I've decided to chop all the parsley. Usually I use it once or twice, and then, a week later, I find it in the back of the fridge, dying in its own wet womb of a plastic bag. This time, no. If I chop all the parsley, I can pat it dry in a paper towel and then put it away to use all week. I'm pleased. Then I look down. The stems are there, naked on the counter. So I make a broth of them. Then I rattle through the fridge and find five old, softened carrots and half a yellow onion. In they go. Then a bigger pot. I'm feeling heady from the way this is going. The smell has filled the kitchen. I dream of asparagus soup.
I think I used to hate parsley. The only time I was really aware that I was eating it was at the Passover seder, a springtime holiday, when you dip it salt water to recall the tears of the slaves as they left Egypt, eating the simplest of foods. This moment in the seder prompts the youngest at the table to ask the traditional question: "Why is this night different from all other nights?" Here we are again. Why is this night different? I can't say. It's still cold. I'm still here. This thesis is still not writing itself. But here is vegetable stock-- the beginning of something. The base, the start. I'll stay up with it until about two. Then it will go into the fridge, and I, to bed.