“What is cooking in your pot?”

Yesterday was a natural dye day. The kitchen stove was full of pots in various stages of preparing my dye baths. Some pots sat steaming filling the kitchen with strange odors of cooked plants. Other pots bubbled with plant stems peeking out from under the lids. A friend of mine was here visiting while all of this was going on in the kitchen. She had come to do the end-of-year evaluations to complete our home schooling year. I kept having to excuse myself from the dining room to check my pots on the stove. At one point she couldn’t resist any longer and asked me what was cooking. “Dye,” was my response. She got a funny look on her face and there was a long pause. Finally she replied, “that is why I like coming over here, you are always doing something interesting.” I didn’t tell her that one pot had dead bugs in it that I had soaked, boiled, and then squished to get their beautiful red dye to ooze out of them. Or that the other pot was filled with ferns from the roadside that were now steeping in a pot on the stove. I am sure the dye she pictured in her mind was the kind that comes in little paper envelopes from the store. I will save my secrets for another time and another day to share with her the next time she asks me, “What’s cooking in your pot?”