Steam rose out of the seeping coffee grounds as I slid the top snugly on the french press. Traffic sounds commuting through the cool air of an open window brought the clarity of morning to the stillness of our kitchen. I sharpened my knives without checking if they needed the edge, I simply craved the sound. It helps me think.
I met Rosemary in a hotel spa a few years ago when she was traveling through the states and I was on vacation with my mother. She was a glamorous woman with two children that were close to my age. I was a 25 year old just learning how to behave like an adult. In between spa treatments we met on the couch by a cold fireplace surrounded by old library books, and shared our secretes. Tentative at first, we talked, then listened, until gradually a whole world of friendship was available for us to laugh our way through, leaping over our fears, breaking free from the buried weight of too much time spent in thought. We were like kids giddy over the development of our secret club. By day we walked through the plush hallways stoic and composed in our spa robes, our heads wrapped in towels, our skin red from the serious business of pealing down layers in search of the elusive perfection that lies somewhere unexposed. We exchanged pleasantries in the dining areas at lunchtime. Just before dinner, however, we would meet on the couch and relive the tails of our life's adventuring.
We exchanged numbers before we left and vowed to keep in contact. Miraculously, we kept our vow, talking almost weekly over the phone. My friends know of her as my "Canadian Sister". Over the years, and through all the dramas, we laughed, and sometimes cried, and sometimes felt apathetic, like words were heavy and telephones difficult to find. It was then that a phone call was all we could do. Each of us tried to show up, as if not wanting to leave the other alone by the cold fireplace in a big empty library somewhere, buried in thoughts.
It was not until Christina and I were driving to the airport last night to pick up Rosemary and her daughter, who had arranged to come for a one night visit, that I realized I had forgotten what she looked like. Not that I had forgotten, really, I just had sort of reconstructed an image of her out of her voice. From the airport we went for dinner, and laughed and ate and talked as if we were all old family friends, and yet I felt as though we were meeting for the first time. As we left the restaurant, we roared deep belly laughter and flung it carelessly into the streets. It reminded me of being a college kid, my first nights away from home spent taking over the streets amongst the intimate camaraderie of familiar strangers. We exchanged pleasantries and then a farewell. In the car, on the way home, the flashing red and green streetlights calming the nervous excitement of the meeting of friends, my phone buzzed with a message.
It was Rosemary. "Hi emily it's Rosemary..." The sound of her voice filled me with memories of the amazing friend who has taught me how to laugh, and listen, and be patient, and has valued my words, and has filled the spot on the couch by the cold fireplace when I needed to animate heavy thoughts into words. She has taught me that friendship is ignited through the breath of stories shared.
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a frying pan. Add 1 diced zucchini, 1 diced summer squash and 4 cloves garlic. Sprinkle with salt and cook on high until zucchini starts to brown around the edges. Remove from heat (it will keep cooking a little and you don’t want mush). Add 1 sliced shallot and some diced cherry tomatoes (1 pint). In a saucepan boil some water. Add 1 head broccoli tops. Cook until they turn bright green, then remove, drain and rinse with cold water. In the hot saucepan add 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp muchi curry powder and some salt. Toss the broccoli in the spice mixture. Add to the rest of the salad. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar and salt. Garnish with mozzarella cheese. Optional add some thyme.
Marinate your salad, it will produce some water..this can be drained. Make sure you adjust the seasoning (salt, pepper, vinegar) before serving.
Christina's vote "This salad sent my worries out on a one way ticket"