I am sick. Oh, don’t worry – it isn’t anything earth-shattering. It’s just an extra-persistent strain of the flu, a little thing we are calling The Plague around here. I’m not the sickest I have ever been; instead, it is a wearing out kind of illness – I’m getting worn out while my body tries to wear it out. I am well enough to get up and do little jobs a few times each day – fold a load of laundry, tidy up a bit – but sick enough to take lots of lying-on-the-sofa breaks. Well, really, the longer stretches of time are spent on the sofa, so I guess that makes the doing-little-jobs activities breaks from lying on the sofa. You sense my feverishly confused thinking here, I am sure.
Days of lying on the sofa leads to a lot of thinking, feverish or not. One thing I have spent some time thinking about is goals. One of my personal goals is to write regularly, and that is one of the reasons I started this blog. I do write pretty regularly on another blog, but this one has languished for almost a year with no attention. My new goal is to write for one hour at least five days per week. This is a more specific statement of purpose about writing than I have ever made before, and I admit to a smidgen of fear about making it. For some years now in the cobwebby part of my mind, I have nursed the thought that when my childrearing days are ended I will have more time to write and it will be interesting to see what develops from that. Frankly, I do not know what I hope develops, which I realize is not the path to success according to most experts, but there it is. I do believe more and more, however, that nothing much can develop then without more rigorous workouts now. Hence my new goal.
What are the obstacles to achieving it? The kids, mostly. Parenting adolescents takes a tremendous amount of energy, I find, as well as diminished opportunities for Mom to use the computer as their schoolwork demands more and more keyboard time. My work in our homeschool co-op takes a significant chunk of my days as well. Time, energy, time, energy. Do I have enough of these to write for an hour a day? I think so. I hope so. Time will tell.
Clean-out-the-fridge Soup for a Sick Day
Search through the fridge for possible ingredients. Pull them out and arrange them on the counter. Contemplate:
a rotisserie chicken, nearly intact
cooked rice, about 1 cup packed (not that I measured it)
about-to-go-funky baby spinach, about 3 cups packed (not that I measured it)
heavy cream nearing its expiration date
Gather non-clean-out ingredients:
1 small onion
1 14-oz. can low-sodium chicken broth
Dice the onion. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes. Sit down and rest for a bit.
Get up and chop the spinach. Add it to the onion, stir, cover the pot and let it sweat until wilted and bright green. Meanwhile, remove the meat from Mr. Convenience Chicken’s thighs and chop coarsely. Rest a little more.
Add a heaping tablespoon of flour to the pot; stir until smooth. Pour in the broth, stirring all the while. Stir in the rice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 minutes or so until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Turn away from the food when another coughing fit strikes. Cough up a lung. Consider its possible use in the soup. Decide against it. Stir in about ½ c. heavy cream and the chicken. Simmer a few minutes more. Taste and adjust seasoning. Store in fridge to eat later. Take a nap.