I requested items with shelf life. Among all the goodies that my friend Carrie sent me from several states over was an apocalypse-proof carton of rosemary potato chowder. I intended to eat it last night, but then I thought, "You know what would be great? Wait and get some little gold potatoes at the store and it will last longer."
And so I did. But while I was at the store, I thought, "You know what else would be great? Celery and some cooking wine, since there's also a little onion and cloves of garlic just beckoning on the counter at home." And when I arrived home, and pup had her treats and my yellow apron was tied on (the one for cooking, not metalsmithing), I took out my good knives that I hand wash and chopped everything up, with only a few tears from the onions. Then the leftover milk that never went into hot chocolate shared its bounty, alongside a splash of heavy cream, real butter, ground pepper and sea salt.
So before long there was a large bubbling pot of what in stories they call "stone soup" sitting on my stove in a shiny stockpot with the most delicious aroma filling the room and lifting my soul, and the spirit of Julia Child beaming down at all the butter and heavy cream and well-kept knives. And pup on her ottoman, upside down, snoring next to her Mr. Crab toy with his woeful eyes.
I'm coughing a lot less than last Saturday. Or the six miserable Saturdays before that. Coughing much less so than recently when two different doctors wanted to hospitalize me. Or the afternoons that my friend Niurys brought me homemade soup and served it with a smile that would open the gates of heaven.
While the rosemary potato chowder cooked, I called my elderly aunt in Texas, just diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer. “Hell’s bells, my dear, but it’s tough getting old,” she said. She’s being so positive and cheerful, with not an ounce of self pity. Despite her cancer and new lung embolism and a fresh surgery scar down her belly plus more medications than she can count, she remains looking at the glass of life as half full to brimming over, giving more weight to her blessings than her troubles.
So I count my blessings. And I ladle soup into my dish.
Cat Williams is a metalsmith and enamelist, specializing in art jewelry. She lives in Charlotte, NC, with her rescue dog. Visit her at dizzycat.com.