CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SIXTY-FOUR
“I have to crawl around in the dirt,” Ava said with a sigh.
“Sorry,” Sandy said. “Did you ever figure out why that horrible woman is so obsessed?”
“Her mother was killed here,” Delphie said entering the kitchen.
“Is that it?” Ava asked.
“There’s no excuse for her to be so horrible though,” Delphie said.
“She called me this morning and. . .” Ava shook her head. “We’ve found seven remains and the labs are working.”
“You haven’t found where her mother was killed,” Delphie said.
“Probably,” Ava said. “It makes sense why she would be so insistent if it was her own mother.”
“Still,” Valerie said. “No one should be so mean to our Ava.”
Valerie looked at Delphie and Sandy.
“Ava was deflated when I came down stairs,” Valerie said.
“I’m so sorry,” Sandy said. She hugged Ava. “You sure you’re up to this?”
“Absolutely,” Ava said nodding.
“Great,” Sandy said.
Sandy put her fingers to her mouth and blew a loud whistle. Teddy came in with a large pot of soup followed by Nash and Charlie, each carrying a full pot of soup.
“You can set them here,” Valerie said. “Ava, can you move some of the jars?”
Ava and Delphie moved enough glass canning jars off the kitchen table so that the boys could put down their three pots of spicy delicious tortilla soup.
“That’s a lot of soup,” Ava said.
“We go through it,” Valerie said. “Especially this one.”
“It’s really good,” Nash said. “We make it vegetarian so that everyone can eat it.”
“The meat eaters add whatever they want,” Charlie said. “You should try it.”
“What will happen with the jars when they’re filled?” Ava asked.
“I’ll start canning them outside,” Jacob said. He was carrying a large pot full of tomato sauce. “Where should I. . .”
Valerie pointed to the kitchen counter.
“Great,” Jacob said. He set the large pot down. Turning to Ava, he said, “Let me get this set up and I’ll show you the last site. It’s a mess. I wasn’t sure what to do with it so I boarded it up.”
“Mess?” Ava asked.
“Two,” Valerie set a two cup measuring cup in front of Ava.
Ava nodded to Valerie.
“You’ll see,” Jacob said. “I probably need an hour.”
“That’s okay,” Ava said. “Detective Stone ordered me to meet her here at 4:30 am.”
“She’s not coming,” Delphie said.
“Clearly,” Ava said. “Anyway, I have this. The team will be here in a bit. We can help out until you’re ready, Jake.”
Jacob nodded and ran back upstairs for another pot of sauce.
Ava got to work. With her laboratory science skills and her two cup measuring cup, she filled the jars. She write “Italian” on a sheet of paper and set the jars on top of it. Valerie started cleaning the tops and putting the canning lids on top. A half hour or so later, Ava’s team arrived. They helped put the soup and the tomato sauce into jars. Fran took over the cleaning so that Valerie just put the lids on top.
When Jacob returned, he talked Nelson into helping him carry the full jars out to the deck. Jacob set up three propane burners with three large pressure canners.
Ava was on her third cup of coffee when Detective Stone’s partner arrived. And Ava and her team grabbed Jacob and got to work.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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