Tuesday, March 22, 2016


I hate to get too personal (being a blogger, ha) but I have been sick with the galloping crud.  For eight days, I have been participating in the Great Lollygag Festival of 2016.  Lollygag is one of my favorite words.  Sounds so appropriate and definitive.  In my gowntail, coughing and sneezing and wheezing.  Would it never end?

The last fun event I remember is going to the grocery store and coming home and stirring up some cheesy chicken noodle casserole.  To have on hand in case this cold bug took hold.  Well, Burt got better and I went downhill fast.  But we had the supreme comfort food on hand for several days.  Obviously, it's curative powers have been reduced, in my eyes.  But Burt begs to differ.

There are days just wiped from my memory like the magic neuralyzer in Men in Black.  Life was  hanging on by a Kleenex.  I was so confused I thought I was binge watching reruns of Steve Harvey.  I'm not a recliner type person but I spent many hours like a carrier ship flattened in the furthermost position with tissues flung across my flight deck.  And that was when I could make it to the den.  I was so sick I only watched one movie, Doctor Zhivago.  And if that was just the one, it was a good one. (Omar Sharif)

Starve a cold or feed a fever?  Definitely feed the cold.  The highlights of my day were Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream, Welch's Grape Juice and Cheesy Chicken Noodle Casserole with sub highlights of Blueberry Pop Tarts and Hall's Tropical Fruit Cough Drops.  Bedside service was five star.  A special meal stands out - chicken noodle soup accompanied with Butter cheese and crackers, a family favorite.  Butter makes everything better.

Other highlights of the week were watching Nancy Regan's funeral and my every four days bathing experience.

Of course, the doorbell rang on days when I was sporting my old chenille bathrobe (it's old enough to vote) and my leopard print p.j's.  I forgot that my bed styled hair had a three inch section standing straight up, at an angle.  Thankfully, these were legitimate calls.  You have to go to the door so the bogey man knows you are home.  Sometimes I would answer the phone.  I have received sympathy from the Unknown Caller and Area Codes of Libyan origin.  My peeps would call daily and be amazed at how awful I sounded which brought me much comfort. 

I didn't just sleep my days away.  Many hours were spent in bed imagining I was cleaning the house.  I would jump from the bed with my hand across my forehead and tell Burt I must get busy and he would remind me I was sick.  You know how it goes when the lady of the house is ill.  Or I would be in bed thinking about taking up a new hobby like kayaking.  Or planning a garage sale.  It is all hazy.  I would try to plan my spring/summer 2016 wardrobe but didn't have the strength to lift my Spring Vogue from off the floor much less turn a page.  Thankfully, there were no fever induced mind games.  Just the dull pulse of a clogged head and raw throat.

Nights were the worst.  Propped up against two king pillows and a standard, practically sitting straight up trying to breathe during the night while managing not to gag myself on the sequestered cough drop between my cheek and my teeth.  Coughing fits and nose blowing were sleep killers. 

I finally went to the doctor.  I kept thinking I would get better.  When I proudly confessed that I had finally been able to cook dinner the night before, he said he wouldn't have eaten my cooking.  I had already been on Tamiflu (separate exposure to the flu) and still had this bug hanging on.  He said it was time to get rid of it.  I agreed.

As they say, a good time was had by all.  The Land of Counterpane was my spring break destination.  The Lollygag Festival did not live up to its billing.   Things are back to normal.  Bath, hair, makeup and real clothes, all on one day.  Think of the places I can go...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


March may be blowing in and daffodils popping up but there are still a few late winter days whipping around the knees.  A cool evening is best headed off with a nice bowl of soup.  Whatever the time of year, this veggie steak soup is the best recipe.  The secret to this recipe is over thirty ingredients - from handfuls to smidges.  Family cooks have found this method to be tried and true.

The following is my most recent recipe in order of when I added the ingredient.  I have a recipe diary.  Every time I stir this up, I write down a list of the ingredients and date it.  Old envelopes are especially handy for this.  The only method required is to include at least thirty ingredients.  The ingredients can range  from meat to veggies to spices.  In the past, leftover pot roast was added.  I have switched to fresh steak.

The amount of each ingredient is totally up to the cook.  A splash, a spoonful, a pinch.  Be daring.  This recipe has a new ingredient never seen before - chili garlic hot sauce. Happy stirring!

1.     olive oil
2.     chuck eye steak 1.42 pound -  cut into strips and cubed - sauteed
3.     1 onion, chopped
4.     3 ribs celery, sliced
5.     salt
6.     pepper
7.     28 oz. Hunt's diced tomatoes + 1 can water
8.     3 sliced carrots
9.     2 bay leaves
10.   handful of small peppers - red, orange, yellow - sliced and diced
11.   1/2 turnip - sliced and diced
12.   1 large squash - halved lengthwise and sliced
13.   1 can Del Monte Cut Green Beans, drained
14.   sprig of fresh rosemary
15.   splash of coffee
16.   another large can of water
17.   cayenne
18.   coriander
19.   Hungarian paprika
20.   Cavendar's Greek Seasoning
21.   tarragon
22.   curry
23.   ground mustard
24.   oregano
25.   garlic powder
26.   Old Bay Seasoning
27.   ground allspice
28.   Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
29.   peppered vinegar
30.   liquid smoke
31.   Grandma's Molasses - one coated spoon
32.   1/8 tsp chili garlic hot sauce
33.   Cattleman's BBQ Sauce
34.   sherry
35.   pickle juice
36.   lemon pepper
37.   soy sauce
38.  1 can Bush's Northern Beans, drained
39.  8 new potatoes, cubed

I usually add one can of no salt kernel corn, drained.  I didn't have it in the pantry.  This recipe is good for using what you have and/or running to the store and buying all the veggies you want.  Anything works - fresh, canned and frozen.  Mushrooms are also good.

Eating the rainbow.

Yummy bowl of Veggie Steak Soup with Toast