Saturday, September 12, 2009

Avian Soup in a Can Influenza

I just survived more fatigue I ever thought was possible to endure. It was likely swine flu, although I didn't bother to go to the doctor to find out. I figured since I went to the doctor for my 121st diabetic checkup last week, and came down with this post-exposure to all the sick people in the waiting room, I probably would live (perhaps longer) not knowing whether I had regular old flu or some other allegedly more contagious kind of flu. In my opinion that falls under the category of too much information.

Other interesting symptoms of my flu included a salt craving that drove me just about crazy, and which I satisfied with garlic salt on toast and chicken soup from a can. Yes, dear reader, it was so bad I ate chicken soup from a can. I did buy organic and free range, yah da yah da yah da, chicken soup, two allegedly made by Wolfgang Puck. Yeah, right. This desperate act was necessary, however, because the very idea of cooking made me want to go fetal. The idea of doing anything but sleeping made me want to go fetal. I'd like to suggest a new name for this flu--the avian-soup-in-a-can-fetal-position-influenza.

Not only did I not want to cook, I also didn't want to eat. Not exactly nauseous, just not interested. Horrors! And for me, like most mammals I know, being off my feed is a pretty serious indication of illness. So, today, when a ferocious hunger started stalking me around 11 am, I figured I was probably gonna be alright. Whew.

Interestingly, I also ate the same thing for breakfast today (chicken soup from a can and crackers) and gave the same amount of insulin as I had for the last three awful days and *today*, I had a low blood sugar afterward, right around 11 am. When ill, the body releases stress hormones like cortisol that raise the blood sugar. In the diabetic body, which has no insulin to deal with this rise, the blood sugar stays inelastically high, which adds to the misery, have no fear. When my blood sugar finally came down, I took that as a bonefide indication of being back in the saddle--so to speak. (The real kind of getting back in the saddle will have to wait til tomorrow. Yaaaaaaaay!!).

So, what to eat, to break this influenza fast? I'm not much of a wheat-eater, but all I could think of was a big fat pizza--the quintessential comfort food. My good friends Amy and Jimmy Cox had given me some venison sausage a few weeks ago and I had lots of tomatoes and basil. Sometimes these combinations stick in my head like a tune, and I can't expunge them, except for to make them come to life. So, ole, ole, ole, come to life!

I cooked up some fast pizza sauce from my ripe Amish Paste and San Marzano tomatoes with some Sweet Nardello peppers from McMullen Farms and some super strong Inchelium Red garlic from Backyard Harvest with a little dried thyme from some huge garden I had in Pennsylvania in another life. I browned the sausage, and the gamey scent of it brought back memories of growing up in Minnesota. I piled the sauce and sausage high with onions from Cedar Grove farm, green pepper from my garden, more garlic and sweet nardello pepper, layered with heirloom tomatoes from Green Girl Gardens and basil from Roots Farm. Oh my. To make a kick-the-crap-out-of-influenza pizza it takes a whole county. Wolfgang Puck, eat your heart out!

More seriously, though, I would have really liked to have sourced the weat flour and mozzerella cheese locally, both of which I bought at the grocery and both of which have origins relatively unknown to me. I just made my students trace the ingredients of a favorite food, and I really should do this myself. Do I as say, not as I do, young ones! The King Arthur flour I know is processed in Vermont, but that's all I know, and it probably contains Bt wheat, which in a recent post, I just railed against. (Does it count that I had already bought it before I ranted against it?) The Sargento cheese is probably made from imported casein, and is likely to make me feel bad since I am lactose intolerant, and casein is usually made from a lactose-based waste product that is also used in cosmetics and paint. Yum, huh?

Ergo, my next big investment is going to be in a mozzarella cheese making kit. The next time you see a pizza, or it's facsimile, on this blog, it will include cheese made from milk from a dairy in Georgia and crafted by my ownself in my very own kitchen. I gotta think a bit harder about the wheat. In the meantime, I am soooooooooooooo happy to be cooking again!

Eat well, be well and love well.

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