Friday, September 11, 2009

Of Pea Soup and Edgar Pine

The lovely blogger here, the Unconfidential Cook, jogged my memory the other day with her comment on a White Trash post. She mentioned the hideousity that is Pea Soup.

If there are any pea soup lovers out there (besides my sister, and she already willingly admits to loving Shipwreck Casserole, so go figure), let me just say... WTF? Glutinous bowl of something does that translate to *edible* to you freaks?

Pea soup is nasty. And Edgar Pine* is proof.

Edgar Pine was in my kindergarten class, and, now that I think of it, was probably a vampire. He was that pale, that skinny, that wan. And this was 1974, folks, so don't even think it was cool to be a vampire back then. Plus, Edgar Pine had one lazy eye that insisted on hunting when the other was fishing...NOT a good thing.

In a wicked turn of bad luck,I caught Edgar's fancy. I have no idea why. There's a pretty good chance that it was because I was the only kid in class skinnier than him. And slower than him.

Which made me Edgar Pine's prey of choice for a playground game called Kiss and Punch. I have no idea if this game existed anywhere else on the planet, but the cretins on my North Dakota playground loved it.

Kiss and Punch was simple and oddly pointless, but I guess you could say that about Red Rover or Crack the Whip, too. Kiss and Punch went like so: pick your victim, chase victim around the playground until you either corner or tire him/her out, kiss victim and then promptly deliver a hard fist to the stomach.

Edgar Pine always called dibs on me. Come recess time, I was toast. And when he came at me with those mismatched eyes, chapped lips and crooked corncob teeth, I wanted to die. The only positive thing I can say about the whole ordeal is that Edgar Pine packed a pretty weak punch. That sissy.

Further proof that Edgar Pine was some kind of Alien came when our Kindergarten class compiled a book of our favorite recipes. This book was a mother's day gift and was titled, "In the Kitchen with Mom." It had a red cover and, like most Kindergarten presents, was highly amusing reading material. Kids say the darnedest things.

Take the entry from my then best-friend, a little redhead named Missy Fairchild: "My mom can't cook but my dad can. My favorite thing he makes is pot pie. You take it out of the box, put it in the oven, and when it's black, it's done."

Like many of my classmates, I declared that my mother's masterpiece was Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. However, I also gave her cred for her bitchin' Tuna Fish Sandwich.

Edgar Pine's choice? Pea Soup.

I told you, right? I mean, if you are 5 years old and your favorite food is pea soup, you are obviously sleeping in coffins and swilling plasma, don't you think?

I actually felt relief when I saw his entry in the cookbook. Aha, I thought. Proof.

My playground horrors with The Vampire ended when Edgar and his Coven moved to Minneapolis. I was happily rid of him.

A week later, I caught the eye of a boy named Darren. Darren sat at my table and was highly talented; he could, with record speed, slurp pickle juice up his nose. But that's another story...

Mama's Tuna Fish Sandwich**
serves 3

1 can water packed tuna, drained
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sweet pickle relish
3 tablespoons Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
salt and pepper to taste
Squishy White Bread

Mix tuna, celery, pickle relish, and Miracle Whip together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread between slices of the Squishy White Bread (do NOT substitute!) and enjoy.

*Edgar Pine is, at the advice of my husband, an alias. He's afraid that there's a Vampire in Minnesota who still remembers me.

**I ate this sandwich, alternating with the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, every day for lunch for my entire Kindergarten career. I think this probably qualifies as Jag #1.


  1. This post is too funny! Love it and love that your mother used sweet pickle relish in her tuna- I still have a hard time making tuna without it! Your husband is a wise man. Oh and, (ducking head here) I actually love pea soup. Though I make it from scratch and the peas never end up glutinous. With savory bites of ham and crusty bread it is actually a great winter meal!

  2. I like split pea soup, but not my mom's I have to make it my way (no Ham) parsnips, carrots, leeks. Easy slow cooker recipe.

    When I was a kid I couldn't stand mayo, come to find out it was Miracle Whip that my mom used and called it mayo. My mom loves and uses sweet pickle and sweet pickle relish too, not me yuck! :P

  3. I loved this post. Funny and spot on about kindergarten days! I think Edgar Pine's cousin was in my class.

    And I also think we're living in parallel universes - that tuna recipe is exactly the way my grandmother made her tuna salad, to the very last ingredient. It had to be Miracle Whip (not mayo) and it had to be Wonder Bread, aka squishy white bread.

    Thanks for taking me back. And now I have a hankering for a tuna fish sandwich!

  4. Haha hilarious story! That sandwich sounds so good.

  5. Oh my gosh, I just choked a little. Too funny.

  6. Oh get me rollin' on the floor every time!! Hilarious! Edgar Pine is a rockin' alias.

  7. I never heard of kiss and punch. The soup on the other hand. Lets just say that whenever I drive to Solvang I cringe when we pass pea soup Andersons. Cute picture.

  8. You crack me up! Great story!
    I read thru the whole post thinking, 'who the hell would call their kid Edgar?' We had a goat named Edgar!! Thanks for the disclaimer at the end :-)
    I'm so glad he and his coven left town and stopped tormenting you.

  9. Oh you are just killing me today! :D I have never heard of Kiss and Punch but I know I'd better not mention it to my son!

    I did chase boys in Kindergarten and I did the kissing but not the punching.

    I haven't eaten tuna fish sandwiches with Miracle Whip in ages! :0)

  10. Mmmm. That pot pie recipe is the same one Spouse uses.

  11. hee hee - there is always a boy in the class who is rather undesirable who takes to liking you isn't there? I had the guy who thought he was Taz, the tasmanian devil, from Looney Tunes and so he span around constantly yelling 'me taz!'. He also liked to eat snails, his own boggies and drink ink cartridges...what more does a girl want from a guy at 9?! xxx PS The cutest photo!!!!

  12. "And when he came at me with those mismatched eyes, chapped lips and crooked corncob teeth, I wanted to die. "

    I can't tell you how much I needed a laugh today. You are so funny. And I love, Love, LOVE your stories!

  13. I love this post. I mean, I never had an Edgar Pine kiss and punch, but I have experienced similar embarrasments on the playground. Too funny and tender and beautifully written. The sandwich sounds delicious, too. :)

  14. So funny. So funny that my pea soup is coming out my nose!

  15. You have the best stories... and a great memory. It's funny how something like a pea soup and a nasty little school boy will bond together in your memory for life!

  16. OMG, this was hilarious!! Stephenie Meyer better watch out!

    I have never tried split pea soup, and I never, ever will. I can promise you that.