Saturday, September 29, 2012

Weekend Randomness

It's weekend #2 of sickness around here. Sucky, sucky sickness. It started with a stomach bug last weekend, and now, this week we've all got the head cold from hell. The one that just won't go away. Just when you think you're getting better and your energy is up, you get zapped into the next phase of hell-dom. First, sore throat, leading into nasal congestion, on to hacking chest cough, and then to splitting headache. I'm currently in hack stage, while Jeff's in splitting stage. We don't know where Kaiya's at, except that there's been an unusual amount of patience-testing whining and crying the past few days. So she's definitely still sick with something.

Don't worry, mom, we're pretty sure it's not SARS.

But there was a whole lotta this today:

Funny thing though, my desire to lie around is still mostly being outdone by my ever-present nesting instinct. I thought women mostly nest towards the END of their pregnancies. For me, it's been ever since we returned to Qatar. Maybe it's a subconscious introvert reaction to having spent every single day with family and friends throughout the summer. I think it's more my need to get back to healthy food after a whole lot of eating-on-the-go for two straight months. Whatever the reason, today found me making a double batch of granola, delicious morning glory muffins, and a large pot of my favourite-ever soup.

There we were, a bedraggled bunch, shuffling our way around the house... Kaiya sitting at the table drawing flowers, Jeff making interesting smoothies with our new Bamix, and me making my favourite-ever soup. I turned to Jeff and said, "It really should be raining." Jeff looked at me, puzzled, glancing at the ever-present sun through the window. "I don't know... it's just the Canadian in me I guess. It's the end of September, we're all sick, and I'm making comfort food. It should be cool and crisp, with a dreary gray sky and a slow and steady drizzle. Don't you think it would make it all more cozy?" Jeff didn't say much. I guess it was the combination of splitting headache and smoothie-making concentration.

As we were sitting down to lunch, I looked out the window and swore I saw clouds. Or at least a lack of super-hot-blazing sun. I stepped outside. "It's cloudy!!!" I exclaimed. My family shuffled out the door to look for the proof themselves. Hm, yes, clouds. Then, while eating lunch, I was sure I heard a distinct rumbling. "Thunder?" I said. "No way," said Jeff. "It's probably the trucks rumbling by. (whatever, Jeff) Those aren't thunder clouds."

But as the day went on, I was proven right. The rumbling continued, and Jeff had to admit it was a quiet Friday, and there were no trucks. At one point, he even saw a flash of lightning. And then......... rain. Oh sweet blessed rain. All 50 or so muddy drops of you. Enough to make me open the window just a crack (while leaving the air conditioning blasting, of course) so that I could hear the drops and feel the cool breeze. Okay, there was no cool breeze, more like a hot-sauna wind, but I can still dream.

Proof of rain:

And lucky you, the recipe to my favourite-ever soup:

Spicy Carrot & Lentil Soup

1/2 tsp. chili flakes
2 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tbsp. olive oil
650 g. carrots, coarsely grated
2 celery sticks, finely sliced
150 g. split red lentils
1.2 liters of stock
125 ml coconut milk
plain yogurt or sour cream
handful of coriander
  • Put chili flakes and cumin seeds in a large pot and toast for a minute, till fragrant. Set aside half of seeds for use later.
  • Add oil to pot and stir in carrots and celery. Let them do their thing for a few minutes. Then add lentils, stock and coconut milk.
  • Bring to simmer and cook about 15 minutes, covered, till lentils are tender.
  • Blitz soup and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Add yogurt, coriander and extra spices to each serving.

It should look something like this:

It took me 3 tries to get the first step of that recipe right today. First I mistakenly added oil to the spices I should have been toasting. Then, I burned the second batch. Proof, perhaps, that I really should have been just lying around in bed.

I'll leave you today with the #1 reason why being sick just ain't so bad:

Bringing Kaiya into our bed, snuggling and then watching her sleep.


Erika said...

fabulous even though mostly you were writing about being sick:-(( maria has been struggling with iona being sick for two weeks now with vomiting and diarrhea; today she was feeling better. nothing worse than a sick baby and you don't know what to do. your soup looks fabulous and i'm sure i've tasted it at your house so i will have to make it too and think of you guys. it seems a very appropriate soup for your neck of the woods. today is the BIG moving day and i'm helping as i can. can't wait for everyone to be settled. love you and miss you!

kooki said...

Must be that time of year, if only in the latent cells of our minds. Flu in our house & I relaxed into the cloudy day. I think today will be a baking bread & making soup day-even if it's 60% humidity & blazing hot outside. I'll turn the air con up.

Karen D. said...

Hey, Brian mentioned it rained in Lebanon on Saturday too and commented on how rare that was! (It ruined his birthday plans a bit!) Must be all part of the same weather system! And we had a beautiful, steady rain last night with a thunderstorm too. This morning was the kind of morning you were dreaming of. I've been thinking about you - how you love fall and what you're missing. But you'll be happy not to be here come dreary winter!

Love your writing (great even in sickness). Your soup recipe sounds awesome and looks delicious (had to look up what blitz meant though). Hope you are all better soon!