Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Random observations (and a recipe) from the sickbed

  • At the pharmacy yesterday, I parked next to a truck advertising "24-hour emergency pet grooming". I can't picture what would constitute a real pet-grooming emergency. I think this is a recession-proof niche business; the people for whom it's essential to have their poodle's nails painted at 2am, are probably, sadly, not going to get hit by a recession at all.
  • While watching the review panel score grant applications Monday, I heard one of the panelists applaud an arts organization for being "more diverse than the general public". Is this even possible, by any rational definition of "diverse"? I think you can only be less diverse, but in a non-standard direction.
  • I have to be careful what I read when I'm sick. When I have a fever and my brain isn't hitting on all eight cylinders, I have trouble reading new books, so I generally re-read favorites. And I'm happier reading light, funny, happy books, rather than dark, creepy books; when I'm sick, what I read makes a strong impression on my mood and tone. Re-reading Discworld books or Old Man's War is a good thing. Re-reading Jeff Long's The Descent is not.
  • There's no rationale for what sounds good to eat when I'm sick. Right now, chicken noodle soup sounds highly unappealing. Toast doesn't even sound good. But I'm having an odd craving for powdered donuts. And black tea sounds better than water.
  • Even better than an electric blanket: a pile of housecats. Earlier this morning I was sharing the bed with a pillow cat, a chest cat, and a feet cat, and they kept me nice and warm.
  • I mentioned that I made Laura homemade chicken-noodle soup for sick people. We got the recipe from a non-food-oriented magazine (Runner's World or Outdoor Life or something, I forget) a few years ago, and we've since modified the heck out of it. Our current recipe:

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup to Fight a Cold

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 lb. whole wheat pasta (macaroni or shells are nice, but alphabet noodles are always amusing)
2 tsp olive oil
2 leeks, trimmed, sliced thin (discard darker-green parts; too tough)
2 large carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced OR 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 1/2 tbsp minced, peeled fresh ginger

Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots, and celery; saute 5 minutes.
Add chicken broth, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, simmer 25 minutes.
While simmering, steam chicken until cooked through, about 12 minutes. Do not overcook. When cool, tear into bite-sized chunks.
Also while simmering, cook pasta according to package directions.
Add chicken and pasta to soup pot; simmer 5 minutes. Serve.

Total time, from "soup sounds good tonight" to "honey, it's on the table", is under an hour. If you're quick with a knife, it can be as short as 40 minutes. And it's yummy. It's got a vaguely Oriental flavor from the soy sauce and ginger. If these don't sound good, omit them, but add a teaspoon or two of ground black pepper to keep it from being too bland. Unless you're genuinely sick, in which case bland might be good.

1 comment:

Teri Dougherty said...

I think when you're sick you should watch some mindless, fun TV (mindless and TV are an oxymoron, right?) Maybe some Fry and Laurie or Monty Python. Last time I was REALLY, REALLY sick, I watched the History Channel for days because I didn't have enough energy to work the remote!

Love you, and get well soon!
Aunt Teri