Boyfriend out of town Day 3 (of 5) was on Saturday. All of my big plans for strolling around in the autumn sunshine, hanging out at coffee shops, and reading with a cat on my lap and a big mug of tea went right out the window. In the wee hours of Saturday, somehow I caught a cold. I don’t know how this could have happened! I was taking vitamins, echinacea, astragalus — copious amounts of raw garlic — how is it possible that I got sick? I’d been feeling a bit wonky a week or so ago, but I thought I’d nipped it in the bud. But no, I was not safe! I felt the nose stuff up, the sneezing start, and the general feeling of misery creeping over me.
So I wallowed around miserably and decided I was too sick to get scared and that I could handle the scary-ish books I had (not the really scary zombie, ghost or evil faerie books). I read The Knife of Never Letting Go and Hunger Games which aren’t scary in a oooh, spooky kind of way, but scary in a bigger picture what has the world come to kind of way. Which my sick brain was too tired to fully comprehend so it worked out. But it definitely wasn’t the fun mug of tea, cat on my lap kind of reading. It was a holding a kleenex under my nose, moaning in distress kind of reading.
My one big adventure was out to the pharmacy which, it turns out, is closed on Saturday. I almost sat down and had a bit of a breakdown on the street. It’s a sizeable walk for a sick person and it had pretty much used up my energy for the day. But I kept going and the next pharmacy was open and though they mostly do prescriptions, they did have some kind of nasal spray. Hoo-ha! I was saved (ish). Still on the miserable side but it allowed me to breath which is always a bonus.
My potato dish of the day:
Swiss-style Cheese Bake
Based on a recipe in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, it’s a nice roasty oven dish.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub 2 lbs of potatoes and chop them into 1-2 inch chunks. Put into an oven baking pan, toss with a couple of table spoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, and pop into the oven. Cook 20 minutes, then stir, add more oil if things are sticking, keep roasting, checking every ten minutes or so until crisp on the outside and soft when poked with a knife. While the potatoes are roasting chop a couple of cups of broccoli (the recipe says you can try asparagus or brussel sprouts, but I’ve never done that), shred a couple of cups of cheese (I like Monterey Jack) and a 1/4 cup of parmesan, and chop a half a cup walnuts. Toss the cheese (except for the parmesan) with a bit of cornstarch. When the potatoes are done roasting sprinkle half of the cornstarched cheese on top. Then spread the broccoli on top of that and sprinkle on the rest of the cornstarched cheese. Toss the parmesan and nuts on top. Cover with foil 15-20 minutes or until the cheese melts. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes. It should look golden and bubbly.