When I was a kid this song worried me: “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold.” What if your old friends were crummy friends? What if the new friend was gold, not silver? But even as I questioned the song, I heeded it as important wisdom. Well, a new pot has come into my life, just days after the handle of my go-to pot broke. If you know me, odds are, you know my pressure cooker. I sing its praises loudly and often. Then, an amazing good-bye gift arrived yesterday in the mail: a 7.6 quart dutch oven. (Thank you, A!) I took it out of the box and started mulling possible inaugural dishes. What could be special enough? This evening when I had way too many butternut squash cubes stuffed into my handle-less pressure cooker for any sautéing to happen, I hustled the new pot onto a burner and transferred some of the squash into it. So much for pomp and ceremony when the right pot comes into your life.
Once the squash was done, I figured I might as well use this already oiled pot for braising the kale and beet greens:
Don't get me wrong, I still love my pressure cooker and will probably still use it on a daily basis, but, it is no longer the only pot in my heart.
Meanwhile, a phenomenon from this summer is recurring. After spending lovely time with local friendlies, I'm left with an over-sized, dense mass in the center of my chest pulling me and the corners of my mouth down. Forest got nervous at how little I was smiling at dinner. When I explained to him that I was missing people in Brooklyn, I couldn't hold back the tears. The lump is a bit lighter now, but still with me. What I couldn't figure out as a kid is that the song is missing a syllable (in deference to the melody). It is a song about new and old friendships, not about the friends themselves. Of course people can't be automatically more valuable because you met them first, but friendships are a different matter. The time you spend together and the span of time over which you know each other are precious beyond high-priced metals.