Lord Help those within Earshot
October 15, 2007
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It had been a cool day, a heavenly day, and I set about cooking up a storm while the kids raked leaves out in the backyard. I had the window open above the sink and could hear them clear as a loon at dawn. They were laughing an awful lot, that kind of silly giggling laugh you get when you don't have all that much energy and feel a bit sleepy.
At one point they called for me so I washed my hands and went out to the back porch steps and they were nowhere to be seen. There were three rakes lying in the grass along with a blue sweatshirt and a big ol' pile of leaves. And then I saw the white tennis shoe poking out from under the leaves. So I hollered out their names and waited and hollered again, something about pie being ready, and nothing. Well, I said out loud, I wonder where they ran off to. I'll just dump this bucket of dog poop on this here compost heap while I'm out here. And I threw a few chunks of dirt from the flower bed onto the pile of leaves. You never heard such screaming. All three kids shot out of those leaves as if they'd been catapulted from beneath the earth's crust. They ran around in circles, leaves everywhere, brushing themselves off. I stood there with tears running down my face, I was laughing so hard.
Dirt, I told them. It was DIRT. I told them to finish up before dinner and they picked up their rakes and I headed back in to the kitchen where the wild rice soup was bubbling away and the cheddar bread was nearly done.And then Carole King came on. Lord, I nearly tipped over. I couldn't believe it. Carole King. There was a time in my life when her songs were oxygen to me. I used to play "So Far Away" when Mr. Sundberg and I were first married and he was several hours away at school for the week and home on weekends. And "You Make Me Feel." Which I never could sing with a straight face. Still can't.But my favorite? Oh, my. "Tonight you're mine completely / You give your love so sweetly / Tonight the light of love is your eyes / But will you love me tomorrow?" Heavenly. And there it was on the radio. Lord help those within earshot. I know those lyrics better than I know the Lord's Prayer, and I re-defined the notion of "singalong." I stood on a barstool with my apron on and let 'er rip. I sang and sang and didn't hold back. Not one bit. The kids came in just then and within minutes I had all three of them up on the table, my back-up singers, each of us with a wooden spoon for a microphone. We'd gotten to the "when the night cha cha cha meets the mor cha cha cha ning suu uuhn..." just as Mr. Sundberg came in from the garage. "Oh, for God's sake," he said. "Can't we all just get a grip here?" I leaned forward and shook my spoon at him and sang, I'd like to know that your love / Is love that I can be sure of.
"What time we eating?" he asked.I jumped down and motioned the kids to join me. Go wash up, I told them, and then get back in here.
Mr. Sundberg headed out to the garage to wrap things up. Wait, I called. He poked his head back in. "What is it?" he asked. Well, I said, One Fine Day? You're gonna want me for your girl. Dinner's in ten.
Well, one December a while back, I shared my favorite wild rice soup recipe along to you, the cheesy type that feels like concrete in your gut if you go overboard and eat too much, but, OH, is it good. And here's a variation on my recipe, wonderfully rich and hearty but not quite as heavy. Serve it up with some fresh bread and a slice of apple pie later on.
WILD RICE SOUP
3/4 cups uncooked wild rice
7-10 slices crisp crumbled bacon
1-2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 can drained mushrooms (or 8 oz fresh sliced)
1 cup half & half
4 chicken bouillon cubes
2 T butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
4 cups water
and 1 cup chopped celery if desired.
Cook on High about 4 hours in crock pot. Enjoy!