Food Mess Up? There’s Always A Remedy

I’m not saying that I am the most conventional cook or baker, some would say I am very odd and quirky but I do enjoy my own recipes and remedies and basically that’s all that matters to me. I’m kidding!

I haven’t done a lot of cooking lately, but I made a lovely baked ziti dinner for an elderly man in our community who is sick and needed food and at the same time I taught my college kid how to make her own ziti in the process. You can’t get easier than baked ziti.It’s just a matter of balancing the cheese, sauce and noodles. Once I made it and it was like a grilled cheese sandwich, another time I made it and there was way too much sauce. That is why bread was invented, to dunk into the sauce. No problem here. I would have liked to have added chopped meat to make it more like a sloppy lasagna but my daughter is a vegetarian so that was a strict no-no.

 

My husband has cooked dinner lately, I try to appreciate it every single time he cooks. But, he has a habit of sneaking ingredients in that he KNOWS I don’t like. Perhaps he thinks, that like a 5-year-old, I won’t detect them. WRONG.

He told me he was making chicken burgers which I was looking forward to, he was working and I ate by myself. The chicken burgers looked…interesting three of them looked like they had a special sweet sauce on them, one was plain. I stuck my finger into one of the burgers with sauce and  licked my finger, my mouth burned with fire. The heat of the diabolical sauce filled my mouth and I ran for a tall glass of water. I can tolerate spicy food but that was over the top .I guess I assumed (wrongly) it was sweet. We had peach salsa in the refrigerator and it was up in front so I assumed he used that but it didn’t make sense, I love that stuff.

I then assumed that he must have made the plain one. I took that one over to the counter, seated myself comfortably, took my favorite beverage ( no not a glass of red wine or beer) a Yoo-Hoo and with my fork and knife and

 

English: Yoo-hoo Chocolate Drink; Ten (10) 6.5...

English: Yoo-hoo Chocolate Drink; Ten (10) 6.5 fl.oz. drink boxes, in package. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

eagerly took a large bite of my burger. Oh dear God, was it me or was my mouth burning ANEW? It wasn’t the old burn but a new source of heat. I contemplated very briefly if my husband was trying to kill me but I knew there had to be an easier way than this.

 

Since we live in the age of technology I texted him “What was in those burgers?” “So spicy I burned my mouth.” I got the usual male answer “Nothing special, a little salt and pepper.”There was no way that was all that was in those burgers I thought to myself. Really? I asked, are you sure, nothing else? There was a very long pause. “Oh yeah, I put  some Worcester sauce in too.” BINGO!!! He snuck the ‘ol Worcester sauce in, knowing I’m not a fan.

 

 

SOME? It must have been a lot because even without the spicy salsa, it was like a flame thrower heating up the top of my mouth and throat. Not to mention he knows, to put it gently, I really don’t like (personal opinion only) Worcester sauce. I was too tired to make anything else and there really wasn’t much in the house to make so I knew I needed to remedy this situation in my own, very special way.

 

I opened the refrigerator and after surveying the items I took out two things. Mayonnaise and orange marmalade. Yes, you read that correctly. Thank goodness my friend Maureen was out-of-town, she still hates the fact that I put grape jelly on dry pizza. What? Oh that, if you get a pizza pie that is not cheesy enough or too dry I recommend grape jelly or jam. It works wonders. (Don’t judge)

Believe it or not, this combo of mayo and orange marmalade was a nice contrast to the burning meat. It knocked the dreaded Worcester sauce to the side and had a soothing effect.Next time, if this happens again, I might substitute plain yogurt for the mayonnaise but the jam stays for sure. Nice touch.

So next time, if you’ve over spiced your food, remember this, there are always techniques to make things less spicy. More spicy is easy. Just be creative and open-minded. Like me.

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Kraft American Cheese, Sleeping, Anxiety And Yoo- Hoo

Slumber

Slumber (Photo credit: weesen)

Some people drink when they are under stress, others turn to cigarettes, some to drugs. It soothes their souls and it may take the edge off of their anxiety. The people who drink red wine can boast that it is medicinally beneficial, heart healthy in fact. Others like scotch or beer or ooey- gooey sweet stuff with vodka in it, like a spiked punch. I do none of the above, when I am anxious all I do is get into my bed, surrounded by layers upon layers of blankets and sleep. Really, I do. The only food my stomach allows me to eat is a Kraft (orange) American Cheese Sandwich on soft bread with soft butter or margarine spread and a box of Yoo Hoo to drink. That’s it. I lose weight during this period of anxiety but really, it isn’t any fun and definitely not worth it, well maybe worth it a tiny bit.

There is nothing more relaxing to me than”hibernating” under mountains of blankets, snuggling with my pillows and escaping life’s problems. Do I know what I am doing? Absolutely. Do I choose to do this? Yes. It is my way of dealing with overwhelming stress without any addiction except the warmth of my bed, no alcohol or drugs needed. Sometimes I say I am just going “to rest” and we all know what that means…..

I acknowledge what my problems are, I’m not crazy, this is my coping mechanism. I can’t change the situations at hand for the better so I have to live with them and instead of being the hyper-oh-my-God-what-are-we-going-to-do person that I already have been for 24 hours, I try to balance that with pure avoidance therapy. It’s cheaper than a lot of other coping mechanisms and I can do it anytime I want.

