24 February 2008

Fruit for Sick People

I have been waiting for a springlike day to show you these lovely raspberries from a vendor on Rue Cler.

I am told it was about as springlike as we can expect today - with temps in the 20s - but I cannot say for sure as I came down with the flu everyone else has.

When I am sick, I want only fruit. This probably stems from childhood when I was given comforting things like apricot nectar and bananas when I was bedridden. Tea and toast were another sickbed standard.

"Eat light, you'll feel alright," my mother would chirp, bringing me a tray. There was usually some embellishment on the tray, like a canned pear with raisin eyes and a cherry mouth. I felt cared for and secure and on the mend.

I had major surgery once, and went without solids from Wednesday to Saturday. My first meal was a small box of Cheerios. They were like some sort of manna to my hungry palate. I have loved them ever since, though they were never childhood favorites.

Chicken noodle soup still works, though I buy the low-sodium stuff now and it's not the same.

My husband provides the same loving care my parents did, but now I worry that he will catch whatever I have.

This time around, I've been living on a totally decadent but simple treat: Ice cream in orange juice. I could blend it and make a smoothie, but I just dump the scoop of ice cream in the glass of orange juice so it's more like a float. I know it is not healthy, but it soothes my sore throat and banishes my fever.

What's your favorite sick time antidote?

17 February 2008

Kalyn's Chicken and Barley Soup

What began as an ice storm tinkling against roofs and windows early this morning turned into a full fledged blizzard by noon. By suppertime, a civil defense alert was issued warning us to stay off the streets.

As if. We can barely get our back door open.

It is soup making weather here in Wisconsin. I made Kalyn's Chicken and Barley Soup, because I had all the ingredients and it helps me live up to my goal of eating good carbs and more grains this year. I had a small amount of stewed tomatoes on hand and in those went, giving the soup a tangier taste.

I paired it with pita chips, cheese and cole slaw, because that's what we had on hand.

Tomorrow, everything will be delayed at least two hours while we dig out from under the last onslaught. This is getting old!

What did you cook on Sunday?

04 February 2008

Green Grapes with Walnuts in a Sour Cream Dressing


In winter we eat our share of of hearty and savory dishes and we begin to crave fruit in no time.

Topping fresh strawberries and blueberries with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of brown sugar makes an easy and elegant summer dessert and it's a favorite on our menu.

But never thought about pairing green grapes with sour cream. My sister introduced me to this a few years ago, and has also become a staple at our house.

You will need
  • 2 large bunches green grapes, washed, with stems removed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Blend sour cream and cream cheese. Add grapes. Toss. Top with brown sugar and walnuts.

I've lately taken to dropping a few grains of sea salt on top for contrast.