Try a long hard look

Last night after the world in my house was quite and I was in my bed, I heard the boiler calling to me. It was a heavy weight in the basement with a sledgehammer. It was an iron bowling ball competition. It was saying “Hey Woman! You! Get up out of that bed and Worry!” I made my professional opinion as only a 47 year old who has lived with a boiler all her life and never known the name of one can. I turned the light on and listened some more. I decided it was the water level. I waited for reason to take over, and then I decided I was definitely right–it was the water and there wasn’t enough of it and I had to get out of the bed. I took a deep breath and put my slippers on. I put my coat on. I went down to the basement and found the light switch. I looked at the boiler. It looked metal. I checked the water level; half of what it should be. The responsibility of being right became unreasonable and unshakable. I remembered something about water replacement and started to look for what could start the water gushing in. I pressed a button. No response. I pressed it again. Nothing. I turned a few red valves. I tried some yellow ones. Still nothing. I stood back and took a good look at the boiler again. It looked even more metal than before. I thought about calling the plumber and tried to calculate how much it would cost for him to come out on a Sunday night that was technically now Monday morning. I turned off the light. I got back in the bed. The dog was unsure and stayed standing. An hour went by and nothing blew. Still, that was no proof it couldn’t. I put my slippers back on and checked the computer for pictures of boilers. I got an image of something on a submarine. I checked boiler chat boards. I thought about joining one for money. I went back down to the basement and the water level had risen. I love mental telepathy.
Unfortunately, nothing I didn’t buy ever showed up in my fridge yesterday. I made the most of a frozen veal knuckle ($1.25) by making stock. Leeks, parsley, celery fronds, the last carrot, thyme sprigs and a bay leaf. I would have thrown a garlic clove in there if I had had one, but I didn’t. I made a batuto of finely diced carrot, onion, celery and chopped parsley and then turned it into a soffritto by throwing into the saute pan with some salt, pepper and olive oil. I cooked it until it was knock down delicious. I added a few peeled, cubed yukon gold potatoes and let them stick. I added chic peas. I cooked one piece of top shelf smoked bacon on the side, dabbed it on a piece of brown paper, chopped it up, and got it in the mix. Poured just the juices in from a can of plum tomatoes and what it really needed was a serious pour of red wine, but I was too cheap to open a bottle just for the soup. I added a tablespoon of red wine vinegar. Added veal stock, and a handful of arborio rice. When the rice was tender, a handful of parmesan. If I had had garlic, I would have minced some up with lemon peel and parsely and toasted bread crumbs and sprinkled that on top. Ferd didn’t miss it and ate it just the same. He especially liked the homemade focaccia which he saved for last.

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