Morbid Curiosity

Morbid Curiosity: Rum Tum Ditty

Rum Tum Ditty is a ridiculous name for a food-thing. It is so ridiculous, that I keep trying to say it alternately as “Rum Tum Tugger” and as “Rum Tum Titty.” Why would you anyone even name a food something this silly? It’s practically begging for a Freudian tit. I mean, Freudian slip. 

Of course since it had a name that I found so annoying, I had to make it. Also I had all of the ingredients already, which was a big deal to me since the thing I was thinking about making this week had half a dozen ingredients that I don’t normally keep in the kitchen. And since it was Daylight Savings Time, when I woke up in the morning, all I wanted to do was frown and grumble into my pillow. I certainly didn’t want to make a trip to the grocery store to frown and grumble at strangers under harsh lights.

My elite Googling skills have taught me that Rum Tum Ditties were a popular food during the Depression years in North America, and at one time a (more interesting) version of this dish was featured in the Girl Scout cookbook. Which makes sense, now that I think about it. It’s just eggs and toast and a cheesy-tomato sauce.

I have a keen suspicion that this would be an ideal hangover food, seeing as how it is rich in cysteine and lycopene and melty cheese on toast goodness. In other words: perfect for Girl Scouts! There’s got to be some sort of good deed merit badge for bringing coffee and hangover foods to people who over-indulged in their box of wine the night before, right?

I actually kind of love the way the colours in this picture turned out. The coral colour of the tomato soup and the turquoise of the dish and the soft yellow of the egg yolk make me think of a piece of 1960’s pop art. I want to decorate a kitchen with these colours.

No singing cats were harmed in the making of this dish.

Rum Tum Ditty

1 can (10½ ounces) condensed tomato soup
¼ cup milk
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3 to 4 slices toast

Combine soup, milk, and cheese. Cook over low heat; stir often until cheese is melted. Serve over toast. 3 to 4 servings. If desired, garnish with hard-cooked egg slices or sardines.

The recipe featured in this post is from A Campbell Cookbook: Cooking with Soup. Published by Campbell Soup Company. Publication date unstated (but according to my internet research, possibly 1972).

By Jen R. L. Disarray

Jen was once described as a "culinary anthropologist". She liked that. When she is not making questionable foods, Jen enjoys reading, sassing, and lurking all over the internet. Jen has a blog called Maybe We Shouldn't Be Eating This, and she is a contributor to the Geekquality podcast and blog.

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