Itís hard to do anything totally guilt-free when your motherís sick, but I do try. She insisted today that she didnít need my company or any supplies for the siege (which isnít much of a siege, with friends dropping by bringing more food than she can look at, much less eat). So I stayed home and chopped vegetables all afternoon, about half guilt-free (and the other half wracked with regret).
If you canít tell from all that, sheís doing better. She thinks the antibiotic has done its job so well on the pneumonia that sheís considering stopping treatment a few days early. The advantage would be that the medication makes her so sick she doesnít feel like eating, and eating is essential to the healing process. Only she can make that decision, although sheís getting plenty of advice from the rest of us.
Anyway, I would have felt nearly as guilty about wasting the beautiful head of cauliflower languishing in my refrigerator since Friday, so I used the afternoon to make creamy cauliflower soup. I didnít really mind chopping the potatoes, celery and carrots, but if I could never chop onions again in my life, Iíd be content with giving up that honor. One of these days Iíll be able to go to a chopped onion dispenser and fill my bucket. Until then, Iím chopping, reluctantly.
The trouble with this recipe is that I donít have a soup pot large enough to accommodate all the ingredients. I should have remembered that from the last time I made this dish, but for some reason I didnít. I filled the biggest pot I do have to the top, but the burner is so small and the pot so large that without constant stirring and turning, thereís no way everything was going to get heated equally.
So I improvised. I dumped everything in the crock pot, added a little extra liquid, and cranked it up to the high setting. I had no idea how the soup would turn out, or how long it would take, but somehow, no matter how I screw things up, whatever comes out of the crock pot always turns out to be okay. Sometimes even great, but always at least edible.