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The Chicken Sure Was Good

March 16, 2004

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It was one of those in-between evenings when you can still feel winter on your skin but the air smells like spring. The sun stayed out, fading later in the show than normal, and the kids weren't all that hungry so instead of cooking a real meal I baked an apple pie and let them eat pie for dinner with scoops of real vanilla ice cream, the kind with the flecks of vanilla bean mixed in. Of course they asked what the flecks were and I said a fly must have gotten caught in the ice cream blender at the factory and they stopped eating and stared at me. That's not true, they said. You just want our ice cream.

No, I don't, I told them. I want you to hurry up and eat so I can listen to the show. Which they did, and left to practice their violins and make lists of their plans for summer vacation on my good stationery. The show was a repeat, but that never matters much and I ended up wiping out the kitchen cupboards and throwing out old spices I've never used -- fennel and marjoram and a small container of tapioca pearls left over from the recipe I tried last week. I must have boiled it way too long because, after I poured the pudding into a bowl to cool, it separated out and what I got was a thick layer of gluey liquid on top of a rubbery layer of clear tapioca. It was horrible and the kids tried to eat it, asking for sugar and honey and blueberries to sprinkle over it. They sat there for a while and said the chicken sure was good and boy were they full.

Anyway, an instrumental version of "Going Home" played as I wiped down the last shelf. I got tearful for no real reason, just that going home is such a lovely thought, only we never get it until we're older and things like tax preparation and viruses get in the way. Luckily time slows down now and then, and there is room for baking a pie and putting away the snowpants and the snow shoes and the snow shovels and thinking about tiger lilies and how to kill all those nasty bugs that look like ladybugs but aren't while taking a long, hot bath.

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