duck-shaped pain

7 December 2001
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Today is broth-making day. As I write this, there is a enormous pot of vegetables and water simmering away on the stove, filling the house with a delicious aroma. For awhile, it smelled too much like broccoli (amazing only when you realize there is NO broccoli in it) but now it smells like roasted onions. Which would be a good perfume, I think.

This all started this morning when I woke up with the not-to-be-ignored urge to make a specific vegetable soup the "pistou" recipe [1] in The Complete Vegetarian Cuisine. I had most of the stuff to make the soup, but the only vegetable broth to be found was some vile canned broth, bought on a lark a year ago, when it was on sale, 4 cans for a dollar. It's technically made of vegetables, but it mostly tastes like the can it comes in.

Having had this soup with both canned broth and homemade broth, I know which version tastes better. Which lead to me interrupting my crucial Pajama Time to venture out to the store to buy broth materials. And, while you're going to the effort of making 4 cups of broth for the recipe, you might as well go large and make 10-12 cups. You can always freeze it.

It's been doing me good to make the broth. December and January so far have left me feeling really frazzled, anxious and out of it. Not sure why, exactly. Work has been irritating, I've been out of town (vacations, while nice, often leave me feeling much more exhausted than I was pre-vacation), the holidays are always stressful and I've been going out much more than I usually do. So this last week, I've just felt "off" somehow. Now, though, I feel several steps closer to being okay.

[1] Pistou is a French vegetable soup that is topped with a dollop of crushed basil, garlic and oil. The soup currently in progress is a very good one, but it is missing the dollop o' flavor, per the recipe. So I have no idea why the book calls the soup what it does, hence the quotation marks.

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