Sunday, December 8, 2013

RBOC: Teaching and cooking with a head cold

  • God forbid I make it through the semester without contracting a head cold.  I love lecturing when I can barely breathe.
  • Ditto driving the thirty-mile trek from home to campus.
  • Especially when the forecast calls for freezing drizzle overnight, thus likely yielding black ice all over the roads tomorrow morning.
  • My stuffed-up sinuses and the headache caused thereby also make it extra-special awesome to plan out my final exam reviews, and to prep tomorrow morning's lesson.
  • I could feel this cold coming on yesterday, so at least I had time to prepare with groceries.  I just cooked up a big pot of chicken soup, with an abstemiously small teaspoon (...maybe a heavy teaspoon) of chili powder for sinus kick.  So good.  
  • The irony of cooking this soup with a stuffed-up nose is that I can't be bothered by the raw onion, but this is the only recipe I know in which the onion goes into the pot pretty much whole.  It's a missed opportunity to not tear up while chopping an onion, but then again, maybe it's for the best that this soup doesn't require a lot of knife work.
  • I went to a party the other day thrown by a couple who have a daunting number of dietary restrictions between them, and I was flummoxed for what to bring.  (The host had suggested I bring something savory.)  I'm really low on savory recipes that don't involve a) meat, b) lots of hot chiles, or c) both A and B, and I was worried I'd be reduced to bringing a bag of bread sticks.  Luckily, after tooling around the internet for a while, I found an excellent vegan recipe the ingredients for which are easily found in Cornstate.  I added my own little touch, and voilà, my biggest crowd-pleaser in years!  To wit:

    1.5 lb. Brussels sprouts
    Good olive oil
    Kosher salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    Mustard oil

    Slice the sprouts in half lengthwise.  Toss them with a pleasing amount of salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Pour them onto a cookie sheet and spread them out in a thin layer.  Drizzle a modest amount of mustard oil over them.  (NB: DO NOT bathe the sprouts in this stuff!)  Roast them in the oven at 400º for about half an hour.
  • I'm still so pleased with the reception my Brussels sprouts got that for a minute, I actually forgot to feel kvetchy about my head cold.  That minute has now expired.
  • Kvetch.

1 comment:

  1. We're big Brussels sprout fans, but we always cook them with bacon. I suppose we could try the mustard for a little something different.

    I'm sorry you're so sick. Hope the soup helps!