Waking up this morning to a whole -6 degrees and looking out my kitchen window to a 12-inch snow packed back yard, my mouth started salivating for hot coffee, hot chocolate, hot oatmeal, and oh, yes, hot SOUP! I am so thankful to be off work today, especially since I had been called into the hospital to work extra shifts for stranded nurses who could not get out of their driveways. Thankfully, I have a neighbor who was able to get me to the hospital. The snow is truly beautiful, but the cold and drifting is bone chilling.
This weather of course has affected my dog, Cappuccino. For the last three days, he has only gone outdoors for 2 to 3 minutes at a time. This began to concern me, because I did not notice any deposits on the back porch. It also seemed strange that this morning he waited by the door, but wouldn’t go out…only just stared at me. He always does this when he wants to go for a walk, so I knew this behavior could only mean one thing….non-relieved syndrome. I got out the heaviest sweater Capps owns, and after a good chase around the kitchen, he finally let me put it on. I too dressed as warm as I possibly could, donning gloves, ear muffs, neck scarves and boots. Bill heard that putting Vaseline on the pads of your pet’s feet could protect them from getting too cold. Again, a small chase around the kitchen, but between Bill and me, we slathered on the Vaseline. After Bill snapped a picture of the two of us, we were off for the “walk.”
Since we live in a rural setting, we have a long gravel road that winds around to smaller roads, and then out to the highway, Capps had a good long stretch to roam on. After about 5 minutes of walking the deposits began, first one, then two, then finally three. I was wondering how much this little animal good store in his holding tank. We walked about 5 more minutes, when Capps let me know it was okay to turn back. We both hurried as fast as our feet could go, enduring the wind chill factor of about 15-degrees below. Capps was so happy to get back into the house, not to mention how relieved he was, that he immediately got out one of his toys, a big tiger ball, and did about 3 laps around the kitchen and living room.
If I thought I was cold earlier in the morning, I was positive of it now. There was only one thing to do: start the Soup Kitchen. We had not even had breakfast yet, and I was getting the stew meat and ground chuck out of the freezer to thaw. My mind was made up…it would be my mother, Ann Fiorino’s recipe, Italian Beef Soup with her wonderful little Italian meatballs. She would also add acini di pepe, a tiny little pasta that takes on the flavor of the whole soup, and delightfully adds to the character. I knew I would have to make a large pot, enough to share with the sweet transportation neighbor and also some for the neighbor who has an ongoing illness. If there was more to go around, I may have to share with even more neighbors…maybe it would just make sense to put up a sign at the end of the driveway…Soup Kitchen Open in Troy, MO.
HAPPY NEW YEAR,