I hate being sick.
We have been enjoying the cooler weather by sleeping with the windows open, so when I woke up with a slightly sore throat today, I figured it was related to the open windows and fans running and went on my merry way.
After eating my breakfast scone, I noticed that my throat was hurting twice as bad as it was when I woke. An hour or two later, after eating my sandwich at lunch, I noticed that my left ear was really starting to ache. Well, hell.
So I have an ear infection and strep.
I hate being sick. Oh, wait. I said that already.
Two things have made me feel marginally better. The first was coming home to my Timber Creek Farms and Natural Farms orders. Aren’t all those organic veggies pretty? I love TCF. I got 3 different kinds of beets, red onions, tomatoes, kale, leeks, zucchini, lettuce, apples, some plum-like fruits, red peppers, broccoli, squash, radishes, 3 packages each of Grandma Ferdon’s hamburger and hot dog buns, a box of Pamela’s shortbread cookies, and a case of Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix.
The second was having everything on hand to make pea soup. I know, I know. It was nearly 70 degrees today and NOT soup weather. But illness justifies having soup, doesn’t it? Besides, I froze my damn ass off at work because I forgot to turn off the A/C before I left yesterday. Once my feet or hands get cold – that’s it. My only options are to warm up from the inside out or soak in a steaming bubble bath.
Adapted from somewhere, but I can’t remember where
1/2 pound split peas, rinsed
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrot
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced red potatoes
3/4 cup diced ham
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
4 cups vegetable broth
Rinse the peas well, then place in a pot. Add enough cold water to cover, then bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for an hour.
In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, potatoes and spices. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (about 15 minutes).
Drain the peas again and then add them to the vegetables in the stock pot. Add the stock to the pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and allow to simmer until the peas are completely soft (45 minutes or so). Remove the pot from the heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Now the fun part. Be very careful when you do this! Transfer half of the soup to a blender and pulse until mostly smooth. Remember that the soup is DAMN HOT and IT WILL BURN YOU. Do NOT ask me how I know this.
Pour the blended soup back into the stock pot and turn the heat to low. Add the ham and stir well. Continue to heat on low until the ham is warmed through (about 10 minutes).
Serve with crusty bread. I used a Pamela’s Amazing Bread Mix to make a baguette because, well, making soup and rice pudding in one day when you feel like crap is already pushing it. One day, Mike, I will make your baguettes!
The bubble bath might still happen tonight. The Man is out of town for work, so it’s just the girls: me, The Gidge, and the cats (they’re so girly they count as girls in this case IMHO).
And there will be tropical rice pudding. Because, you know, I’m sick.
Tropical Rice Pudding
1 1/2 cups cold cooked rice
2 cups skim milk
1 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp banana extract
8 oz crushed pineapple, drained
Sprinkle of nutmeg
Combine the rice, milk, coconut milk, sugar and salt in a 3 quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir often, until thickened (40 minutes or so). Remove from the heat; add the extracts, pineapple, and nutmeg. Serve warm, sprinkled with brown or turbinado sugar.
Eat leftovers for breakfast.
I am still smoke free – 17 days now. I was getting a buzz from the patch I was using (step 2 of 3), so after the first 2 weeks, I dropped down to the last one instead of waiting 6 weeks to do so. No more buzz when I put on a new patch. And I have twice gone all day without a patch.