Everyone has at least one meal they remember from childhood. A conglomeration of ingredients that randomly ended up on a plate and immediately struck a chord. A meal that you looked forward to then, that strikes nostalgia now, and any time you have it, you’re transported and comforted and happy.
I’m not talking about anything fancy or complicated. I’m talking about things like your mom’s grilled cheese. Or Grandma’s chocolate fudge. Or even the canned chicken and dumpling soup you only got when you were home sick from school.
For me, one of my favorites was Lipton soup. In a mug. Always in a mug.
It was usually accompanied by a tuna sandwich and Ruffles potato chips. I don’t know how the mug came in to play; perhaps it was for practical reasons, so that the whole meal would fit on one plate, the mug nestled in the corner, sandwich and chips neatly grouped at its base. Or maybe my dad was simply On To Something.
Since childhood, I’ve played around with eating other foods out of a mug. Other varieties of soup. Granola. Spaghetti. It’s definitely my favorite way to eat a cupcake, because it ensures even icing/cake distribution.
There’s just something inherently comforting about grasping the handle, bringing the food/beverage up as close to your face as you’d like, wrapping your free hand around the ceramic in between bites or sips. You can get lost in your own little world, literally hold on to your food as you indulge in it. It makes it special. Even if it’s just rehydrated chicken broth.
Mugs are ideal for soup, cereal, or anything that’s a combination of liquids and solids. You can eat it as you normally would, with a spoon, but you can also take sips of warm broth or subtly sweetened milk in between bites without fear of looking like that scene out of Beauty and the Beast. Perhaps the best perk of all, though, is that you will avoid the dreaded Utensil Falling Into Your Food scenario.
My favorite thing to do with Lipton soup is to drink most of the broth first, which leaves heaping spoonfuls of noodles at the bottom. It’s like having a special treat at the end.
Do you ever eat out of a mug? Do your co-workers and family make fun of you like mine do? Stay strong, my friends. Take comfort knowing you’ve made a good decision.