“Table Manners”


Big thanks to Arlene for identifying the use of that little bowl. She not only let me know it is in fact for cream soup. More amazingly, she told me that you are supposed to pick it up by the handles to drink the soup. I have tried in vain to imagine my extremely proper, manner conscious grandmother, owner of the china, picking up anything to drink soup. I now know why she never used these bowls with us. She had spent endless meals trying to enforce a rule against picking up a bowl to drink from it, whether it was the last of the Frosted Flakes or the drips of the melted ice cream. She knew us well enough to imagine our arguments about cream soup versus melted ice cream to get those bowls out of the cupboard.

I remember a while back writing about table manners and getting a reply about which direction one was to move the spoon when eating soup. I have forgotten that rule and happily drink most of my soup out of mugs.

But both the recent post and that one have led me to think about soup in general. Until I was grown I never knew people actually made their own soup. Every soup I ever ate came out of a bright red and white can. The kinds I loved then seem to have disappeared from the shelf, particularly scotch broth and pepper pot. The strong lamb taste in the broth and the chewy tripe in the pepper pot must have repulsed more modern palates so they were replaced by lots of bacon. It’s just as well. The sodium content of canned soup exceeds the limits my blood pressure sets for me.

Well fall has begun. I know how to make delicious soups of my own. Soon the smell of chicken, vegetables and noodles will fill the kitchen. But I still won’t use those little bowls. No cream soup for us. Back into storage they go.

21 thoughts on ““Table Manners”

  1. We can still get Scotch Broth in cans here. Baxters is a premium brand, the best.
    I prefer fresh soups from cartons, though they are much more expensive. In fact I just bought some ‘Classic Chicken’ to have with fresh bread tomorrow. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.


  2. I too have started the soups. We grow lots of produce in our garden every summer, and yesterday I made a really great bean soup from some beans (a fun, black and white spotted variety) that we grow. The beans soaked overnight and then it cooked for most of the afternoon. By dinner time it was delicious and so satisfying on a raining/sleeting, blustery fall day.


      1. Yes, in South India people usually eat with their hands but in North India more people use spoons. Fork and knives are used by rich people 😊 I would say 90% people eat with their hands.


  3. You can still buy Scotch broth here but I’ve never heard of pepper pot. I rarley buy soup these days; it’s so much more fun to make it. I have some chunky soup bowls with lids for mine. Fun – but not as beautiful as your cream soup bowls!


  4. Ah yes, Scotch Broth. That is one of my favourites also. I remember trying it when I was a kid and falling for it – the taste of the lamb, the texture of the barley. My older relatives were reluctant to even let me try it. I’m glad they relented.


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