Easter Thoughts

Our friend Joanna came over for a spaghetti dinner after the Flower Communion at the Unitarian Church–Steph, Susie, and I didn’t get out of bed until about 9 a.m.  (And that was okay with me–Easter dropped unmissed from my life once I was too old to dye eggs.)  The traditional ham we had yesterday, but as a part of potatoes au gratin for dinner.  Steph and Susie went to see the Ice Capades at the Schottenstein Arena last night, so I went to Barnes and Noble near campus, and finished a “talking letter”–i.e., spoken onto a microcassette which I will mail tomorrow–to a friend of mine from O.U.

While browsing through my E-mail archive, I came across an E-mail talking about my one and only successful recipe.  I would go so far as to say it was a miracle cure for pneumonia.  This was in the summer of ’00, the year that Steph and I both shared various strains of pneumonia (My doctor wanted to hospitalize me, but there were so many pneumonia patients already in the hospital he was afraid everybody would cross-infect one another.)

Without further ado, here is the recipe:

Those of you who have known me well know that I am hardly a wizard
in the kitchen. Chef Boyardee, ramen noodles, toast, and macaroni and
cheese pretty much total my culinary ability. You also know that I am an
unapologetic carnivore.  Many of you are aware that Steph and I have been swapping
pneumonia bugs back and forth since May. Steph is *finally* back at work,
and I am in the end stages of my battle with an upper respiratory
infection. My M.D. prescribed several antibiotics, so I have to start my
day with a handful of pills that would make Elvis Presley shudder, but I’m
back at work and feeling better daily.
While I was caring for Steph, she talked me through making soup
out of the previous night’s roast. One mug of it, and she caught her
second and third wind, and was out of bed and 90% recovered. It worked
miracles for my situation as well.
So I thought I’d share it with everyone, and send antibiotic
thoughts your way. Fortunately, I jotted the recipe down in my journal
after the meal, so I can brew up another pot if (God forbid!) sickness
comes our way again.

2 cups of beef broth
32 oz. of diced tomatoes
1 palmful of Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
2 potatoes (chopped)
1 medium-sized onion (diced)
1 cup of baby carrots

Cook on LOW in Crock-Pot for 6 hours, and cook on HIGH for
the last hour, when you add ½ lb. of ridged macaroni elbows (Mueller’s
is my personal favorite.)

If you try this recipe, out of necessity or just because you think it’s tasty, report back and let me know.

My most memorable Easter was circa 1970 or 1971 in Marietta.  That was the year I woke up and saw the air full of snowflakes and the ground all white.  I woke up my egg donor mother and said, “It snowed last night.”  She scoffed at this, thinking, Just a heavy frost.  But then she glanced out the window, and could not see across the street because it was snowing so hard and there were five inches already on the ground.

Doctors made a fortune that week, because of all the old people who insisted on going to church, since it was Easter, etc.  There was an epidemic of broken hips, pneumonia, other assorted broken bones, etc.  I think the American Legion’s Easter egg hunt went forward as scheduled, but all the layers of snow made the hunt even more interesting.

Another Easter that sticks in my memory was in 2000.  Steph, Susie, and I were going to a United Church of Christ church in Merion Village, and there was an Easter egg hunt after the service for all the kiddies.  (These same kids had come to church that morning, and most of them were swinging from the chandeliers from eating all the sugar-laden candy earlier.)  Susie collected many eggs that morning–and then I turned around and saw that she was giving them to the other kids there.  I wrote a poem about it and submitted it to a Franciscan magazine in Cincinnati, The St. Anthony Messenger.  They paid me $35 for it and printed it the following Lent.  (I am Unitarian and have published two poems in The St. Anthony Messenger–What’s wrong with this picture?)

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