There are only specific foods that I CAN eat when I am that, shall we say, out of sorts? American cheese (Kraft Individualized Orange slices) and bread, soft butter and Yoo- Hoo to drink (boxes). This is my comfort food and I will absolutely have it every single day, it is the only thing I WANT to eat and CAN eat when I am this upset. It soothes me. I can eat it five times in a row, even ten. It depends heavily on the situation. Tonight, I actually ate something different since we were at a restaurant but the only thing that appealed to me was ravioli stuffed with butternut squash. I couldn’t look at my husband’s rare burger though admittedly I did try a bite of my son’s steak. It tasted delicious. My own food was soft, mushy and comforting and it certainly was in the same genre as my American cheese sandwich. Club soda with lemon was definitely no substitute for my beloved Yoo- Hoo. They should really stock that in restaurants, don’t you think?

Things are a little better now, not completely but we are coping. I’m off the complete American cheese sandwich but am still into small portions of soft food like the baked ziti I made today. It wasn’t my exact comfort food but I’m trying to branch out a little. Even I try to be flexible after my 24-48 hours guaranteed American Cheese/Yoo-Hoo Festival. Sometimes. it even works. Sigh. Okay. Rarely.

*my admiration and thanks go out to Kraft and Yoo-Hoo companies.

Prednisone Bitch, Part 2 (ENERGY!!!)

The Energizer Bunny

Image by Ben+Sam via Flickr

I just made 5  huge portions of baked ziti and covered them all with shiny aluminum foil. I put two small portions in the freezer, for my daughter (she’s a vegetarian) I made a big one for all of us to eat tomorrow night and made 2 to give to a friend.  I also made chilled peach soup with spices  for my friend and bought her a still-warm Italian bread from the bakery as well as a bag of brownies. I delivered the food, found room in our crowded refrigerator for ours and practically buried my head in the freezer to make room for the rest.  I have folded three loads of laundry, have one load in the washing machine that I will soon transfer to the dryer. I loaded the dishwasher and ran it, and then washed various pots and pans by hand, rapidly. This is so not me, this is me on steroids; I could be a walking, no sprinting, advertisement about drugs: this is my body on steroids, this is my body without; what a difference!  I am spritzing  Fantastik on paper towels to wipe up spills, I am cleaning up the house. My movements make me dart back and forth and I am talking at a really fast pace. I actually think my husband prefers me like this, the “energizer bunny” onspeed and not my usual low-key self. He better not get used to it because in a few days it’s all over and I will be back to my old chronic pain and fatigued self. Unfortunately.

I know it will be depressing when I come 0ff of this steroid high but it’s amazing how good I feel. Rush, rush, rush. My fingers can’t  type as fast as my thoughts are running, streaking through my head. My son, looks at me both amusement and  concern: “Mom, calm down” he advises, but I explain to him that I cannot. I will however, be back to my usual sub-par pace in a mere few days. As for now, I feel chipper; a little too chipper. Remind me later, friends, when this wears off, what it felt like to read this, to feel this, to embrace this because every day I will feel less and less energized, more and more lethargic. I am the movie “Cocoon” for those of us old enough to remember. I am “Cocoon” the re-make, 2010.

Luckily, the bitchiness of the first day is over and I am no longer throwing darts, figuratively, at someone’s head. I am not sending off vapid e-mails and insulting comments, that was bad-me, ” Prednisone Bitch-Me.”  Thankfully, she  has left, departed, disappeared, leaving behind sparks and energy.  It was as if wild-me had been let out of hiding after many years or I had broken out of prison. The energy is here, the meanness is gone, it was a good trade.

Perhaps I will go to bed late tonight ( can you see me tiring out quickly?) and do a few more chores, instead of what I usually do: read in bed, watch a little Food Network television ( or Bravo or Travel) and play on my computer. Luckily, I have already DVR’d a few shows, which I have never done before but accomplished that this morning after my first cup of really strong, aromatic, Bustello coffee. Now I know that I can watch these shows at my leisure, when leisure finds its way back to me, say in about 4 days or so. Right now, I can’t at all describe myself as leisurely.

The first night I was on Prednisone I was roaming the house, inside, up and down my 13  carpeted steps because I could not fall asleep, I was up until after 2am, now I know why. Last night, with my allergies so bad I had to take a Benadryl, I nodded off at about 12:30am. My usual bedtime sans Prednisone is about 10:30 and that’s on a really good night.

My mind races, my legs, that usually, carry the weight of the world, walking slowly  and painfully in sneakers has all but disappeared. I am practically frolicking. It’s like a vacation from chronic pain, fatigue, fog, and lethargy. I am very alert though when someone is speaking to me I don’t listen as carefully because my mind is already formulating the next sentence.

I’ve typed this whole page in less than a few minutes but don’t give me credit. In a few days I probably look back and say how artificial the feeling was, how the energy was just too much. Will I do that? Probably not. I will remember how I felt with great fondness and longing. This is not what normal people feel either, this is steroids, pure and simple, artificial and dangerous and today, it feels good. I’m not going to lie.