WIAW 106 – Sick Day
What I Ate Wednesday – or – What I Didn’t Eat Monday. (And the Little I Did Eat Tuesday.)
Well – if these posts are going to be a chronicle of the way I eat in daily life – sometimes daily life isn’t pretty… I had planned my day of food and photos for Monday, but that rapidly proved… unwise.
So – Monday I ate and drank, over the course of the afternoon and evening (nothing in the morning shudder) half a litre bottle of seltzer, half a cup of orange juice (in the seltzer) and one rice cake (in three installments.) And Rich had a really bright idea – there was broth in the fridge from cooking a pork shoulder – nice and rich, jellied, and clear. (And unseasoned, as it happened – which in this case was good.) He heated that for me, added a little salt, and I drank a few ounces for dinner. We won’t discuss the rest of the day.
Tuesday I was much better, thank you… When I woke up, I only took an hour to drink a whole 8 oz. glass of water! And the next hour, I managed not only another glass of water, but a whole rice cake!
OK, so many of us (in the US at least) grew up with some version of saltines and tomato soup (sometimes chicken noodle) for a touchy tummy. Which is obviously a problem for those of us who must avoid gluten. That old reliable red can suddenly isn’t reliable… (For the record – this was not a gluten exposure. These are not my symptoms of that, though they are for many people.)
Luckily, I already have other options up my sleeve. Rice cakes have many of the advantages of saltines – nice and bland, for one thing… If I’d had some of the other crackers I use, I’d have had some of them, though, since they are saltier, which can help in this situation.
But tomato soup! Well – I have a few options. One is Almost Instant Tomato Soup – though you do need the homemade roux cubes on hand for it to be Almost Instant. The Creamy Tomato and Navy Bean Soup would be good, too – if I had the cooked beans and someone else was cooking without direction… If you – the cook – are caring for someone who is sick, it might make sense to cook up a batch of beans and get a pot of this ready for the patient when she recovers enough to eat it. But when you the cook are the one who is sick…
My third option is, oddly, one I’ve made for years but have not written about. I did write about making squash soup with silk tofu, but the first time I tried the concept was with tomatoes. But one reason I never wrote it is that it’s barely a recipe – which is the reason it’s helpful here.
Take a 28 oz. can of tomatoes – diced, crushed, passata, whole, whatever you have on hand – and a 12 oz. aseptic pack of silk tofu. (Note that these are both shelf stable, and always on my shelf…) Blend until smooth. Heat up. At this point, I usually stir in some pesto, since I keep it on hand, too – but if not, I add crushed basil in the beginning. (Or not – under these circumstances…) Anyhow – heat it, check the consistency, you may want to thin it a bit (water will do) and serve. And it’s so easy – I told Rich the ingredients, and to blend and heat it, and he didn’t need any more direction.
I ate most of that, over the course of the day. (Rich had a small bowl for lunch, but carefully kept most for me.) It has the advantage that there is some actual protein in it… and it goes down easily… For context, that’s a teacup, and a teaspoon, not a soup spoon, and he half filled the cup, the first time and I ate that and rested… then had another cup… and so on all day.
Then we got courageous! He fixed himself eggs with a little cheese for a late lunch – and I ate some! OK – again, in terms of amount… That’s a salad plate, and a salad fork, and you usually see the plate holding rice cakes… Oh, I ate another whole rice cake, too!
By then I was doing much better. I said as much to Rich, who replied “You are! You’re grousing, not whimpering!” For dinner, I finished the soup… and had a rice cake with – wait for this – cheese! This was very exciting.
OK, so today I really am much, much better. I’m eating normal amounts of a reasonably normal variety of food, though I’m still eating a little at a time. (It does not typically take me three hours to finish breakfast.) And after doing nothing but read and sleep (and occasionally whimper) for two days, I’m writing!
So – not a normal day (I am very glad to say) but – it happens to us all. I was very grateful to have Rich to take care of me – but I did live alone for years, I could have managed making that soup myself if I really had to (though it would have tired me out.) It’s only one step more than opening a can. And everything I ate was something we routinely have on hand, which is important (especially if you live alone!) And I’m sure you’ll all forgive me for not having taken more (or better) pictures…