Cabin fever has struck – it was a beautiful snow, one of those with big fluffy flakes that softly laid down a blanket of 6″ down over the land. The silence of watching the snowfall outside in the dark of the night was solace.
All things stop when there is snow in the South – it’s our way of life – an unexpected vacation indoors. By the third day it was time for it to be gone, but it lingered still, unplowed, in the extreme cold. The cat had cabin fever as did I. We were tired of each other and I was tired of eating my own cooking.
Then I remembered Julie’s homemade black bean soup in the freezer. While it may seem strange that I asked my guest to make a complicated, time consuming meal for us, the results were an exquisite repas on this cold snow day.
Julie has a gift. She probably takes it for granted, but she has a gift for food. She can write about it, prepare it superbly, and delight in eating it. Not only this but it was a much loved soup recipe modified as only Julie can do from The Grit in Athens, GA. There were good times there so many years ago.
As I heated up the soup, I noted the carefully chopped carrots, onion, celery in to the same sizes. She seasoned by taste. Everything was fresh. Her secret ingredient was high awareness. She must have made a gallon of it to as she said, “to get me through the winter.”
The “Dark Night of the Soul” had lasted for six weeks now. Not that unusual as it was the holidays and the prelude to my birthday. The smell of soup filled the kitchen and intrigued the cat. I poured a bowl and told the cat he couldn’t have any.
And with the first sip came a slideshow of memories – of us grocery shopping, cleaning veggies, and hearing the chopping going on in the kitchen while I was working.There was a space between the flavors that held Julie’s presence, her clarity, and her awareness.I ate with gusto.
As I finished, I noted a peace had settled in.I had asked Julie to help me learn to make better food choices. She has the patience of a saint-another one of her gifts. She even sent me some much needed kitchen supplies..
I’ve managed to do much better in the kitchen and with a healthier diet since her visit.
Thank you teacher.