You might have wondered where I've been as of late. Roaming around a foreign land, enjoying local delicacies? Caught up in the making of a 10 course dinner for 200 guests? Simply lost in reverie after another life-altering reflexology session?
Not at all.
I've been in Philadelphia. Forget about the "bat signal," Mama Vamp just puts in one phone call and I'm instantly Philly bound. In this case, the call was to inform me that she needed to go into the hospital for surgery and would require my tender loving care during recuperation. No more needed to be said. I packed my bag and boarded a train.
On Monday, when she went under the knife, I was more than a bit anxious. This wasn't major surgery, but it was surgery nonetheless. A three hour surgery at that.
While she was in the operating room, I tried to distract myself with business calls and alike. I even wandered over to the foodie hub that is Reading Terminal Market, but even the site of a Famous 4th Street Deli Chocolate Chip Cookie didn't tempt. I grabbed a cup of reviving java from the market's Olde City Coffee outpost and hightailed it back to the hospital to wait it out.
A couple of hours later, Mama Vamp's doctor emerged to let me know that all had gone well. Mama Vamp would be fine and I could see her in a half-hour or so, after she was out of OR and the effects of the anesthesia had worn off.
I felt my insides unclench and my shoulders move to their rightful place. Mama Vamp was going to be okay. Thank goodness.
After holding her hand and chatting until she got up to her hospital bed, she insisted I leave and take care of myself. She wanted to conk out and I couldn't blame her.
I figured that I deserved a nice meal and a strong cocktail to take the edge off of the day. Luckily, one of my favorite restaurants in the City of Brotherly Love wasn't too far from the hospital -- Osteria. I walked over, grabbed a seat at the bar and attempted to savor a pizza graced with sugary grilled figs, gorgonzola, mozzarella and salty speck.
It was lovely, but somehow joy was not to be found in Mudville -- or even Osteria -- that night.
In fact, joy was not found until two days later, when I finally brought Mama Vamp home from the hospital and was able to take care of her VittlesVamp style. Unsurprisingly, that included cooking. In this case, cooking up a big pot of nutritious, warming Beef Stew brimming with vegetables and fresh herbs.
Don't know if it was the stew, my company, or Mama Vamp's own fortitude, but the woman is well on the road to recovery, and I'm back in New York. Needless to say, I'm checking in a couple times a day and I'm quite glad she has enough stew to see her through.