Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Monday, November 21, 2011

A Magic Copper Pot & A Head of Cabbage

I know, a copper pot and a head of cabbage is not very exciting, but it was a nice thing yesterday. I seem to get the urge to cook on Sundays. I think it is because my mom always cooked on Sundays. When my dad left, my mom had to work to support me and David and Sunday was usually the day she had the chance to clean house, do laundry, and cook and make the house smell good. At least that is what I attribute my Sunday cooking to. The rest of the week we ate quick and easy things as she didn't have time or energy to fix big meals every day. Actually, that was a good thing as folks weren't so overweight in those days because they didn't feast seven days a week. Anyway, cooking on Sunday seems to be a form of comfort for me.

Yesterday, I decided to make cabbage soup. I had the ingredients, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, vegetables broth and other veggies. Oh yes, and the main ingredient, my magic copper pot. The picture looks a great deal like it, except mine isn't so shiny. I gave up on trying to keep my magic copper pot clean on the outside, it is copper after all. So it looks like a very well used copper pot. The story of the magic pot isn't very exciting either, but I am going to tell you about it anyway.

In this day when some people spend over $100 for a cooking pot, the idea that you can buy a magic one for $1 is unbelieveable. It was a beautiful fall day about 20 years ago when John and I went to the outdoor flea market in Loveland, Colorado. It is no longer in existence, having given way to more lucrative businesses in that location. It was at the south end of Loveland next to the Big Thompson River. It was a very interesting place to visit as you might meet all sorts of people and once we even met a very smart parakeet that was a pet of one of the regular sellers. He thought he was a human and walked around and talked to eveyone as if he owned the place. Once he wasn't there and when I asked about him the owner said, "He told me that he didn't want to come today, so I left him home."

But to get on with my magic pot story, I spotted the bright shiny copper pot as we walked around the booths. It looked brand new and was so pretty sitting in the bright sunshine. I love copper, so it caught my attention. A young Mexican woman was selling stuff there and the copper pot was among them. I stopped to talk to her as best I could. With the language difference it was mostly sign language. I finally walked on but the copper pot was still in the back of my mind. Before we left, I told John that I wanted to go back and see how much it was. When I asked her she said, "One." and held up one finger to emphasize the price. I couldn't believe my ears, $1 for a beautiful copper cooking pot that looked brand new? Needless to say, I bought it.

What I didn't know that day was that I was buying a magic pot! If I had to get down to one cooking pot it would be this one. I can't even estimate the number of things I have cooked in it in twenty years. The thing is that whether it was meat, potatoes, vegetables, soups or many other things,they always turn out perfect and delicious. It took me several years to realize this. It just gradually came to me that when I put the magic pot on the stove the dish would be done to perfection. When I cooked meat (which I don't do anymore) it always was delicious and I could really count on that.

So today, as I started my cabbage soup, the first ingredient was my magic cooking pot. It isn't bright and shiny anymore, but like an old friend, it is reliable and when I pull it out of the cupboard I have no doubt the dish will be delicious. That is a good feeling in a world of uncertainty. It is a very special thing, my magical cooking pot. Magic can be found in the most unusual places, can't it? So keep your eyes open, and you may find it just around the corner. Oh yes, the soup was one of my best yet and it was delicious and perfect, but no surprise there, I knew it would, magically, be perfect.

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