in theory) and I’ve always been partial to soups anyway.

The part I liked best was the fact that it was a 48-ounce can, a can worthy of feeding a hungry family. None of this Campbell’s Soups “add a can of water” tripe, either. This was the essence of good food: open, heat and serve.

You can smirk at my gourmet pretensions. Before I had any faith in my culinary abilities, I had to survive first and 48 ounces of anything edible would keep me alive for at least another couple of days.

On a chilly fall night, I cranked open the first can and set it to heat. It looked great, home-made rather than machine-churned. Sweet Sue looked smilingly out of place in the wastebasket so I turned the can to have her face downwards: out of sight, out of mind.

I served myself a large bowl of chicken and dumplings and had my first spoonful.

Here’s what’s left of my initial paragraph once references to sexual peaks and over-bearing emotional excesses were wisely pared away: The soup was hearty, savory and satisfying from start to finish.

I finished the first can, opened, heated, served and polished off the second as well. Restraint often eludes me. Over the next several years, Sweet Sue and I had plenty of dinner, lunch and breakfast dates. I particularly enjoyed reheating the soup a couple of times until the dumplings softened the soup into a heavy stew. It was the first meal I turned to when the weather was cold and the first I turned to when my time for seclusion was ending. It filled my stomach, warmed my heart and gave me moments of peaceful bliss amidst storms.

Gives “Rhapsody in Blue” a different meaning.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweet sue chicken and dumplings suck. I bought a pint size can and it might have had a teaspoon of chicken. They should rename it dumplings and chidken flavor.

November 04, 2005 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, get the big can it has big chunks. I've never had the little can but it sounds so girly-man anyway.
Anyway, I love Sweet Sue! So comforting on a winter day. I like to add lots of cracked pepper and/ or a can of chicken stock! mmm-mmm good! (sorry Campbell's)

February 01, 2006 11:36 AM  

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