Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chop wood, carry water, bake bread, make soup

HP is restless, able only to take tiny amounts of liquid food now, sleeping a lot, suddenly looking so much older and more gaunt. But while he sleeps life must still happen in the house.

And food has to happen, too. I made a big pot of fish chowder today, which HS shared with me, leaving quite a bit for me to heat up whenever I need a nice cup of soup and don't have the wherewithal to make food. The chowder contains a lot of nice spicy bits from the freezer, plus my homemade sage-basil pesto, homegrown herbs, and various pastas, can of clams, cubes of flounder from yesterday's lunch, big can of diced tomatoes, very nice all in all.

I didn't use the stick blender this time since I thought a sturdy soup would fill the bill. Even on a hot July day, but there you go, sometimes soup is the thing.

Bread and soup! very elemental. Next I'll be trudging through the snow in my handmade boots in search of wood and wine, the humble peasant seeks her provisions to bring home to her cabin...

The soup pot was a wedding gift from my mother in law. In 1963. She sent money, not knowing me well enough to know what I would like or could use, right before leaving the country, what would survive the trip from England to the darkest colonies. So I spent the lot on two very good pots, one small and this one, which is in fact a steamer, too, a top part not shown in the picture. They've been in literally daily use all these years, and it seems so appropriate to be still using her gift at a time like this.

And I have to bake bread, running low on supplies, so I have all my loaf pans waiting for the dough to be ready to put in.

Today's dough is partly oatmeal, partly whole wheat, partly unbleached white.

Our new normal is a lot of new learning, how to turn HP safely, protecting his joints, not easy to learn, and his skin, more tender than ever. I turn him every couple of hours, massage the bits that were underneath before, and use a huge array of pillows and cushions as demo'd by aide Janethe, to support him without pressure.

I can't imagine he would get this TLC anywhere else but here, where I have only one patient to wash and clean and feed and tend and a long history with him, so this is a fine service to do for him. I'm very tired, but it's mainly emotional at the moment, the physical work being very different and less incessant than a few weeks ago.

However, I did manage to make a start on my Royal dolls! I figured the bride ought to take priority, and I have knitted Kate's head. Two pieces. Silk yarn. Very posh. They're so small I had to put them into the pattern book so they didn't get lost. So watch this space for Royal developments. You make the doll then the clothes, for the most part, so I'm wondering if we should at some point have a Nude Royal Beach Scene....but then again, most of them are not too glam. We'll see what adventures they get up to, waving graciously the while.


Cubiclegirl said...

:::Here with you::::

maryann johnston, CMP said...

my mother-in-law gave us wonderful pots and knives for our wedding. it was difficult to split up the sets when we split up.

looking forward to the NKRs*

sending love to you both <3 <3

*naked knitted royals

Magpie's Mumblings said...

TLC, indeed...definitely not what HP would get in a hospital. There they just don't have time to devote to each individual. Your soup looks quite delish and will certainly come in handy.

SimonSimple said...

The food sound so lovely. Keeping TLC flowing is very emotionally taxing. Keeping you in my prayers.

Take care.

Minimiss said...

Soup is in abundance in this part of the world at the moment. DH is particularly good at making it from scratch - takes him about 3 days and then lots of it goes into the freezer. Yours looks delicious.

HP will be appreciating every loving touch of yours. Nobody could do it better.

Diane said...

Soup looks yummy! I love practical gifts (my rice cooker was a birthday/new home present - I think with gratitude of the friends who gave it to us every time I use it, wh, and as you said, it is indeed appropriate that it should be in use at this time.

Diane said...

(Sorry, iPod typing is a pain - posted by accident before I finished; I meant to say I think with gratitude of the friends who gave us our rice cooker every time I use it, which is often. )

Also, looking forward to the Royal Beach Party!

ari_1965 said...

Soup looks good.
I don't know how to bake bread.
Sorry about the lifting.
Nice memory of your m-i-l.