By John Matonich
A couple of weeks ago I walked into one of our local watering holes to watch some of the Sunday NFL playoffs. I ran into a couple that lives close to where Steph and I do. They are really nice folks and we had a good conversation. We chatted about a few local things as well as our hopes for the teams that would end up in the Super Bowl.
About halfway through the game they got up and said they were going to head home and have some supper. The term “supper” they used caught my attention, but I really smiled when they said they were going to have tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. My mind filled with memories of my own childhood and how much tomato soup and grilled cheese were staples.
When I was growing up, we had breakfast, dinner and supper. Somewhere that changed to breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am not sure when this change came about, but as long as my parents were alive there wasn’t such a thing as lunch. I can still smell the soup pot on my mother’s stove as the tomato soup was warming.
Sunday’s were kind of a special day for my family growing up. We typically had our big meal at noon and it usually consisted of a roasted chicken or some variation of beef or pork. It also had all the fixings you would expect. The time was spent catching up on the week’s activities as well what was in store for the week ahead. That meal was also usually held in our dining room rather than in the kitchen where all the other week’s meals were held.
After the meal was over, the rest of the day was typically spent outside if the weather was good or perhaps watching a good movie on the tube if the weather wasn’t cooperating. Only on a rare occasion was there work to be done. While we didn’t follow the strict Sunday rest principle that many followed, we didn’t get too carried away with work items.
Because the big meal was held mid-day, “Supper time” was usually something light and easy to put together. Many times it was tomato soup and grilled cheese. The kicker for our family, though, was my mother typically added elbow macaroni to the soup, so it was tomato soup with noodles and grilled cheese that was our standard. Pasta is still a staple in my diet and Steph regularly puts up with my bad habit by adding pasta to many of the soups she makes for me. Another Sunday supper was Mrs. Grass’s soup with some added pasta. This is another favorite for me to this day. You can’t beat that soup especially after adding a hunk of butter and a mitt full of shredded cheese to your bowl.
I hadn’t thought about those Sundays when I was much younger for a long time. I am so glad I had that conversation that brought those memories back. We should all look for opportunities to start or continue those types of traditions. They may not seem like much at the time but will mean more than you realize as time moves on. When I got home after the game, I couldn’t resist and requested that same meal from Steph. She smiled did a great job of putting it together. She even added the macaroni that I like. I guess we have a few traditions that we can carry on too…
And that’s the situation as I survey it …
After a 35-year career downstate livin’ amongst da trolls, during which he built a successful engineering and surveying business, John Matonich is back home in da U.P. His column will appear here occasionally, don’tcha know. His book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” is available on Amazon.com.