Letter to a Ladle (Stainless Steel, $18.99, Purchased Three Years Ago)

By Matthew Olzmann

March 30, 2015

Letter to a Ladle (Stainless Steel, $18.99, Purchased Three Years Ago)

How glorious: the invention of soup! How stunning: the invention of fire to heat the soup! I've watched the water boil. I've witnessed my wife and her designs of scallions and carrots. I've studied the smell of garlic and cayenne pepper. It filled our hallways with the history of our families. Not once—Dear Ladle—did you fail to do the one thing you do. There was the tomato bisque of spring, garnished with onions and sour cream. There was the green gazpacho that cooled the summer. The arroz caldo last fall to help me survive the season of viruses and worry. Before you arrived in our household, we used a coffee mug to get the contents of the cast iron pot to the comfort of our ceramic bowls. I owe you so much.

Here's how you entered our home. It was the winter I didn't get the job. The evening stars were like holes in our roof. The moon stalked us like a bill collector, and we never answered the phone.

"What do you want for your birthday?" I asked.

"I want a ladle," she said.

"But it's your birthday," I said. "You should have something nice."

"This is nice enough," she said, looking around our tiny flat. "This is what I want."


Photo "Daily Shoot 05.27.10: Shiny" provided by Justin Miller, under the Flickr creative commons license.

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