Guinea Red Soup
My most mind blowing dinner was one Big Red made when I was a kid; I’d have to do the shopping for it. These were the days when we had small Mom and Pop stores selling what we now find in sections of the super markets; I would be sent out with $1.50 in quarters.
First stop: the butcher where I would get a quarter’s worth of soup bones; on to the green grocer for .25 cents of soup greens (carrot, onion, turnip, celery, parsley). Then to the Italian deli for a quarter’s worth of parmesan cheese, a pound of large shell macaroni, a can of tomatoes and a loaf of crusty Italian bread. Typical LaMancusa kitchen magic: this would feed five kids and two adults.
The ritual would be when each would grate their cheese into the fragrant, steamy soup; we would each sing this brief Italian song and grate like crazy, for when the song was over we had to pass the cheese to the next person. It’s a ditty concerning a girl; a fireman and her mother who is gonna tell her father. Amazingly all five kids, now grown and retired, remember the song and the soup.