All day turkey bones murmuring in water, the molasses-like burps of slow moving stock, gelatin richness drawn from carcass, skin, and cleavered bones, clove-studded onions and bay leaves from Turkey. The slow stovetop burn, stainless steel pot gurgling simmerish, soft, a flicker of flame underneath.
Today begins Advent, the four weeks that precede Christmas, the beginning of the liturgical year in the Catholic tradition, and the beginning of winter's great darkness, cold that overwhelms us unless we walk into it prepared.
A grey cold Sunday with snow flurries, quiet in the house, moisture curling from the stockpot all day long, fragrant wisps of soup-to-be. I walked with a friend late in the afternoon; we finished our walk as night settled on the snow and filled the sky and air with its dark. The kitchen glowed as it only does when you've returned to it from the outdoors in the winter, just past dusk: truly, civilization developed around a kitchen fire.
At dinner, we lit the first of four candles on our Advent wreath and sang "O Come O Come Emmanuel" before finishing our Thanksgiving leftovers. We move now from an American holiday to a season far older and more profound. What a great time to be in the kitchen.
birch and grasses alone on the snow, grey sky indistinguishable. the flat world falls into the edge of time, lifeless, dull wedge of horizon and soundless ...