Thursday, January 20, 2011


Comfort food. That's what I'm craving. That's what I'm making. It's something to do. A place to shove the grief. Tastes to soothe the heart.

I'm back home. And I don't know what to do with myself. Moving forward seems wrong. Like I've forgotten her already. Sitting still is suffocating.

So I'm carrying on.

Doing laundry. Going shopping. Cooking.

Anything but sitting still.

When I returned home there was some kind of sticky, brown goo in the fridge. Barely through the front door, I became fixated on cleaning out the fridge. I tossed. I scrubbed. I organized. And when I was done, I discovered four open boxes of chicken broth and two open boxes of vegetable broth. What the f#$%?!?

I was all over BSD. Mr. Organization had dropped the ball. I still can't comprehend how this happened. This is something I would do. Not him. My world is definitely out of whack. I had to fix this. Too much has gone wrong in my life recently. I can't live with four open boxes of chicken broth and 2 open boxes of vegetable broth. They had to go.

But I couldn't throw them out.

As much as they were bothering me, I couldn't just toss them. I kept staring at them. Thinking about them. Dwelling on them. Until I finally pulled out the big red pot. And lost myself in the process of turning them into something else. Something warm.

Something healthy. 

Something comforting.

I found this recipe while running on my treadmill yesterday. It is Creamy Broccoli Soup with NO cream in it. There was also a recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup. That is simmering in my crockpot right now. I think these recipes were a sign. All four of the open boxes of chicken broth and two open boxes of vegetable broth have now been used. I feel calmer already.

Creamy Broccoli Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I used the 2 open boxes of vegetable broth.)
1 large head broccoli, florets chopped and stems peeled and chopped
1/4 cup rolled oats
Salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and red pepper. Cook until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add broth, broccoli, and oats. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until broccoli is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. I sprinkled the top with some shredded cheese. Made it more comforting that way.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, or transfer in batches to a blender and puree.  

Thank you to everyone who left such thoughtful and loving comments on my last post. I cherished each and every one of them. Reading them felt like a great big hug when I really needed one. My mother passed away over the weekend. She fought a long and hard battle with a rare form of cancer. She lived with incredible pain for many years. She never complained. She never stopped taking care of everyone around her. She was so strong and so brave. And I am grateful that I had the chance to tell her. It hurts to have lost her, but I am grateful that she is no longer suffering.

 I actually took this photo of my parents with my dad's Leica when I was about 6 years old. Guess I already knew a little something about the Rules of Composition back then. ;)


Nicolle said...

Comfort food is a good thing!

I love the two older photos of your mom, she was beautiful then and still beautiful in your recent photos of her.

I pray for peace and comfort for you. God is wrapping his arms around you right now. He wants you to know you are loved and prayed for. Blessing to all of your family!

{Amy} said...

Kim- I am so very sorry for your loss. I have no words for you, I can never seem to find the right ones, but please know you are in my thoughts and I am sending lots of love your way. Your mother sounds like she was a wonderful and strong woman. hugs to you! XO

Stacey said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I will pray for comfort and peace for you and your family. ((hugs))

Kristi said...

I am so very, very sorry for your loss. This must be such a difficult time for you and your family. You will definitely be in my prayers. Our good Lord will see you through. The pictures of your sister and your Mother are wonderful. Your Mom seemed like a great person, and so beautiful. Once again I'm so sorry for your loss. And if I were you, I'd eat the entire pot of soup, followed with a cookie and some icecream and maybe a piece of cake. My prayers are with you.

Jen said...

So sorry for your loss. I love all of the photos and what they express about your mom and your sister. Beauty!
Comfort comes in many ways...and soup is easy to accept and enjoy!
Take care of you!

sloan said...

so very sorry for your loss, Kim - sending all the virtual hugs I can ... and how about some virtual popovers to accompany that delicious soup too ;-)

i'm saying extra prayers for you as you move forward ... one step in front of the other ... take your time ...

My Interior Life said...

Words really do seem to fail me at these times. Please just know that a lot of people are thinking of you and praying for you. I am so sorry for your loss and what you're now going through. As you wrote, at least she is no longer in pain. Take care as best you can.


Cindy said...

I am so, so sorry for the pain you are going through. I hope you will find some peace as you reflect on your mom's beautiful life.
I am praying for you dear friend!

Mary Cate said...

Oh Kim,
Please know that I am here for you. May you find comfort in many ways.
I can see a bit of little ballerina in your mothers photos.


Kerri said...

Oh Kim, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's passing. I'm glad you are able to take some comfort in knowing she is not in pain anymore. Your mom sounds like she was a very special blessed you were to have her as your Mom.
You and your family are in my prayers. Big hugs.

Bridget said...

Oh Kim, I am so sorry. I hope you can find comfort in the prayers of your friends and the sweet memories you have of your Mom. My prayers are definitely with you and your family.

Kathleen said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. What a blessing to be able to share her final days. I admire your strength, courage and above all your willingness to share your journey with all of us! {HUGS}

Kathy Nemec-Lucas Photography said...

Kim, I am so sorry to hear this. I am sorry for your loss. HUGE HUGS! I am thinking of you.

mandy said...

Kim, I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. Keeping a thought of you and your family in my heart and wishing I could stop by with some comfort food.

Bringing Pretty Back said...

Kim, That photo of your Mom in that animal print top is so wonderful. I am so very sorry for your loss. I am sending you the tightest hug.

Kris said...

Hi Kim,
I came by to thank you for your comment on my blog, and read back several posts of yours, to get to know you. I was so sorry to read of your mothers illness, and your loss. I lost my darling Dad 7 years ago, and it was by far and away, the hardest thing I had yet faced in my life. I know your hurting heart. The hollow ache you feel at the thought of life without this someone you love so much, and on the flip side, the joy of having had the honor of having this special someone in your world, and how having them, makes us who we are.
You seem to have a lovely family. This will carry you through, and one day, your pain will ebb, and smiles replace the tears. I am so very sorry for your loss.

Dani said...

Oh, Kim. I wish I could do something besides say how very sorry I am. My heart is aching for you.

I'm sending you really big hugs.

Nicolle said...

Kim, thank you for your sweet comments on the post about my dad. I thought of you so much as I was writing that. I hope you are doing ok! :)

Cathy M~(checkitoff) said...

Kim, I am so sorry. You are so brave to let us in on your personal pain. I know your mom felt the love from you & your sister. I wish I was closer and we could share a cup of tea and a bowl of soup and talk & cry. I love these photos. I am thinking of you. hugs, Cathy

Bringing Pretty Back said...

Kim, I am thinking of you today,

Kerri said...

Hi Kim!
Just checking in on this snowy day to see how you're doing. I've been thinking of you...hope you're doing ok.

Lisa @ lists in my pocket said...

Kim, I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine how you're feeling. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope you're feeling some peace right now!

jen said...

Yesterday was the 7th anniversary of my mom's death. She was 62 when she died but she could've been 92. I'd still feel gypped. I don't cry everyday anymore or even ever month, but I miss her still and it feels like yesterday she was here. My thoughts are with you and your sister.