Cures & Consolation

Dear Grace,

Allow me to quote an entirely overused sentence from Anne of Green Gables: “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” Really, isn’t October the absolutely best? Over the course of one weekend, the temperatures in the Great Southwest have gone from the 100s to the 80s. How in the world can the 80s be so heavenly? Now I can no longer use the weather as an excuse to avoid exercise. But I can use the fact that the rest of the year is basically one long holiday of feasting to give up on all physical fitness goals until the New Year. Go me!

In other fall related news, I made Mumsie’s broccoli cheese soup last night as a clever ruse to get Abe to eat some vegetables. When we were at Costco the other day I asked if he would be interested in eating some spinach to which he quickly responded with an absolute “no” based purely on the fact that spinach is green and green foods are gross foods. So to get my husband to go near vegetables, I slathered broccoli with melted cheese and it was a major success (although Abe was doubtful a meal without any meat could be worthwhile). I will include the recipe below.

It has officially been two months and ten days since Abe’s knee injury. We had the surgery follow-up appointment today, and Abe’s ever-stoic doctor told us that Abe will not be able to return to work for three or four months at least. I calmly nodded but inwardly began hyperventilating. Three or four months??!?!?!?!??!

Curse words.

Sadly, I am not the world’s most patient nurse and Abe goes through apple juice (Mumsie’s cure-all) by the gallon. Now I am Googling “Things to do while you’re laid up from surgery” in an attempt to save Abe from cabin fever. Abe, however, has found his own consolation in online shopping. Our house is now significantly more technologically savvy since Abe invests in items such as the Neato BotVac which does the vacuuming for him. Christmas will now be a much smaller affair since Abe’s Knee Surgery Shopping Spree.

But now we know that the way to cure and console being laid up is apple juice, soup, and online shopping.

Love Always,


P.S. I am so happy we’re finally blogging together as we dreamed all those years ago.



  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 6 oz. small pasta shells
  • 1 head fresh broccoli (or 16 oz. frozen broccoli)
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 ½ cups grated cheese

In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil over high heat. Add pasta, return to boil. Reduce heat and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Add vegetables and cook until pasta and veggies are tender, about 5 minutes more. Combine milk and flour in a separate container. Stir into soup, cooking and stirring until thickened and bubbly. Gradually add the cheese until cheese melts.

Notes from Millie:

  • Add the milk to the flour gradually. As experienced cooks will know, adding all the milk and the flour at the same time will make the flour clump up and then the soup won’t thicken. I found this out the hard way the first several times I made this recipe.
  • Add the cheese a bit at a time. Adding all the cheese all in one go will make the cheese clump into rubbery cheese globs rather than melting into the soup. This was also learned the hard way and it was disgusting.
  • If you have leftovers, just add a little milk to help the soup regain its lovely, original, non-cement-like consistency.