Last night I roasted a young chicken for Cliff’s dinner. It tasted funny and wasn’t the same as my usual juicy fat Perdue Roaster. Not sure if there’s a metaphor hidden somewhere in that or I just stumbled on a delicious irony?
I’m taking the carcass of the young chicken and simmering it down with onions and celery; fresh thyme and marjoram from the garden. Cliff loves cream of chicken soup and I feel much better making soup out of a bird that yielded little meat for last night’s dinner. I love roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and savory gravy. I add savory to the stock because the kitchen smells like I’m on the French countryside even though I’ve never been to France. Chicken and mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. I can think of nothing better.
The smell of chicken cooking in a pot makes me happy. I’ve just drained the bones and will let them cool so I can pick through the meat.
The phone rings and it’s my adorable husband. I tell him I caught a glimpse of the frog that lives in our pond. He’s shy and won’t hang out on the ledge long enough for me to know for sure he is there. It’s fleeting and I never “see” him. More like a flash and a splash, and he’s gone. But on the edge of the pond is a wet spot where I know he sat.
Cliff mentioned seeing him once but he jumped around the side wall and scampered away into the tall grass under the fence. Cliff thought the frog wouldn’t be back for some reason, so when I told him he jumped into the pond he said the frog was waiting for me to kiss him so he would turn into a prince.
Without hesitation I told Cliff I already had a prince. I could hear Cliff’s smile through the phone.
“Good answer,” he replied.
Searching beneath the water lilies I look hard for my little frog though I don’t tell this to Cliff. I tell him instead that I’m gathering thyme for his cream of chicken soup. I’m happy the frog is still living in my pond. To me, he’s an amphibious delight enlightening the imagination of my six year old mind. I love when the goldfish kiss my fingers when I dangle them lazily just below the pond’s surface.
I cut up onion, celery and red bliss potatoes and add them to the stock. Leftover gravy and mash potatoes thicken my soup and I can’t wait to make the salad and for Cliff to get out of the shower so we can have dinner together. He’ll tease me that all he gets for dinner is a bowl of soup and a salad.
I have chilled the glasses in the freezer and we drink down the cold Heineken Lights. He crushes up his crackers while I dip mine individually. I don’t like them to get soggy.
Cliff tells me he’s going to trade me in for someone younger. And I’m going out back to find the frog. I laugh at him and say no cute girl wants anything to do with him and his belly. He says he’s got the personality. Indeed he does! I tell him he would miss me. I do alright for an old broad though far from being a spring chicken. He says he would miss me very much. That’s the beauty of homemade cream of chicken soup.
That young bird I cooked last night? She just made me fall in love all over again.